Processed Meat and Cancer

Written by
Published in August 2006

processed meat cancerStudy showed eating process meat may increase stomach cancer risk

( Researchers from Stockholm, Sweden investigated data collected from more than 4,700 patients from 15 studies published from 1966 through 2006. Processed meat consumption as well as stomach cancer incidences were analyzed. The researchers found that higher intake of processed meat was associated with a greater risk of stomach cancer. Indeed, stomach cancer risk increased by 15 to 38 percent if consumption of processed meats increased by just one ounce a day. The results of this study were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in August 2006.

Editor's Note - Processed Meats are not Healthy, anyway.

Although previous studies have linked processed meats with other cancers such as pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer, it is still too early to conclude that processed meats cause cancer. However, it is wise to stay away from them, anyway. Meats that are salted, cured, smoked or preserved with nitrate are considered processed meats. This includes bacon, sausage, ham, hot dogs, salami, luncheon meat and other cured meats. They are usually high in fats and salt, which means they are not heart-friendly, either. A slice of regular ham, for instance, contains two times more fat and 25 times more salt than an equivalent portion of pork tenderloin.

    Bottom Line

The American Cancer Society recommends limiting consumption of red meats, especially those that are high in fat and processed.

Here are some healthier ways to enjoy meat:

  • Choose fish, poultry, or beans as an alternative.
  • Select meat with leaner cuts. For beef, choose eye of round, top round roast, top sirloin and flank; for pork, choose tenderloin and loin chops.
  • Watch your portions. One serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards.
  • Prepare meat with cooking methods that use less oil such as baking, broiling or poaching.

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