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Bad news for all non-vegetarians! WHO declares that our high meat diets are in fact killing us. According to a WHO report, processed meat items like sausage and bacon undoubtedly cause cancer and red meats such as beef and lamb have shown such behavior as well. There are several effects of eating meat that you must know. But why the food that is most likely to be our oldest diet, is now in danger?
In order to evaluate these risks, the researchers investigated the association of cancer and meat consumption in several countries and also looked into how rat populations are affected by these diets.
A majority of the group "concluded that there is sufficient evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of processed meat," with the report explicitly naming ham, hot dogs, sausages, and jerky falling in this category. Also, the team classified the consumption of red meat as "probably carcinogenic to humans," but cited that there was "inadequate evidence in experimental animals" to definitively prove this link. This correlation between cancer and eating processed meats was strongest seen in the case of colon and stomach cancer, although eating red meat was also related to pancreatic and prostate cancer.
Although meat-eaters commonly use this fact to back their carnivorous decisions, there are many fundamental differences between how our ancestors ate meat versus how we do thus making the comparison ineffective.
According to the WHO report, one of the major culprits for meat's carcinogenic properties is its preparation. Common meat processing techniques, such as curing and smoking, can often result in the formation of carcinogenic chemicals.
According to the Earth Policy Institute, U.S. meat consumption rose from about 80 pounds annually per person in 1940 to over 180 pounds person in 2012. Although the study's results are surprising, the researchers are not suggesting a complete abstinence from meat, but rather explain that their findings "support current public health recommendations to limit meat intake" Dr. Christopher Wild, director of the IARC, said in a statement, NBC reported.
For red meat, although cooking makes meat both taste better and easier to digest, it can also produce known or suspected carcinogens. High-temperature cooking, such as pan-frying, grilling, or barbecuing were identified in the report as providing the highest levels of these chemicals.