In Wednesday’s post (does meat prevent cancer)
I showed that the research behind The China Study showed animal protein did not raise the risk of cancer even though the authors of it and the movie Forks Over Knives alleged that it did.
In the post I mentioned that large studies have not yet seperated vegetarianism from healthy lifestyles. In general, vegetarians are leaner, less likely to smoke and eat more produce than those without intentional diets. I also argued that if those when lean, non-smoking, produce eating non-vegetarians were compared against vegetarians, there would not be a benefit.
Ta da! Right on cue, the EPIC Study (Meat consumption and mortality – results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) Just released preliminary results today!
You can read the results HERE
This was a huge study of 511,781 people in 23 countries.
The main question it set out to answer was this: if you take out other important variables such as smoking, body weight, physical activity, alcohol intake and produce intake, does red meat, poultry or processed meat cause cancer?
A recent US study looked at this topic but failed to differentiate red meat from processed meat.
Processed meat is defined as smoked or cured meat such as sausage, bacon or lunch meat. Numerous prior studies have shown the nitrate-based preservatives in it are carcinogenic.
What were the results from the most powerful and well-designed study to date? Red meat does not cause cancer. Nor does poultry. Unsurprisingly, processed meat does.
To be healthy you do want to exercise, don’t smoke, limit alcohol, consume lots of produce and avoid processed food including processed meat. Adding fish, poultry and red meat (especially grass fed) to will supply more bone and muscle building protein and other essential nutrients. Animal protein is part of a healthy lifestyle.