The Media are into Halloween with yet MORE Food/Health SCARES! This one has been around for about 20 years and even people who don’t know much about nutrition have usually heard by now that red meat (Beef, Pork and Lamb), preserved meats and burnt meats have cancer causing properties.
Should we be scared?
Are we confused about what we should be eating?
Is there some truth in the stories about meat and cancer?
We should all be scared because we can no longer trust our food supply or the safety of our foods and we can’t trust food manufacturers to put safety over profit. We have to educate ourselves on where our food comes from, what it may have been contaminated with and whether it is actually safe for us and our children to eat.
It doesn’t have to be too complicated but it starts with an understanding of how we eat and how our food has changed over the last 50 years, the amount of ‘factory’ food that is now available and how far that is removed from REAL food.
Developing a habit of looking at ingredients labels and knowing which can be damaging to your health – things like hydrogenated oils and fats, sugar, preservatives, artificial colourings, flavourings and sweeteners.
Sourcing as much natural, organic if possible, food locally and making that the bulk of your diet. Eating CLEAN means knowing where your food has come from, farm or factory, and whether it has been treated with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones etc.
Not all meat is the same. Lamb or goat that has been roaming the hills is not the same as intensively famed Pork or Beef.
Cook good meat in a way that doesn’t char or burn it. Eat it with plenty of herbs or spices and vegetables. Make sure your digestion is good, that you have good transit time and that you deal with constipation and inflammatory gut conditions. Semi-digested meat left in the gut causes fermentation, gas, inflammation and toxicity.
Processed meats aren’t all the same. Some have been soaked in vats of chemicals, some have been preserved in salt and then air dried. Sausages may just contain minced meat, herbs and seasoning while others may contain poor quality and quantity of meat, excess fat, rusk, soya, artificial colouring and preservatives.
Bare in mind that everything is DOSE dependant. If you eat bacon every day, hot dogs, pizza, pies, burgers and steak, high quantities of sugar, alcohol, coffee and sodas and very little fruit and vegetables – YOU WILL GET SICK.
Variety and moderation are key. We were designed to eat meat and vegetables and eating these together has more health protective properties.
Argentina and Uruguay eat the highest levels of red meat and they frequently cook it over open flame and they have the highest levels of breast and colo-rectal cancers in the world. The Inuit eat high levels of red meat but also herbs, seaweeds and other beneficial plants and they don’t get these cancers.
If you want to know more of the reasons why red meat probably carries a higher risk than chicken or fish then here are the links to two very reliable sources of information.