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Cancer Prevention: Mind Your Red Meat

Posted Mar 30 2011 12:00am
Red meat is probably the most common food item to take the blame for causing cancer. It is true that people who eat red meat ted to have higher cancer incidences than those who are vegetarian or have diets high in other meat sources such as fish or chicken. However, this does not mean that you have to completely cut red meat out of your diet. In fact, it's not necessarily red meat itself which is carcinogenic. It's what happens to the meat before you eat it that may matter the most.

Cattle are fed hormones and foods which contain all sorts of chemicals. The chemicals are passed directly through the meat into your intestines where they can cause disruption to your natural immune system. Also, red meat tends to be high in saturated fat – which is difficult for your body to digest and can cause inflammation. Inflammation in turn can cause cells to mutate and become cancerous. Lastly, the way that you cook red meat matters as well. Charred meat off the BBQ has been known to cause damage to cells which leads to cancer.
You don't have to cut steak completely out of your diet. Here are few suggestions to keep your red-meat cancer risk low:
  • Buy organic red meat
  • Limit your red meat intake to 1 or 2 times per week
  • Choose lean pieces of meat and cut away any excess fat, even if you feel it will not be as flavorful
  • Avoid charring your meat during the cooking process. Try baking or sauteing the meat instead. 
More about cancer and cancer treatment here. 
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