Warning, meat lovers: study shows red meat increases risk of death! You probably already know that too much meat is bad for your health. The evidence below only drives the point deeper.
A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute showed that people who eat the most red meat and the most processed meat have the highest overall risk of death from all causes, including cancer and heart disease.
Since the average American eats almost twice his or her weight in meat each year, meat lovers have a reason to be worried.
Researchers examined the records of more than 500,000 people between the ages of 50 to 71 who answered questions about their diet and other health habits, including eating meat, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, smoking, exercise and obesity.
They found that those who ate meat the most were more likely to die over the next decade than those who ate the least meat.
Their findings associated red and processed meat intake with “modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.”
The volunteers were divided into five groups called quintiles. The quintile which ate the most red meat showed the highest risk for overall mortality and between 1995 and 2005, 47,976 men and 23,276 women died.
The researchers said that 11 percent of deaths in men and 16 percent of deaths in women could be prevented if people decreased their red meat consumption to the level of intake in the first quintile.
They also noted that the meat contained a number of carcinogenic chemicals and unhealthy forms of fat. Most red meat intake comes from beef.
What’s in Your Beef?
The unhealthy components of common beef are:
• More omega-6 fat content – Most commercial cattle are fed grains and studies show this increases the amount of omega-6 fats in the beef and lessens the omega-3 fat content. Omega-6 fats have been linked to heart disease and other health problems while omega-3 fats are beneficial for heart health.