Meats linked to cancer: Which ones made the list? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Meats linked to cancer: Which ones made the list?

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The World Health Organization says processed meat isn't good for you and red meat isn't that great. Meat producers are angry, vegetarians feel vindicated, and cancer experts are welcoming the most comprehensive pronouncement yet on the relation between modern meat-eating lifestyles and cancer. WHO says processed meats like bacon, hot dogs and cold cuts all raise the risk of colon and stomach cancer with red meat not far behind.

In a statement released on Monday, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which is a research division of the World Health Organization, said that it is classifying processed meats as a Group 1 carcinogen to humans. This is the same group that includes tobacco and asbestos. The IARC working group on this study consisted of 22 experts from 10 countries.

Red meat, while not as threatening, was labeled as "probably carcinogenic to humans." In other words, red meat is likely to cause cancer as well. 

So what exactly qualifies as a processed meat and which red meats are they referring to?

RED MEAT:

*Beef
*Goat
*Horse
*Lamb
*Mutton
*Pork
*Veal

PROCESSED MEAT

 Processed meat is defined by the IARC as "meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.”

Processed meats can contain pork, beef, other red meats, poultry, organs of animals, or other meat by-products. 

*Bacon
*Beef Jerky
*Canned Meat
*Corned Beef
*Ham
*Hot Dogs
*Meat-Base Sauces
*Sausages 
*Chicken Nuggets
*Bologna
*Italian Sausage
*Pastrami
*Pepperoni
*Salami

Many lunch meats are also processed. If you're looking for a lunch meat that's a safe alternative, look for chicken or turkey that's just cooked and thinly sliced. 

Dietitians want the public to know there's no need to panic. A little bacon here and there is not going to kill anyone. You are just discouraged from eating these foods as part of your daily diet. The IARC echoes this same caution saying that the risk of developing colorectal cancer from processed meats is small but the risk does increase with consumption. 

No one should panic but instead get excited about incorporating new foods into your daily diet. 

For more answers to questions about this study, check out the frequently asked questions on the World Health Organizations website: http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/.

 

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