: Meat Heavy Diet a Health Risk for Men
Men who eat more red meat (mostly beef and pork), processed meat (bacon, sausage, cold cuts, ham, and hot dogs), and grilled or barbecued meat have a higher risk of advanced prostate cancer.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute tracked roughly 175,000 men aged 50 to 71 in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study for nine years. The risk of advanced prostate cancer was roughly 30 percent higher in those who reported eating the most red meat (about 5 ounces a day) than in those who ate the least (less than 1 ounce). The risk was also about 30 percent higher in those who ate the most processed meat (about 2 ounces a day) than in those who ate the least (little or none).
And the risk was about 30 percent higher in those who consumed the most iron from meat, the most benzo[a]pyrene (found in grilled or barbecued meat), or the most nitrates or nitrites (which are added to processed meats).
What to do: Eat as little red and processed meats as possible. Other studies suggest that they also raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes. And they damage the environment (see cover story, June 2009).
Am J. Epidemiol. 770; 1165, 2009.
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