Red and processed meats increase risk for heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses, according to a review published in the Journal of Internal Medicine. Researchers examined the correlation between disease risk and meat consumption in six cohort studies. Consumption of 100 grams of red meat per day increased the risk for stroke and for breast cancer, death from heart disease, colorectal cancer, and advanced prostate cancer by 11, 15, 17, and 19 percent, respectively. At 50 grams per day, processed meats increased the risk for several chronic diseases including colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, death from heart disease, and diabetes by 18, 19, 24, and 32, respectively. Possible mechanisms include high levels of heme iron, cholesterol, saturated fatty acids, nitrates and nitrites, and sodium found in red and processed meat products. Researchers suggest policies mirror several European initiatives to curb the environmental and human health hazards of rising global meat intake through revised dietary guidelines.
Wolk A. Potential health hazards of eating red meat. J Intern Med. 2017;281:106-122.