As a registered dietitian, I know that, contrary to statements made in a recent letter (11/6) by an employee of the Kansas Beef Council, meat consumption is linked to an increased cancer risk in numerous studies.
A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that in the Cancer Prevention Study II, the group with the highest meat intake had an approximately 50 percent higher colon cancer risk compared with those with lower meat intake.
An analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which examined more than 90,000 pre-menopausal women, showed that women who consumed 1and a half or more servings of red meat per day had nearly double the risk of developing hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer — the most common type of breast cancer — than women consuming three or fewer servings of red meat per week.
There are many food and lifestyle choices we can make to reduce our risk of cancer. Avoiding meat may lower our risk of disease, and it gives us room to fill our plates with known cancer-fighting foods, like tomatoes, broccoli, black beans and other low-fat, vegetarian fare.
Jennifer K. Reilly
Senior nutritionist, The Cancer Project