Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Red Meat: Friend or Foe?

Source: BBC News (Summary by NIM)

We've all heard the warning that too much red meat is bad for our health, but why, exactly? One reason happens to be that, according to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), there is "convincing" evidence that consumption of red meat is linked to cancer. But wait a second - red meat is also a great source of iron, a critical mineral responsible for transporting oxygen through our blood, which vegetarians and red-meat abstainers tend to be low in. So what are we to do?

"Two of the world's largest studies on diet and cancer have found that people are more likely to develop some cancers, such as bowel cancer, if they eat too much red or processed meat" said Nell Barrie, Cancer Research UK's science information officer. "Cutting down on these foods can help to reduce the risk of developing cancer."

But according to other cancer experts, there are a lot of confusing messages coming at the public, which need to be resolved. Consuming moderate amounts of red meat in the context of a balanced diet is perfectly OK. What's more important than abstaining from red meat is promoting balance and avoiding excess - and that also applies to fat, calories and everything else in your diet.

Find out more about the great red meat debate by reading the article called "Does red meat give you bowel cancer?" from BBC Health (Feb. 15, 2010).