How risky is eating red meat? New papers provoke controversy

How risky is eating red meat? New papers provoke controversy

How risky is eating red meat? New papers provoke controversy

The NHS advises that anyone eating more than 90g of red or processed meat a day to lower their intake to 70g; that is the equivalent of two rashers of bacon, one-and-a-half sausages, one-third of a half-a-pound of steak, or just five tablespoons of cooked mince.

The recommendations come in sharp contrast to the advice delivered by groups like the Canadian Cancer Society, which recommends people limit their red meat consumption to no more than three servings a week to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer.

He queried the "weak recommendations", based on "low certainty" evidence, arising from reviews by the researchers, that adults "continue current consumption of unprocessed red meat and processed meat".

"The guidelines are based on papers that presumably say there is evidence for what they say, and there isn't", said Dr Dennis Bier, director of the Children's Nutrition Research Centre at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and past editor of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In each study, the scientists concluded that the links between eating red meat and disease and death were small, and the quality of the evidence was low to very low. Professor Andrew Salter, study author from the University of Nottingham's School of Biosciences, said, "With a high saturated fatty acid, content red and processed meat have been linked to heart disease, and other chronic diseases, particularly colon cancer".

The team's conclusion - that most adults should continue to eat their current intake of red and processed meat (about three to four times a week) - is contrary to nearly all other guidelines that exist.

Quadram's Johnson said people who choose to cut down their meat intake might still improve their health by doing so.

He said: "From 12 randomised controlled trials enrolling about 54,000 individuals, we did not find a statistically significant or an important association in the risk of heart disease, cancer or diabetes for those that consumed less red or processed meat".

"Our weak recommendation that people continue their current meat consumption highlights both the uncertainty associated with possible harmful effects and the very small magnitude of effect, even if the best estimates represent true causation, which we believe to be implausible", the panel of scientists conducting the study wrote. You can dig right in without worry that you're risking your health, a complex new research study reported on Monday. This is because meat provides many micronutrients; when reducing meat consumption, the researchers caution that one must ensure their diet is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and other healthy foods in order to get the nutrients they need.

But the conclusions are not a go-ahead to eat as much bacon, cold cuts or hamburger as people wanted, one of the editorial co-authors cautioned. They were compiled by a panel of 14 people-three of whom voted against the final recommendation-representing fields including research methodology, nutritional epidemiology, dietetics, family medicine and internal medicine. "To be honest with our patients and the public, we shouldn't be making recommendations that sound like they're based on solid evidence". But a new study challenges that very notion. However, experts from Harvard and Yale say these claims are irresponsible.

"I do think that it's saying that if you're eating what lots of people do - a couple servings a week - there's little evidence that more changes will have huge effects". They said the evidence for cutting back wasn't compelling. Everything from a study's design to the way its data is analyzed can affect the outcome of a particular experiment-hence the frustrating and common phenomenon where something considered healthy today is condemned tomorrow. Public Health England has said that despite the research, they will not be reviewing their guidelines.

Cancer Research UK said about 5,400 of the 41,804 cases of bowel cancer seen each year in the UK could be prevented if people did not eat processed meat at all.

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