You are here: 
A-|A|A+

Why you should limit red meat and avoid processed meat

Research tells us that eating a lot of red meat or any processed meat increases your risk of colorectal cancer.

We recommend limiting red meat to 3 servings each week.

A serving is 85 grams (3 ounces) when cooked – smaller than a deck of cards. It’s best to avoid processed meats altogether.

What is red meat?

Red meat is beef, pork, lamb, veal or goat.

What is processed meat?

Ham, bacon, salami, hot dogs and sausages are examples of processed meats. Processed meat is any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting or by adding preservatives. When meat is preserved in these ways, cancer-causing substances can be formed.

If I cut back on red meat, how will I get enough protein?

Good question! Your body needs protein to grow cells, heal tissue and maintain a healthy immune system to fight disease. Meat is high in protein and several other nutrients, including iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

Other excellent sources of protein include:

  • fish and seafood
  • poultry like chicken and turkey
  • dairy products such as cheese, milk and yogurt
  • legumes such as beans, peas, lentils and soybeans
  • nuts and seeds
  • eggs

Learn 6 ways to reduce red and processed meat in a healthy diet.


Explore related articles

Too much salt may increase your risk of which type of cancer?

The health costs of a sweet tooth

The truth about fat

Continue reading

A-|A|A+