People who consumed the least amount of red and processed meat products had reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, and colorectal cancer, compared with those who consumed the most, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal Open. Men and women who consumed the least amount of red and processed meat products had a 9.7 and 6.4 percent reduced risk for heart disease, 12.0 and 7.5 percent reduced risk for diabetes, and a 12.2 and 7.7 percent reduced risk for colorectal cancer, respectively. Researchers used British National Diet and Nutrition Survey data to estimate dietary intake of 1,724 adults in the United Kingdom.
Authors also noted that each participant who consumed the least amount of red and processed meat in this study used 0.45 tons less of carbon dioxide emission equivalents per year, compared with those who consumed the most. Red and processed meat products are a leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Aston LM, Smith JN, Powles JW. Impact of a reduced red and processed meat dietary pattern on disease risks and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK: a modelling study. BMJ Open. 2012;2:pii:3001072.