(NaturalNews) Over consumption of any particular food group does not provide a firm pathway to optimal health. In prior bodies of research, excess dietary red and processed meats have been shown to significantly increase the risk of many cancer lines while contributing to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, largely due to the preservative nitrites in processed meats and fattening antibiotics so prevalent in red meat.
Researchers from Great Britain have published a study confirming the negative effects of eating processed meats or excess amounts of red meat in the journal BMJ Open
. A study team found that reducing red and processed meat consumption would not only prompt a fall in chronic disease incidence of between three and twelve percent in the UK, but would also shrink the carbon footprint by 28 million tons a year.
The scientists cite past studies showing that coronary heart disease risk is increased by 42 percent and bowel cancer rates are raised by 18 percent with every additional daily serving (50 grams or 1.75 ounces) of red and processed meat. As with many past studies, the researchers did not distinguish between red meat from 'cattle farms' and organic cuts of meat from free-range animals that have not been subjected to growth hormones and antibiotics, significant factors that increase chronic disease risk in humans.
Red and processed meats contain nitrites, antibiotics and hormones that boost disease risk
To assess the effect of red and processed meats, researchers used responses over a 10-year period to the British National Diet and Nutrition Survey
to estimate red and processed meat
intake across the UK population. They then broke the participants into five groups based on the percentage of meat consumption as compared to vegetables and other food groups. Five percent of men and twelve percent of the women were vegetarians.
The study team found that the top group of meat eaters consumed two and a half times more meat than those in the lowest group. Their calculations showed that lowering average consumption from 91 to 53 grams a day for men and from 54 to 30 grams for women would significantly cut the risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, and bowel cancer by between three and twelve percent across the population as a whole.
The study did not specifically distinguish between red meat and processed meat consumption. In the past, eating processed meats
including sausage, hot dogs and pepperoni has been shown to increase the incidence of digestive cancers by nearly one-third. Red meats can increase the iron load in susceptible individuals, but much more problematic is the antibiotic and hormone infused nature of the factory-farmed meats that are repeatedly demonstrated to increase risk for many chronic illnesses.Sources for this article include:http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/5/e001072http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911091658.htmhttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-09/bmj-rir090712.phpAbout the author:
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