A new study from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund has found that cutting back on red meat consumption could help prevent 6,000 cases of bowel cancer — Australia’s second deadliest cancer. The research comes after previous major studies have reached similar conclusions, including a study performed by The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) in 2005. Both studies concluded that consuming roast beef, lamb and pork increases your risk of bowel cancer. The quality of these meats, however, were not mentioned.
The findings also offer a nutritional solution. Consuming garlic and calcium have been found to protect against bowel cancer, in addition to consuming more foods containing fiber (such as THC-free hemp products). The study advises consumers to limit red meat consumption to 5 medium portions (500 grams) per week. Other risk factors in the development of bowel cancer include alcohol consumption and overall lifestyle choices.
Cancer Council Australia chief executive Prof Ian Olver explained that how the red meat is prepared is also vital in determining its carcinogenic effects.
It is not just the meat, but the amount of fat on it and the way we cook it that determines how carcinogenic it is,” Prof Olver said.
“If it’s slow cooked it won’t have as many carcinogens as it would if it was fried and blackened,” he said.
Bottom line: studies have found that limiting your consumption of red meat is beneficial to overall health, and eliminates the unnecessary risk of developing bowel cancer. If possible, slow cook any red meat consumed, and ensure that it is high quality and organic to avoid taking in antibiotics and genetically modified ingredients.