Red meat ‘shortens life’

Switch from steak to chicken to protect against a range of diseases

Eating more chicken and drastically cutting consumption of red meat could lead to a big reduction in the risk of cancer and other diseases, scientists have found.

Too much red meat or processed meat increases the risk of death from a range of illnesses, the American study of 500,000 people concluded, while, switching to chicken and other white meats can produce the opposite effect. People who ate the most white meat had a reduced risk of death.

The study by The US National Cancer Institute found that people who ate the most red meat had a higher risk of developing cancer and heart disease, as well as other illnesses.

The scientists calculated that 16 per per cent of women’s deaths during the study period could have been prevented if they had eaten much less red and processed meat.

Red meat is a major source of saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease, breast and colon cancer. Cancer-causing compounds are also created when meat is cooked at high temperatures.

However, the risks are linked to a high intake of red meat. Dr Mark Wahlqvist, a nutrition expert at Monash University, Australia, said that if you stick to around 30g of fresh, lean red meat daily, it is likely to be of “more benefit than harm”, according to the BBC. Red meat is a rich sources of many nutrients.

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