Need they say it again? Evidence—healthwise and planetwise—continues to underscore that we should lighten up on the cheeseburgers. A new report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine examined data from over 500,000 individuals and found that those who ate the most meat were at greatest risk for death from all causes, including heart disease and cancer. Processed meats (such as hot dogs, sandwich meats, etc.) were among the worst for us. Here's more from the press release.
In an accompanying editorial, Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, writes that "the confluence of growing constraints on water, energy and food supplies combined with the rapid shift toward greater consumption of all animal source foods" is brewing "a global tsunami," but that the consensus is not for a complete shift to vegan or vegetarian diets. "Rather, the need is for a major reduction in total meat intake, an even larger reduction in processed meat and other highly processed and salted animal source food products and a reduction in total saturated fat." Below are comments from Michael J. Thun, MD, MS, vice president emeritus of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research: "This study adds to the already extensive evidence supporting the American Cancer Society recommendation to limit consumption of processed and red meats. It is not necessary to eliminate consumption of red or processed meat; rather the message is that these foods should not be the mainstay of your diet.
The American Cancer Society recommends:
1. Choose fish, poultry, or beans as an alternative to beef, pork, and lamb.
2. When you eat meat, select lean cuts and eat smaller portions.
3. Prepare meat by baking, broiling, or poaching, rather than by frying or charbroiling.