WHO Processed Meat is Carcinogenic

Hi Trisha here....

After 25 years experience as a qualified Nutritionist and Naturopath I want to shed some light on the recent World Health Organization's classifications of processed and red meat.

Meat and Cancer - Its Official

WHO have now classified processed meat is the same category as Asbestos and Tobacco smoking which is GROUP 1 carcinogenic to humans.

What this means is that the link between processed meat and cancer is as proven as the link between Tobacco smoking and cancer.

The WHO report states that 50g of processed meat a day, less than two slices of bacon, increases the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18{b0af3dbcebeaaa743e74c13c7337d42eaab3e4f8095349514fa89187578205e4}.

This is scary stuff indeed and it does mean that we all need to, at the very least, cut down on this food group.

So Do We All Need to Go Veggie ?

It is a matter of personal choice as to whether we cut processed meat out of our diets altogether or just drastically cut back on it.

Going vegan or vegetarian might seem like a step too far for many people, but in light of this new classification, now is a good time to take a cold hard look at our eating habits and reassess what sort of food we put into our bodies each and every day of our lives.

What this new information does mean is that as the link between processed meat and colorectal (bowel) cancer is now proven and that the risk increases with the amount of processed meat consumed.

What Exactly is Processed Meat ?

Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood.

Source World Health Organization BBC

The World Health Organization Has Classified Red Meat as Probably Carcinogenic to Humans

Red Meat is Probably Carcinogenic

Red meat has been classified one group below processed meat GROUP 2a probably carcinogenic to humans.

What Does This Mean

This means that there is very strong evidence to suggest that unprocessed red meat also causes cancer in humans.


What About the Atkins and Paleo Diets ?

What is The Atkins Diet

The Atkins diets essentially advises to cut back on carbohydrates and substitute them for proteins and fats.

What Do You Typically Eat More of on Atkins ?

Typically you would consume more protein and fat from poultry, fish, eggs, red meat, butter, cheese, cream and vegetable oils.

What do You Typically Eat Less of on Atkins ?

Pasta, bread, grains, fruit, nuts, beans, starchy vegetables or dairy other than butter, cheese and cream.

It is slightly more complicated than that and is comprised of several phases but you kinda get the gist!

What is the Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is based on the perceived food stuffs of our Paleolithic or Stone Age hunter gather ancestors.

What Do You Typically Eat More of on the Paleo Diet ?

Fresh lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables.

What Do You Typically Eat Less of on the Paleo Diet ?

You don't eat processed foods, grains or dairy as those food groups were not available to our caveman ancestors.

What Do these New Classifications Mean For People on The Atkins and Paleo Diets

WHO Has Been Recommending Reducing Intake Since 2002

IARC’s review confirms the recommendation in WHO’s 2002 “Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases” report, which advised people to moderate consumption of preserved meat to reduce the risk of cancer.

Strong Links Now Found Between Red Meat and Cancer

According to the World Health Organization: In the case of red meat, the classification is based on limited evidence from epidemiological studies showing positive associations between eating red meat and developing colorectal cancer as well as strong mechanistic evidence.

Source World Health Organization and International Agency for Research on Cancer

Can a Program that Increases Meat and Fat Intake Really be the Best Diet for You ?

Clearly increasing our potential risk of cancer by eating more red meat, when current evidence is telling us that it would be wise to reduce intake of these food groups is not the best way to achieve our weight loss and optimal health goals.

High cholesterol levels from increased amounts of saturated fat in the diet from meat and dairy is associated with increased risk of heart disease. Current U.K. guidelines advise on reducing intake of saturated fats.
Source NHS

The Link With Cancer is Not The Only Problem With Meat


Meat Puts increased Stress on the Digestive System

Meat has much slower transit times through the digestive system than fruit, vegetables and grains which pass far more quickly. They also contain essential dietary fiber which cleanses the colon thus promoting better intestinal health.

Meat Contains Antibiotics, Chemicals and Hormones

The increased levels of antibiotics, chemicals and hormones present in meat due to the intensive methods used in modern farming, in turn put further stress on the liver which has to work harder to rid these from the system.

Heavy Metals, Toxins and Pollutants Present in Fish

Most of the fish we buy contains Mercury.

Current FDA guidelines advise women who are pregnant, women who are planning to become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children to avoid eating fish that contains Mercury.

Mercury is toxic to human health, posing a particular threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life.

Human exposure occurs mainly through inhalation of elemental mercury vapors during industrial processes and through consumption of contaminated fish and shellfish. Source World Health Organization

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided by Trisha Stewart – Author & Nutritionist is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a medical practitioner, and should not be construed as individual medical advice. If a condition persists, please contact your medical practitioner. The testimonials on Trisha Stewart – Author & Nutritionist are individual cases and do not guarantee that you will get the same results. This site (Trisha Stewart – Author & Nutritionist) is provided for personal and informational purposes only. Trisha Stewart – Author & Nutritionist is not to be construed as any attempt to either prescribe or practice medicine. Neither is Trisha Stewart – Author & Nutritionist to be understood as putting forth any cure for any type of acute or chronic health problem. You should always consult with a competent, fully licensed medical professional when making any decision regarding your health. The owners of this site (Trisha Stewart – Author & Nutritionist) will use reasonable efforts to include up-to-date and accurate information, but make no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy, currency, or completeness of the information provided. Trisha Stewart – Author & Nutritionist shall not be liable for any damages or injury resulting from your access to, or inability to access, this site (Trisha Stewart – Author & Nutritionist), or from your reliance upon any information provided on this site.

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