Red meat raises cancer risk by 1,876%

So, another news day, another media hyped story telling you to fear red meat.The connection between red meat and cancer is more complex than the media would like you to believe.But, specifically, the connection to red meat was made to colorectal cancer, and no other cancers were mentioned in the summary. So there’s one misstep made by most of the reports. It’s not ALL cancers.

But, here’s where ALL the media reports miss the boat: The dose makes the poison. If you make a habit of eating bacon for breakfast, chargrilled BBQ hot dogs for lunch, and processed deli meats for dinner, day in and out, yes, you may in fact be increasing your risk for colon cancer.

But swapping those processed meats for grass-fed beef, wild caught fish and lean chicken pan cooked is a completely different story. It’s the processed kind (stuff you’d buy wrapped in plastic) that is much more likely to cause cancer, which the summary makes clear.

In fact, I feel you’d be doing yourself a disservice by eliminating red meat entirely – it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods out there (organ meats are even better), packed full of fat soluble vitamins and protein to positively impact your hormonal profile (think testosterone), build muscle and boost mental clarity.

Anyway, moderation is key. Don’t buy into media reports until you’ve done your homework.

What the WHO stated was a 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent.

So, have no fear, eating bacon on Saturday mornings will not cause you to instantly drop dead, face down in your frying pan.

GMO corn wrapped in bacon infused with extra nitrite.
GMO corn wrapped in bacon infused with extra nitrite.

To put that in context, Doug Spiers at the Winnipeg Free Press noted that the Canadian Cancer Society states about seven per cent of Canadian men and six per cent of Canadian women will develop colorectal cancer.

That means an average Canadian guy who eats a 50-gram serving of processed meat each day boosts his colorectal cancer risk to about 8.26 per cent, an increase of about 18 per cent from the baseline risk.

In contrast, smoking increases your risk of developing lung cancer by about 25 times, or 2,500 per cent, according to statistics.

So bacon is NOT as bad for you as smoking is, contrary to some headlines used in the press.

Essentially, don’t restrict your diet so much you turn to smoking to curb cravings (lol).

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Mitch Calvert is a Winnipeg-based fitness coach for men and women like his former self. Heavyset in his 20s, he lost 60 pounds and now helps clients find their spark and lose the weight for life.