What meat to eat if you’re worried about breast cancer

You’ve probably heard about the connection between meat and cancer…

Research shows the more meat you eat, the more likely you are to get diagnosed with the big C during your lifetime.

But this connection is often oversimplified…

Sure, certain meats are undeniably carcinogenic. But others aren’t. And as long as you know the difference, you can stay healthy without going vegetarian.

So let me clarify the meat-cancer connection a bit for you…

Of all the meats out there, there’s only one type that definitely causes cancer. It’s the one you’ll want to focus most of your energy on avoiding, because its link to cancer is that strong. In fact, it’s been tied to several types of cancer, including colon and stomach cancer. And now the latest research shows this dangerous meat could cause breast cancer too.

If you’re not sure what type of meat I’m talking about, here’s a hint: It’s your favorite sandwich filling and breakfast side…

Processed meat, of course.

Processed meat boosts breast cancer risk for post-menopausal women

A recent study from researchers at the University of Glasgow found that processed meat raises breast cancer risk — especially in post-menopausal women.

In the study, researchers examined data from 262,195 women between the ages of 40 and 69, including information about diet and health. After seven years, researchers found that 4,819 of these women had developed breast cancer. Can you guess who was most at risk?

Women who ate the most processed meat, that’s who.

Researchers found that processed meat was tied to an increased overall risk for breast cancer and an increased risk for post-menopausal breast cancer. But it wasn’t tied to an increased risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.

So if you’re menopausal or post-menopausal, there’s a great reason to cut processed meat from your diet pronto. But that doesn’t mean you have to go vegetarian…

Researchers looked at the connection between breast cancer and red meat consumption too, and found that there isn’t any. Women who ate more red meat didn’t seem to have a higher breast cancer risk.

Although, you should know that previous studies have found a connection between red meat and breast cancer. And some studies have even found that poultry boosts breast cancer risk.

In other words, there’s still a lot of conflicting information out there about meat and breast cancer. But, like I mentioned earlier, processed meat is the only meat with enough solid, consistent scientific evidence to warrant giving it up cold turkey.

If you’re still concerned about the others, don’t worry. I’ll tell you the secret to safer meat consumption…

Meat quality makes a difference

One factor that’s never considered in studies on meat and cancer is meat quality. Are you grabbing daily burgers from the drive-thru? Or eating a locally-raised grass-fed steak at home? I’m willing to bet it makes a big difference.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much research on the health benefits of high-quality (local, organic grass-fed) meat over conventional meat… especially related to cancer. But here’s what we do know from the research that has been done…

Grass-fed meat contains more antioxidants, which you know play a big role in fending off cancer. It also contains more of an essential fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a powerful inflammation-fighter and immune-booster that’s been shown to prevent inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease. It’s even been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

Even more exciting, studies show that CLA can help with menopause symptoms and prevent the spread of breast and endometrial cancer cells. So if you give up processed meat and get your other meat from high-quality sources, you should be able to dodge meat’s breast cancer threat while still enjoying the occasional burger.

Editor’s note: Most highly regarded conventional cancer treatments pushed on desperate patients have dismal failure rates. And that information is being covered up — at your risk! Not anymore! You have a right to know how to keep your body cancer free… and to consider alternative treatments the medical establishment doesn’t want you to know about. You’ll find them in Dr. Michael Cutler’s cancer compendium, Surviving Cancer. For a preview, click here!

Sources:

  1. Consumption of processed meat may increase the risk of breast cancer, according to a new study — MedicalXpress. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  2. J. Anderson, et al. “Red and processed meat consumption and breast cancer: UK Biobank cohort study and meta-analysis.” — European Journal of Cancer, 2017.
  3. Study: Red meat raises breast cancer risk — MedicalXpress. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  4. Eating meat may raise breast cancer risk in whites, study finds — MedicalXpress. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  5. S. Moon. “Biological effects of conjugated linoleic acid on obesity-related cancers.” — Chemico-Biological Interactions. Dec 5, 2014;224:189-95.
  6. H. Kim, et al. “Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Postmenopausal Women’s Health.” — Journal of Food Science. Jun. 2015;80(6):R1137-43.
  7. A. Daley, et al. “A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef.” — Nutrition Journal, 2010; 9(10).
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.