freephone 0800 862 0373
Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

Processed and unprocessed red meat blamed for early deaths from heart disease and cancer

Published on 13/03/2012

Regularly eating red meat dramatically increases the risk of death from heart disease and cancer, according to a large-scale American study.

In January, researchers discovered a link between eating processed meat like bacon and sausages and pancreatic cancer.

Red meat increases risk of death from heart disease and cancer

Now, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston say that two rashers of bacon a day raises the odds of dying from heart disease and cancer by 20 per cent.

The study looked at data from more than 120,000 men and women who were tracked for more than 30 years- 37,698 men between 1986 and 2008 and 83,644 women between 1980 and 2008.

Almost 24,000 people died during the course of the study. Between 7.6 per cent and 9.3 per cent of these deaths could have been avoided if everyone taking part had eaten half a helping of red meat less a day, even taking into account known chronic disease risk factors like age, body weight, physical activity and family history.

Researchers said that adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to someone’s daily diet would increase the risk of death by 13 per cent, fatal cardiovascular disease by 18 per cent and cancer mortality by 10 per cent. Red meat refers to beef, pork, lamb and goat – foods like hamburgers, minced beef, pork chops and roast lamb.

One helping equated to 85g- two slices of bacon or one sausage.

The figures for processed meat were higher, 20 per cent for overall mortality, 21 per cent for death from heart problems and 16 per cent for cancer mortality. Processed meat is preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by the addition of preservatives. Examples include ham, bacon, pastrami and salami, as well as hot dogs and some sausages.

However, unprocessed red meat still remains a significant source of essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, B vitamins and vitamin D. In the UK, red meat is 'critically important' to zinc intake, contributing 32per cent of the total for men and 27 per cent for women.

The authors of the study say that replacing one serving of red meat with fish, chicken or nuts significantly lowers the risk of dying.

Cancer prevention charity the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recommends that people avoid processed meat entirely and limit their consumption of red meat to 500 grams a week. The British Heart Foundation said red meat could still be eaten as part of a balanced diet.

Senior author Professor Frank Hu, from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, US, said: 'This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death.’

If access to revolutionary cancer drugs and treatment is important to you, compare health insurance quotes online now to get covered on your private medical insurance.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
Processed and unprocessed red meat blamed for early deaths from heart disease and cancerRegularly eating red meat dramatically increases the risk of death from heart disease and cancer , according to a large-scale American stud    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member

Very polite and friendly, and gave detailed explanations of all aspects of the cover. Reassuring to know that if you do have a problem there is someone you can contact.

Review centre member

Friendly and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble even when i needed to make a small change, excellent service.

Review centre member

The advisor was incredibly helpful and fully explained the differences between the policies. I really liked the fact that I was put under no pressure.

Review centre member

I was pleasantly surprised with the in-depth knowledge, the efficiency and the nice and polite manner of the staff - the explanations were made very clearly.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...