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Red meat causes cancer or not: Dietitian's answer

Red meat causes cancer or not: Dietitian's answer Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Frequent consumption of red meat is associated with an increased risk of certain chronic diseases, including cardiovascular problems. However, let's look into research on the relationship between red meat and cancer risk, citing nutritionist Olha Bezuhla.

Difference between unprocessed and processed red meat

Unprocessed red meat (steaks, pork and lamb chops, drumsticks) can be nutritious because it contains a lot of protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

However, its consumption should also be limited, as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified unprocessed red meat as a probable carcinogen (Group 2A).

Processed red meat includes hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, bacon, ham, semi-finished meat products, sausages, bologna, cured meats, and canned meats.

Such products have a higher degree of processing and modification. The IARC classifies such meat as a human carcinogen (Group 1), which means that there is sufficient evidence of its association with the development of colorectal cancer.

Research findings

While research shows that processed red meat has a strong association with an increased risk of developing cancer, unprocessed meat also has the potential to increase this risk when consumed in large quantities.

To reduce the risk of developing colorectal and other types of cancer, you should limit your consumption of processed meat. It is also important to pay attention to the amount of unprocessed red meat in your diet and the way it is prepared.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.