Is red meat really so bad for our health that it should be treated like tobacco? Scientists weigh up the evidence.
DOES EATING MEAT CAUSE CANCER?
Last month the World Cancer Research Fun (WCRF) concluded that red meat consumption was strongly linked to the development of colorectal cancer – one of the most common cancers in New Zealand – and that by eating no more than 500 grams a week of cooked beef, lamb or pork we could considerably lower our risk of developing the disease.
This could relate to the high saturated fat content in red meat says Dr Rosalind Miller – nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation.
‘It might also be down to a substance called heme iron found naturally in red meat – high levels of which have been shown to cause the formation of carcinogenic compounds’.
There is also evidence that the consumption of processed meats can increase the risk of stomach cancer – says Key.