Home FeaturedHighlight Findings Suggest Processed Meat Intake Increases Premature Death Risk

Findings Suggest Processed Meat Intake Increases Premature Death Risk

by Lillian Santos
Health specialists advise keeping weekly red meat consumption below 0.6 pounds. (Photo via unsplash.com)

According to recent research, regular consumption of red meat, particularly processed varieties, may contribute to premature death. Experts suggest avoiding processed meat and choosing healthier protein sources like fish, chicken, nuts, and beans to decrease the risk of death.

New York, NY (The CTP News) – Are you an avid consumer of red meat? Do you have a preference for steak, fast-food burgers, BBQ, and other gourmet delights, relishing the satisfaction of biting into substantial portions of meat? Reducing the intake of red and processed meat is recommended for health reasons. According to new research, regular consumption of red meat, mainly processed meat, may lead to premature death.

An uneven diet has become a common problem for modern people. With life pressure and busy work, people who eat out often eat high-calorie meat to fill their stomachs. A study from Harvard University spent 22 years observing more than 12,000 people. Regular consumption of red meat, mainly processed red meat, has been shown to increase the risk of death.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health observed 37,698 men and 83,644 women and assessed their eating habits and status through questionnaires every four years for 22 years. During the experiment, nearly 24,000 deaths were recorded, including 5,910 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 9,464 deaths from cancer.

After analyzing chronic disease risk factors such as age, body mass index, physical activity, and family history of heart disease or significant cancers, the researchers concluded that long-term red meat consumption was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and cancer deaths. A daily serving of unprocessed red meat (about the size of a deck of playing cards) increases the risk of death by 13%, while a daily serving of processed red meat (a hot dog or two slices of bacon) increases the chance of 20%. But switching to other healthy proteins, such as fish, chicken, nuts, and legumes, could reduce the risk of death.

The per capita beef consumption in the United States is nearly 100 kilograms a year. Experts recommend eating more white meat such as chicken and fish for health. According to statistics, replacing whole red hearts with a serving of healthy protein can reduce the risk of death by nearly 7%-20%. The researchers estimated that if all participants had consumed less than 0.5 servings of red meat daily, about 8,000 men and 1,800 women would have avoided death by the end of the follow-up period.

In addition to health factors, red meat is also one of the causes of global warming. The benefits of eating less red meat are both health and environmental benefits. The process from raising beef cattle to slaughtering will emit a large amount of greenhouse gases, causing global warming to intensify. Many environmentalists call on the public to adopt a sustainable diet to reduce carbon dioxide emissions caused by animal husbandry.

It’s not too late to change your eating habits from now on. According to the United Nations Dietary Guidelines, it is recommended that the amount of red meat should not exceed 0.6 pounds (0.27 kg) per week. Avoid processed meat and replace red meat with white meat, such as fish and lean meat. When eating fruits and vegetables, cooking should be less salty and oily, and blanching should be used instead of high-temperature frying, grilling, etc. You can also consult a nutrition expert to plan a diet that suits you and contributes to your health.

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