Tell Your Patients: No to Red Meat, Yes to Fish
It's been well-established that consuming large amounts of red meat might not be good for you; the benefits of consuming high quantities of fish also are becoming clear. A recent study involving than 478,000 people reveals just what type of effects consumption of red meat and fish can have on the body.
In the study, researchers examined the health records of people in 10 European countries. Among the data analyzed using those records: daily consumption of red meat, processed meat and fish. All subjects were free of cancer at the start of the study, but after approximately five years, more than 1,300 people had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
Results: People who ate higher amounts of red or processed meat (160 or more grams per day - approximately 5.7 ounces) developed bowel cancer at a significantly higher rate than those who ate lower amounts (less than 20 grams per day). Fish intake, on the other hand, seemed to have a protective effect. People who consumed more than 80 grams of fish (approximately 3 ounces) per day were 31 percent less likely to develop colon cancer compared to people who consumed less than 10 grams of fish daily. People eating high amounts of fish and low amounts of red meat also were significantly less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who ate low amounts of fish and high amounts of red meat.
- Norat T, Bingham S, Ferrari S, et al. Meat, fish, and colorectal cancer risk: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, June 15, 2005;97(12):906-916.