Nowadays, we are used to reading or hearing that a certain food which is widely consumed has been linked to some deadly disease. Most of such foods are similar and have almost the same chemicals or ingredients that are harmful.
Cancer is by far the biggest concerns as the new types of foods that have been added to the Standard American Diets are filled with carcinogenic substances that have the ability to cause many different types of cancer.
Read more about the cancer epidemic here.
The World Health Organization has specifically named and even eliminated the products which have been linked to the greatly increased risk of cancer after the conclusions given by relevant scientific studies.
The Group 1 category of carcinogens given by the World Health Organization contains the commonly used products, some of which you might know.
Most of the people do know about the link between cancer and alcohol, asbestos, and cigarettes but the most recent headline that came after the last meeting of World Health Organization on this matter also named the fourth product.
According to the WHO, there is now sufficient evidence to support the claim the processed meat causes cancer or more specifically colorectal cancer. This has added processed meats such as bacon, sausages, and hotdogs in the Category 1 of carcinogens.
There has been a concern over the development of cancerous tumors due to the consumption of processed meat mostly due to the fact that colorectal cases which were previously rare are now occurring more often.
What is even more alarming is that most of the cases of colorectal cancer happen to occur be from the younger adult population even though this type of cancer was known mostly as a problem seen in the over 50 age group.
The report on the link between increased risk of cancer and processed meats was released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The groups comprised of 22 experts from around the world that acted independently.
According to the unanimous report and independent observations of the researchers on the risks of environmental and lifestyle factors, there is abundant evidence that suggests that the consumption of meats like bacon increases chances of colon and rectal cancer.
In fact, the report went further to investigate the effects of other types of commonly consumed meats and concluded that red meat is ‘probably’ one of the causes of cancer.
What are processed and red meats?
Processed meats salted, smoked, cured, fermented or transformed in any artificial way for the enhancement of flavors. Such procedures are also useful in increasing the preservation period of the meats.
Some of your favorite snacks contain processed meats such as hot dogs, corned beef, the pepperoni on the pizza and other foods, as well as any type of bacon or ham.
On the other hand, red meat is just any type of meat which is red in color before cooking. It includes many of the meats that are considered ‘safe’ among the common people such as mutton, lamb, pork, horse, beef, and goat.
The risk with processed meats often comes during the ‘procession’ of the meat which turns its bland taste and texture around which causes the formation of carcinogenic chemicals. The quality does not even matter as long as the meat is processed.
What about red meat?
The risk with red meat is not the same as processed meat. In the case of red meat, the concern lies in the naturally occurring chemicals in the meat or the chemicals that are formed during the normal cooking of the meat.
The quality of the meat also does not matter when it comes to red meat. It can have the same carcinogenic substances whether you buy it from some local butcher or a farmer’s market.
Although both types of meats can cause cancer, they are not in the same groups. It should be noted that red meats happen to be in the Group 2A and not with processed meat in Group 1 which means that it is comparatively safer to consume the former.
Since red meats like beef are known to be a good source of many nutrients such as proteins, they can be eaten in controlled portions and moderate amounts. The American Heart Association recommends 2-3 portions of cooked lean proteins per meal.
While most of the researchers will advise you to stay away from processed meats as they hold no nutritional value, they will probably not suggest you cut out the red meats completely from your life.