If you want to live longer, you might want to cut down your processed meat intake.
A new study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, shows a link between eating processed meat and earlier death from cardiovascular disease – and in some cases, cancer.
The researchers studied men and women between the ages of 35 and 69 when the study began.
‘The results of our analysis support a moderate positive association between processed meat consumption and mortality in particular due to cardiovascular diseases, but also cancer,’ the study’s authors wrote.
Even when factoring in diet, smoking, physical activity and body mass index, researchers found that all-cause premature death was higher in those who consumed processed meat – with the highest risk being in those who ate more than 160 grams a day.
We asked Jean LaMantia, registered dietitian and author of the Essential Cancer Treatment and Nutrition Guide Cookbook what some of the worst foods you can eat are, and she listed processed meat as one of them.
‘Processed meat has nitrates that are linked with colorectal cancer,’ says LaMantia. ‘In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research published a list of the top 10 things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. Avoiding nitrates is one of them.’
The Canadian Cancer Society says that a diet high in red meat or processed meat increases the risk of cancer, and recommends trying to ‘limit the amount of red meat you eat each week to 3 servings. A serving is 85 grams (3 ounces) when cooked ‘ this is smaller than a deck of cards.’
They also recommend choosing the leanest meat and trimming any visible fat before cooking.
Do you limit your intake of processed and red meat?
-Katharine Watts, associate web editor