We urge the public to continue to limit their red meat intake
We urge the public to continue following the recommendation to limit red meat intake to three portions a week and reduce the amount of processed meat they eat.
We, along with top health organisations and global cancer experts, are urging the public to continue following the recommendation to limit red meat intake to three portions a week and reduce the amount of processed meat they eat.
This follows a study published today by a US consortium (NutriREC) that suggests most people do not need to reduce how much red and processed meat they eat.
However, evidence shows that eating both red and processed meat can increase a person's likelihood of developing bowel cancer. We suggest that if you choose to eat red meat, you do not need to stop but limit the amount you eat to 500g or less (cooked weight) per week. 500g of cooked red meat is about the same as 700g of raw red meat. Eating more than this may increase your risk of bowel cancer. It is also good to avoid processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausages and salami as much as possible.
Lauren Wiggins, Director of Services at Bowel Cancer UK says: "This latest research shows that current government recommendations to limit eating red meat to three portions a week, still stands. We know that eating red and processed meat can increase your likelihood of developing bowel cancer. So it's important to cut down how much of this you're having. You don't need to cut these foods out entirely, just to choose red and processed meat occasionally rather than every day.
"Nearly 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year and it's the fourth most common cancer in the UK. Making simple changes to your lifestyle, like cutting out red and processed meat, can help stack the odds against bowel cancer. It's also important to try and be of a healthy weight, cut down on alcohol, exercise regularly and stop smoking, doing all these things can make a real difference."