Check out how red and other processed meats can adversely affect your health in five different ways:
1. Red Meat and Diabetes
A study done in 2010 by Harvard University researchers associated a link between red meat and type II diabetes.
According to the study, an average single 85-gram serving of unprocessed red meat per day increases almost 12 percent chances of getting type II diabetes over the course of a decade or two. For processed red meat, the chances increase by 32 percent, even when portions served are smaller.
2. Red Meat, Processed Meat and Colon Cancer
A meta-analysis of 29 studies done by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute of Cancer Research, in 2007, showed that red and processed meats caused colorectal, colon and rectal cancers. Similar studies by other universities in Europe and the U.S. also support the fact that high consumption of meat and an increased risk of colon cancer are correlated.
Harvard Medical School researchers believe the reason for colon cancer can be heterocyclic amines (HCAs), chemicals produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures, while scientists from England blamed the presence of high levels of N-nitroso compounds (NOCs) in red meat, which are potentially cancer-causing chemicals.
3. Processed Deli Meat and Bladder Cancer
A study conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute, and published in the journal Cancer, discovered that higher consumption of processed meats such as hot dogs, pepperoni and deli cold cuts that contain nitrate and nitrite preservatives increased the risk of bladder cancer by nearly 30 percent.
The study revealed that non-Hispanic whites, current smokers and people with a higher body mass index, were more prone to being afflicted with bladder cancer.
4. Processed Meat and Heart Disease
Several researches done by scientists from all over the world have found a link between consumption of processed meats such as bacon, sausage, salami, hot dogs and lunch meats with a greater risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Scientists from Harvard University conducted a meta-analysis, revealing results of nearly 1,600 prior studies that proved the relationship between processed meats and heart disease specifically.
Another study done by the Harvard School of Public Health researchers showed that while processed meat is responsible for increasing heart diseases, contrary to earlier studies, unprocessed red meat did not give rise to the risk of heart disease.
5. Red Meat and Blindness
A study conducted by researchers from the Center for Eye Research Australia at the University of Melbourne showed that there was a strong connection between red meat consumption and blindness.
According to the study, eating red meat 10 times a week gave a person 47 percent higher risk of AMD, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in old age.