According to a new study that was published on Wednesday, eating a small amount of red or processed meat is linked with an increased risk of getting colon cancer by 20 percent.
According to the study, people who ate around 76 grams of processed or red meat every day, had a 20 percent higher chance of getting diagnosed with colon cancer compared to those who ate around 21 grams every day, which is equivalent to a slice of ham.
The study also found that processed meats like bacon or sausages could affect your health more than red processed meat, with the risk of getting colon cancer by 20 percent if you ate 25 grams of meat per day, and 19 percent if you ate 50 grams of red meat which includes roast beef or lamb chop.
Professor Tim Key, the co-author of the study said, “A small amount of processed meat seems to have the same effect as a large amount of red meat.”
Professor Tim is also the deputy director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at The University of Oxford.
According to the NHS (National Health Service) of the UK, a slice of ham has 23 grams of processed meat while an 8oz steak has 163 grams of red meat.
The Cancer Research UK partly funded the study, they said that the guidance by the NHS states that people who eat more than 90 grams of processed meat or red meat every day must reduce the amount and should make it to 70 grams.
The said study was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, it tracked the diets of around 500,000 adults living in the UK who were aged 40-years-old to 69-years-old, their diets were studied carefully for 5 years.
Within 5 years, 2609 participants of the study developed colon cancer.
The study gathered evidence that proves processed meat and red meat is linked to getting a higher risk of colon cancer.
Professor Tim added, “Our results strongly suggest that people who eat red and processed meat four or more times a week have a higher risk of developing bowel cancer than those who eat red and processed meat less than twice a week.”
Professor Tim said that the last research done was observing people in the 1990s, and “diets have changed significantly since then, so our study gives a more up-to-date insight that is relevant to meat consumption today.”
The study also said that another thing that increases the risk of getting colon cancer is liquor. The study says that if fiber from bread and breakfast cereal is taken every day, people who take it got a reduced risk of getting colon cancer.
The WHO (World Health Organization) in 2015 said that there is enough evidence that classifies processed meat as “carcinogenic to human beings”.
The organization also classifies red meat as “probably carcinogenic to human beings”.
Dr. Gunter Kuhnle and associate professor at the University of Reading in the UK of the Nutrition and Health Department said the study is the “largest study ever undertaken in the UK.”
Dr. Gunter is not part of the study but said the study “confirms previous findings that both, red and processed meat consumption increases the risk of getting colon cancer.”
Doctors suggest that everyone should try reducing the consumption of red meat or processed meat and should try to eat fresh chicken, fish, and organic vegetables.