Recently there has been a lot of questioning and debate around the statement which says red and processed meats are just as dangerous as smoking and can in fact cause Cancer – However here at Meatex we wanted to look into this new statistic more and found a statement from AHDB which indicates this is not the case.
When a statement like this is publicised the role of IARC is to give a hypothetical statement on the risks. The media have in fact blown this out of proportions and according to studies however, it has been discovered that although processed and red meat is categorized the same as smoking, the risk of it being harmful is very small. From a report conducted by National Diet and Nutrition Survey it states how the acceptable adult amount for red and processed meats is 71g (54g of red meat and 17g of processed)
Maureen Strong, Nutrition Manager, Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) says:
“The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) isn’t saying eating red and processed meat as part of a balanced diet causes cancer: no single food causes cancer. Nor is it saying it’s as dangerous as smoking, which Cancer Research UK has pointed out today. IARC itself has said that the risk from processed meat remains small.”
“The government looked at the same evidence in 2010 and recommended people eat no more than 70g of red and processed meat a day: and that’s exactly what the vast majority of us are eating. The government has already said that this advice is not changing. IARC’s findings suggest that eating 50g of processed meat brings a small increase in risk. However average consumption in the UK is just 17g per day. People would need to eat three times their current levels to increase their risk.
“Red and processed meat plays an important role in a balanced diet, providing protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins. There’s no evidence that removing meat from your diet protects against cancer. In fact a major, long term study by Oxford University has shown no difference in colorectal cancer rates between meat eaters and vegetarians.”