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This week we're focusing on red meat. On Monday I wrote about which cuts of meat are best for you and how to choose them. Today we'll review a few of our Health and Nutrition Bites regarding red meat so you can see some of the research behind these conclusions.
Red meat still not bad for you
Older studies have linked eating more red meat with a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But is it the red meat itself, the higher saturated fat that's associated with red meat, or something else? Other studies have suggested that the culprit might be increased inflammation due to a higher level of blood iron.
Red Meat and Breast Cancer in Women
There have been links to an increased risk of cancer in those who eat higher amounts of red meat. So far this has not been shown in women with breast cancer, however. In a study published this week a group of researchers looked at a large number of women to determine if this might be the case.
Getting the balance right
We've seen in previous studies that eating red meat has been linked to breast cancer in women as well as colon or rectal cancer. Researchers at the University of North Carolina noted these results as well as those studies that link eating more fruits and vegetables with a reduced risk of these cancers. ... Dr. Austin and his colleagues theorized that the protective effects were a function of the ratio of fruits and vegetables to meat in an individual's diet, rather than being related to a specific amount of either food type in one's diet.
Mediterranean Diet and Stomach Cancers
We've seen that the Mediterranean Diet can help reduce your risk of death from all causes, from heart disease to stroke to cancers. We also know that eating more fruits and vegetables appears to reduce your risk of oral cancers as well as helping to prevent Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Reducing your intake of red meat may help you avoid certain types of breast cancer. Research on specific types of cancer in relation to the overall Mediterranean diet is a little sparse, however.
Can Red Meat be Part of a Cholesterol-Lowering Diet?
For a long time when I talked to my patients about eating healthier they would immediately tell me that they would stop eating red meat. This is because in the past, all red meats, including beef, lamb, pork, venison and buffalo, have been largely lumped together as all being equally bad for you.