New research published in Nature magazine and approved by the University of Washington in the United States has revealed that eating meat is not as bad for your health as previously thought.
The study revisited decades of research and showed that the evidence that eating unprocessed red meat led to colorectal cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and ischemic heart disease, was weak. It also found no association between eating unprocessed red meat and ischemic stroke or haemorrhagic stroke.
Previous studies had drawn direct links between eating meat and those diseases and conditions, and had led organisations like the World Health Organisation, the World Cancer Research Fund and the EAT-Lancet Commission to recommend limiting red meat intake.
The study said the problem with older research was that people were grouped into categories based on how much red meat they ate. Their health conditions were then linked to that.
Consumers who ate too much red meat often ate it with a white bread bun, and a soda on the side. They often had poor diets and did not consume fruit and vegetables, were less likely to do physical activity, and often smoked. This meant research drew association between one action and another but did not consider other factors that were important to a person’s health.
Previous studies had concluded that the risk of disease increased as intake of meat increased. This was debunked by the University of Washington study that found it to be untrue.
The latest study used data from years of previous research, with one study involving 500,000 people, and another using research spanning 32 years.