The past decades we have seen our global health and wellness decline at a rapid pace. The rate of heart disease, autism, and cancer, among many others, has never been this alarmingly high. Most of us will face a major disease at some point in our life. That’s how bad it is.
With so many toxins and disease-causing agents around us it is impossible to avoid them all. But there are a few things we can do to drastically reduce our risk of developing cancer (or other diseases). One of these things is being mindful about what we put into our mouth to fuel the body.
Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) classified processed meats – such as hot dogs, sausages, and bacon – as a definite and red meat –such as beef, pork, and lamb- as a probable cause of cancer.
They concluded that having a BLT on occasion won’t harm your health, but if you are eating more than 50 grams (1.8 ounce) of processed meat a day you are increasing your chance of getting bowel cancer by up to 18%. To give you an idea, 50 grams is about the weight of 2 slices of bacon or 1 hotdog. (1)
Why you should consider to eat a plant-based diet
While there is no doubt about processed meats, science is still inconclusive about the link between meat, especially red meat, consumption and cancer. Which is actually quite surprising. There are many high quality studies available that report a connection between veganism and a decreased risk of cancer. (2)
A study published in the British Journal of Cancer found that vegetarians are 12% less likely to develop cancer. For some cancers, especially those of the blood, a reduced risk of 45% is reported. (3)
More research is definitely needed in this field, but we can’t ignore the facts which are all pointing into the direction of meat, along with sugar, to being a big contributor in fueling cancer growth.
Also read: Does Sugar Feed Cancer Cells?
When we cook meat, chemicals are produced known to play a role in the development of cancer. (4) Other studies have found that certain natural represented chemicals interact with the immune system, which is closely related to cancer development too. (2)
And then of course there’s also plenty of evidence that the meat we eat today is laden with antibiotics, hormones, and other contaminants responsible for many of our modern diseases, cancer included.
Take home message
There is strong evidence linking a plant-based diet to better health and a reduced risk of cancer, but other lifestyle factors are important too. If you read through these reports, you’ll quickly notice that people who tend to avoid animal products are smoking and drinking less and exercising more than the people who include meat into their daily diet.
Here’s what Dr Teresa Norat, one of the advisors to the WHO report, has to say about it:
“People should limit consumption of red meat and avoid consuming processed meat, but they should also have a diet rich in fibre, from fruit and vegetables and maintain an adequate body weight throughout life and limit the consumption of alcohol and be physically active.” (1)
And the meat industry is not happy with these new findings and the focus on reducing meat intake. Here’s what they added to the conversation: “Avoiding red meat in the diet is not a protective strategy against cancer. The focus should be alcohol, smoking and body weight.” (1)
Looking for a way to live a healthy lifestyle while eating delicious, colorful meals and losing or maintaining weight the healthy way, click here