Since there is nothing new in the WHO report we should follow previous guidelines of health authorities for meat consumption. The recent report is just a review paper of a large body of scientific evidence that linked red meat with cancer.
WHO researchers found that 3.5 ounces or 100 grams of red meat may boost bowel cancer risk by 17 percent. This means that an adult, who already has a 1 in 263 chance of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the coming decade, will see that chance rise to 1 in 227.
Processed meat is even more dangerous, according to the WHO. The risk of cancer is increased by 18 percent for every 1.7 ounces of processed meat consumed. This includes bacon, sausage, salami, and cured meat.
This means that processed meat is as hazardous as plutonium and alcohol, according to WHO statistics. Yet, a bacon sandwich is not as dangerous as smoking because the risk remains relatively small if meat consumption is limited, WHO researchers explained.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has reached the exact conclusion in the past years. The institute said that you can still eat red meat (beef, lamb, and pork) and dodge cancer if you limit your weekly intake to 18 ounces and stay away from processed meats.
Processed meats are indeed dangerous. About 34,000 people die of cancer that may be triggered by processed meat overconsumption every year. By contrast, smoking kills one million people through cancer every year and alcohol kills 600,000 people, other reports had showed.
Additionally, eating red meat or processed meat can lead to cancers because people who eat them tend to limit their amount of plant foods in their daily diet. These foods contain phytonutrients that can stave off cancer.
The WHO report was based on 800 studies that analyzed the link between consumption of red/processed meat and high cancer risk. About two dozen scientists were involved in the research. They gave priority to high-quality studies and those that analyzed processed and red meat separately.
The team found that there was ‘sufficient evidence’ that red meat can produce cancer in humans. Red meat was classified as probably carcinogenc. Scientists believe that processed meats can cause cancer because of the way they are produced: curing, smoking, salting, which by themselves alone can lead to cancer.
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