Monday, December 03, 2007

Red meat = bad

I try to feed my family (and myself) a healthy diet, and I think I do a pretty good job. We (well, my husband and I) eat lots of vegetables, beans, grains (not always whole grain, but sometimes) and I try to have meat/chicken/fish be just a part of the meal. I try.

But today, this article in the Globe gave me pause. Is eating processed or red meat linked to a higher risk of cancer? posits the article. The answer?
Yes, according to a new report from the American Institute for Cancer Research, a nonprofit based in Washington that studies links between diet and cancer.

The group recommended limiting consumption of red meat to 18 ounces (cooked) per week. "It's eating more than 18 ounces a week that increases risk substantially, said Karen Collins, nutrition adviser to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

The evidence against processed meat such as bacon, ham, sausage, and lunchmeat is "even more rigorous," the group said, adding that it could find no level at which consumption of these products was safe. While that is a clear warning, it doesn't mean you should never eat processed meat, just that you should eat it sparingly, Collins said.

I've been aware of this agency for some time now, and I think their message is a good one. I just don't know how I'm going to implement it, realistically, in my home.

Here is more info about red and processed meat
and here's what they have to say about drinking alcohol


I'm torn, because I believe this research to a certain extent, but I also believe that cancer is caused by environmental exposures, which are studied by agencies like the Silent Spring Institute. So reality is probably that there is a combination of factors: genetics, diet, environmental exposures, and probably other factors, all contributing to cancer risk.

So what is a person to do?

I'm not sure... but I need to give our diet some more thought. Stay tuned...


nachtwache said...

We don't eat meat every day; it's best to eat food in as natural state as possible. Any processed food is not good for you. Too much sugar, salt and whatever else, but check cans and bottles, you'd be amazed where you find they add sugar. Salad dressings, tomato sauces.... what for? It's hard to find things without sugar, then there's still the salt. There are other health concerns like diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammations....I agree, genes certainly play a role, some people can abuse their bodies, drink, smoke and eat anything and live to a ripe old age without getting sick. Maybe they're pickled. But why take a chance. My mom always talked about "the golden middle road", moderation.

nachtwache said...

Happy Hanukkah!
This must be a busy time for you. I just read about the reasons for the festive season, the Maccabees victory over the Greeks, the miracle of the oil lasting 8 days instead of just one, until more oil could be made. Wow, I'm sure I've heard about it before but never connected it to Hanukkah.

nachtwache said...

I try not to mention my workplace on my blog, you never know who'll come across it, but I work at the post office. I was at the main postal plant in Vancouver, B.C. for several years until I managed to get a transfer, now I work in a suburb of Vancouver, close to home. I walk home every morning.
Chanukah, so you spell it different; is Hanukkah wrong or the English version?