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Is eating meat dangerous for your health?

In a recent study by the University of Oxford it is concluded that the consumption of meat of any kind increases the risk of different types of diseases .

Meat in a refrigerator

In recent years there has been a discussion about whether red meat is good for the health of its consumers or not. Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Red meat is considered one of the basic foods in the consumption of protein for humans , so much so that its production can reach about 317 million tons annually , according to statistics from the United Nations Food and Drug Administration Agriculture (FAO). However, in recent years there has been a discussion about whether red meat is good for the health of its consumers or not.

In a recent study by different affiliations of the University of Oxford, such as the Cancer Epidemiology Unit and the Nuffield Department of Population Health, it was concluded that regular consumption of red meat increases the risk of heart disease , diabetes and pneumonia . The study was published on Tuesday, March 2, in the journal BMC Medicine and specifically looked at how eating red meat can be associated with 25 conditions that are common today .

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The study was based on the medical records of 474,985 middle-aged people who were recruited by the UK Biobank between 2006 and 2010 and followed up until 2017, focusing on their diets, hospital admissions and mortality data over an average of 8 years.

This study is of great importance because, although there have been different and multiple investigations around the health dangers of consuming red meat, these tend to focus on the increase in suffering from some type of cancer. Thus, this is one of the first studies to focus on other types of diseases that are more common and that may have their origin in the regular consumption of not only red meat, but of any type, including poultry.

On the other hand, the research showed that the people most prone to suffer from these diseases are people with high body mass and those who consume processed and unprocessed red meat more than 3 times a week , be it beef or poultry.

The study results state that "[on] average, participants who reported consuming meat regularly (three or more times per week) had more adverse behaviors and health characteristics than participants who ate meat less regularly, and the majority of the positive associations observed for meat consumption and health risks were substantially attenuated after adjustment for body mass index (BMI). " Also, it was concluded that "higher consumption of unprocessed red meat, processed meat and poultry meat was associated with higher risks of several common conditions."

Thus, this study is extremely important to understand the most common diseases in adults, and also assumes that it is necessary to reduce meat consumption, which would be good, not only for human health, but also for conservation animal and environment.

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