Research used data from 53,553 female nurses, ages 30 to 55, from the famous cohort study, the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), as well as from 27,916 male health professionals, aged 40 to 75, from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). All were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at the beginning of the study.
They measured increases or decreases of red meat intake over the course of eight years, and then tracked health and death data for eight years after that. What they found will likely surprise just about nobody.
- Increasing total red meat intake (both processed and unprocessed) by 3.5 servings a week or more over an eight year period was associated with a 10 percent higher risk of death in the next eight years.
- Increasing processed red meat intake, such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages and salami, by 3.5 servings a week or more was associated with a 13 percent higher risk of death.
- Reduce meat consumption. Better yet, switch gradually to a more vegetarian diet.
Source: The study, Association of changes in red meat consumption with total and cause specific mortality among US women and men: two prospective cohort studies, was published in The BMJ.