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Processed Meat and Red Meat Cause Cancer

Processed Meat and Red Meat Cause Cancer

Processed Meat And Red Meat cause Cancer and People across the globe have been looking for the bestCancer Treatmentmethods and ways to prevent cancer cells from developing in the first place. One of the best ways to fight cancer cells is by saying no to processed meat and red meat. Continue reading ahead to know why red meat can worsen cancer symptoms and how it can lead to several types of cancer. mainly bowel cancer. But, what do they have that causes cancer?

Also Read: Meat and cancer risk

What is processed meat and red meat?

Processed meat refers to items such as ham, bacon, sausages, and salami. On the other hand, red meat refers to beef, pork, and lamb in any form. They may either be fresh or minced.

Research shows that red and processed meats contain certain types of chemical compounds (N-nitroso) that make them carcinogenic. When these chemicals break down in the gut, it adversely affects the microorganisms from working efficiently, thus resulting in bowel cancer. However, organic forms of chicken and fish can be consumed after confirming with your once-nutritionist.

How do processed and red meat cause cancer?

No matter if you have cancer or not, you must always steer clear of processed and red meat. It is essential to eat fresh and organic meat only. Processed and red meat have several chemicals that can lead to the development of cancer cells in the body or worsen your suffering. Some of the chemicals are listed below to give you a better understanding :


Found naturally in red meat, haem is a red pigment that is recognized as one of the biggest causes of why red meat is directly linked to human cancer. It plays a significant role in allowing the body bacteria to produce harmful chemicals. As a result, the cells stop working correctly which leads to unregulated cell growth and multiplication. Although there is no proof to show that this is the only reason behind cancer, it is a big stimulator.

Nitrates and nitrites

The main reason why companies use nitrates and nitrites in processed food is to ensure that the food has a longer shelf life. But, it has severe adverse effects on human health. When we consume nitrites as part of our daily diet, there is a high chance that they get converted into cancer-causing chemicals which are called N-nitroso compounds or NOCs. Cancer care providers across the world believe that processed food is more harmful than fresh red meat.

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic amines (PCAs)

Meat is always cooked at higher temperatures than fresh vegetables because meat takes longer time to prepare. But, it is precisely where the problem lies. Preparing meat at high temperatures leads to the production of several chemicals such as Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic amines (PCAs). Conventional methods of high-heat cooking like grilling and barbequing can also lead to bowel cancer as it damages the cells.

Why should you avoid processed meat and red meat?

High iron content: Iron is good for the body, but anything in excess is always a concern. Red meat has a high iron content that can lead to the generation of highly reactive molecules. They are referred to as free radicals and could be the leading cause of DNA damage and cell impairment. It creates an environment that is suitable for tumour growth, and that leads to cancer.

Processed meat and red meat are rich in iron, but they become harmful when consumed in large portions. So even if you wish to have it, it is advisable to pick small portions over large dishes.

High cholesterol content:You may not be aware, but red meat and poultry have a high omega-6 content. It is a pro-inflammatory substance that is high in cholesterol. When the cancer cells start absorbing cholesterol from the body, they become immune toChemotherapydrugs and sessions. Thus, every cancer patient must cut down on cholesterol consumption. Instead of eating red meat, you must indulge in a variety of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Following aMediterranean Dietis a good idea to fight cancer more effectively!

Also Read: Does Red Meat cause cancer

Tumour-inducing hormones: Last but not least, processed meat and red meat boost the level of estradiol in the human body. It is a type of hormone that provides the ideal environment for tumour growth. Thus, avoiding such dishes is essential. Tumours are primarily a significant chunk of cells that grow and expand at the same place. When the cells do not die a natural death after wearing out, they start accumulating at the same spot and lead to a tumour. Tumors can be treated via medication and surgeries. However, in severe cases, tumours can be cancerous.

In a nutshell, you must prefer a plant-based diet that is rich in proteins. Opt for items such as legumes, soy foods, etc. If you are a fish lover, then consume minimal, palm-sized quantities of salmon, cod, haddock, mackerel, and sardines.

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  1. Farvid MS, Sidahmed E, Spence ND, Mante Angua K, Rosner BA, Barnett JB. Consumption of red meat and processed meat and cancer incidence: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Eur J Epidemiol. 2021 Sep;36(9):937-951. doi: 10.1007/s10654-021-00741-9. Epub 2021 Aug 29. PMID: 34455534.
  2. Aykan NF. Red Meat and Colorectal Cancer. Oncol Rev. 2015 Dec 28;9(1):288. doi: 10.4081/oncol.2015.288. PMID: 26779313; PMCID: PMC4698595.
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