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April 13, 2012 • Cancer Prevention, Heart Health

Red Meat Tied to Strokes and Kidney Cancer

     Red meat took a couple of bruising scientific hits this past month. In the first, Harvard researchers reported that men who consumed the most red meat (about two 4-6 oz. servings daily) were 28 percent more likely to have a stroke vs. those consuming one-third of a serving (2 oz. or less) a day. For women, two daily servings of red meat upped stroke risk by 19 percent vs. those who ate just one-half a serving. On a positive note, the investigation also found that replacing a single serving of daily red meat with poultry, fish, nuts, or dairy, reduced stroke risk by 10 to 27 percent (Stroke online December 29th, 2011). I encourage you to make the swap! 

In the second report, which included over 500,000 US adults – those consuming the most red meat (around 4 oz. a day) were 19 percent more likely to be diagnosed with kidney cancer vs. those who consumed the least (<1 oz a day) (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2012).

Keep in mind that past studies have found a consistent relationship between red meat consumption and a greater risk for type 2 diabetes, colon cancer (and others), and cardiovascular disease. It is best to limit red meat to two servings or less a week, particularly processed varieties. If I can do it I know you can too!