Red meats can be define as all mammalian muscle meat that are obtain from mammalians including, Beef, Veal, Pork, Lamb, Mutton, Horse, Goat. Red meat is dark or red in color when is it in raw stage.  It doesn’t get the color change once after cooked or processed. Processed meat refers to meat that has enhance flavor and higher keeping quality (improve preservation) after passing or transforming through several manufacturing processes such as salting, smoking, fermentation, curing etc. Redness of the red meat is due to myoglobin.

  • Red meat – Beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, goat, duck, sheep.
    • Those meat come in different cuts like loin, top, neck, bacon, brisket, shackle.
  • Processed meat – Ham, bacon, sausages, smoked meat, cured meat.RED MEAT AND CANCER

Red meat consumption and its effect

Nutritional benefits of having red meat

  • Iron (Fe)
    • Red meat is iron rich source.
  • Vitamin B
    • Red meat supplies large quantity of vitamin B such as, Thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, Niacin, vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
    • Help in maintain healthy blood cells and nerves. Makes DNA healthy.
  • Vitamin D
    • Red meat contain vitamin D metabolite (25-hydroxycholecalciferol). It absorbed more quickly than other dietary forms of vitamin D inside the body.
  • Zinc (Zn)
    • Helps in proper function of immune system.
  • Proteins
    • Keep bone and muscle healthy.
  • Calories
    • One 3-ounce contain 180 calories.
  • Minerals
    • Supply significant levels of minerals such as selenium, cupper, phosphorous, chromium, nickel, magnesium.
  • Fats
    • Saturated fatty acids / Red meat are energy giving foods.

Beef contains,

10g of total fat / 4.5g of saturated fat / 95mg of cholesterol per serving (Source- According to US Food and Drug Administrative)

Risk associated with the Red meat consumption?

Red meat contains,

  • Arachidonic acid
  • Heme iron
  • Homocysteine
  • High concentration of saturated faty acids

Researchers have been found that there is a positive relationship in between developing cancer and consumption of red meat. That means consumption of red meat has an effect on creating carcinogenic problems to human. Strongest association with development of,

  1. Bowel cancer and stomach cancers.
  2. Colorectal cancer.
  3. Pancreatic cancer.
  4. Prostate cancer.

Researchers have been found that each 50 gram of processed (red meat) intake daily leading to increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.

According to the IARC catogery red meat probably cause canser (Group 2A classification) and processed meat definitely cause cancer (Group 1 classification).

Possible reasons development of those cancers

  • Compounds that develop red meat its color, heme is leading to damage the lining of the bowel.
  • Some chemical compounds like heme are found in red meat itself.
  • Heme leads to break the hemoglobin in our gut and form chemicals called  N-nitroso compounds leading to carcinogenic problems and damage the cells in bowel.
  • Also processed red meat contains chemicals that formed N-nirtoso compounds in the gut, like nitrite preservatives.

During the processing of red meat, undergo several manufacturing process such as smoking, cooking, curing, salting ect. In the process of transforming of red meat in to processed form several chemical compounds are formed which are carcinogenic like,

  1. Heterocyclic amines (HCAs)
  2. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

These two chemical compounds leading to create structural changes in DNA that increase the risk of cancer. These are formed during higher temperature methods – Frying, Grilling oven and open flame. During cooking at higher temperature and smoking processes these carcinogenic compounds are formed in red meat,

  1. Amino-dimethylimidazo-Quinoxaline (MelQx)
  2. Amino-Dimethylimidazo-Quinoxaline (DiMelQx)
  3. Amino-methyl-phenylimidazo-pyridine (PhIP).

Processed meat contains Nitrates and nitrites (bacon, salami, ham, pepperoni, sausages). Inside the body those nitrates and nitrites converted into nitroseamine. Nitrosoamines create carcinogenic problomes.

Some studies have shown that compounds that are present in digestive tract (colon) create carcinogenic problems. Also iron present in the red meat act as a catalyst and convert nitrates added as preservatives into carcinogenic compounds in to the body. Regular consumption of red meat associated with other health issues like,

  • Cardiovascular disease –Arachidonic acid, heme iron, homocysteine and staturated fatty acids.

IARC findings on red meat as a cancer risk factor

IARC means International Agency for Research on Cancer. Consumption of red meat was classified as Group 2A (According to their classification method), probably carcinogenic to human. Processed meat was classified under Group 1, definitely carcinogenic to human. Daily intake of each 50 gram portion of processed meat leading to increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. Developing bowel cancer is 1.18 times higher in people those how consume 50 grams of processed meat compared to those who do not consume. Diet high in red meat could responsible for 50,000 cancers per year.

Safe ways to consume Red and Processed meat and avoid the risk of Cancers

  1. Marinate red meat natural herbs and spices.
  2. Flip regularly.
  3. Reduce cooking time.
  4. Control your portion.
  5. Trim fat.

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