Research has found that limiting the amount of red meat and avoiding processed meat reduces the risk of certain types of cancer.
What are red and processed meats?
In general, red meat is dark in color when raw. Examples include:
Processed meats are meats that have been preserved by smoking, salting, curing or adding other preservatives. Examples include:
Deli meats, such as sliced turkey and bologna
What’s the link to cancer?
According to AICR, eating more than 18 ounces of red meat per week increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
Researchers do not yet know exactly how red meat affects the development of colorectal cancer. Red meat contains compounds that have been shown to damage the lining of the gut and possibly promote cancer. Cooking red meat at high temperatures can also produce other cancer-causing compounds.
Research shows that any amount of processed meat is linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer.
There are many possible ways that processed meat may affect colorectal cancer. For example, compounds used as preservatives may change into cancer-causing compounds in the body.