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Red Meat and Cancer Risk

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  • 9 Mar 2021


In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that processed meat is in Group 1 (“carcinogenic [cancer-causing] to humans”) and that red meat is in Group 2A (“probably carcinogenic to humans”), based on evidence for increased risks of colorectal cancer.

We all know what a healthy diet is, but do we practice it? Here is ONE switch on a weekly basis to bring you one step closer to achieving a healthier, more balanced diet which will help to lower your cancer risk. We can’t say we can eliminate your cancer risk but we can help you identify ‘modifiable risk factors’.


What is processed meat?

Sausages, bacon, ham, hot dogs, deli meats and other meats that have been transformed through curing, smoking, salting and other processes to make it last longer or taste better

What is red meat?

Meat from mammals, such as beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, or goat meat.

There is strong evidence that red and processed meats increases the risk of colorectal cancer. There is less strong but a possible role of red and processed meats in increasing the risk of breast and prostate cancer although more research is needed.  

How do we use this information?

If you eat a lot of red or processed meat, now is the time to switch it significantly. Having one portion in a month does not seem like a huge amount, whereas having it once a week feels like a lot. Choosing protein sources such as fish, poultry, and beans instead will help to lower your overall cancer risk.  



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