Cancer prevention diet tip #3: Cut down on meat
Research shows that vegetarians are about fifty percent less likely to develop cancer than those who eat meat. So what’s the link between meat and cancer risk? First, meat lacks fiber and other nutrients that have been shown to have cancer-protective properties. What it does have in abundance, however, is fat—often very high levels of saturated fat. High-fat diets have been linked to higher rates of cancer. And saturated fat is particularly dangerous. Finally, depending on how it is prepared, meat can develop carcinogenic compounds.
Making better meat and protein choices
You don’t need to cut out meat completely and become a vegetarian. But most people consume far more meat than is healthy. You can cut down your cancer risk substantially by reducing the amount of animal-based products you eat and by choosing healthier meats.
1. Keep meat to a minimum. Try to keep the total amount of meat in your diet to no more than fifteen percent of your total calories. Ten percent is even better.
2. Eat red meat only occasionally. Red meat is high in saturated fat, so eat it sparingly.
3. Reduce the portion size of meat in each meal. The portion should be able to fit in the palm of your hand.
4. Use meat as a flavoring or a side, not the entrée. You can use a little bit of meat to add flavor or texture to your food, rather than using it as the main element.
5. Add beans and other plant-based protein sources to your meals.
6. Choose leaner meats, such as fish, chicken, or turkey. If possible, buy organic.
7. Avoid processed meats such as hotdogs, sausage, deli meats, and salami.