Bacon, Hot Dogs and Lunch Meat – Is it Processed Meat?

Today, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) named processed meat as a carcinogen. AICR has included avoiding processed meat as one of our recommendations for cancer prevention since 2007. Processed meat (and high amounts of red meat) increase risk for colorectal cancer.

Here’s our statement on the WHO report.

Both organizations found that for processed meat, even small amounts eaten daily – 50 grams or 1 small hot dog – increases risk for colorectal cancer by 18% compared to eating none.Red Processed Meat Rec

So what exactly is “processed meat”?

AICR defines processed meat as:

“meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives.” Ham, bacon, pastrami, sausages, hot dogs and cold cuts are all considered processed meat. Continue reading

Berlin Fast Food Reconstructed, Cancer-Protective (and Vegetarian) Style

I love to travel and gather food inspiration from trying new cuisines – that Smørrebrød from Denmark was my addition to the article Cancer Fighting Foods from Around the World.

While there are several ways to make better choices when traveling that I wrote about here, I also enjoy trying dishes as they are and later adapting them to a healthier version at home. During that same Smørrebrød-filled trip through Northern Europe, I tried several exotic foods, but one of the absolute best things I ate was actually fairly simple: a roasted vegetable döner kebab in Berlin.

Kebob2Döner kebab (originally Turkish) is a very popular fast food item in Berlin. It’s traditionally made with shaved lamb, beef or chicken in a thick white flatbread or wrap, topped with cabbage, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and usually a yogurt sauce. The dish is generally far from healthy due to the high-fat meat, thick white bread/pita and creamy sauce.

The one I had was a bit healthier than a standard döner kebab since it was made with roasted vegetables instead of meat, and the combination of flavors and textures was incredible. Continue reading

Study: Vegetarian Meatloaf Just as Satisfying- and a Bonus for Cancer Prevention

Vegetarian Lentil LoafA fiber-rich bean-based meal can be just as satisfying as a protein-rich beef-based meal, according to a recent short-term study, published in the Journal of Food Science. The findings are good news if you want to cut back on red meat and up your fiber intake – both recommendations for cancer prevention.

This early study included 28 healthy adults (50% women) who consumed 2 “meatloaf” test meals on separate visits matched for portion size, calorie, and total fat content.

  • Meal one was a high protein beef meatloaf, about one-half the daily value of protein (26 grams), and one-eighth the daily value fiber (3 grams).
  • Meal two was a high fiber, moderate protein bean-based “meatloaf” – about one-third the daily value protein (17grams ), and half the daily value fiber (12 grams).

Researchers compared the effect of both meals on reported hunger, satiety, and fullness, as well as calorie intake at later meals.

Source: Bonnema, A, et al., The Effects of a Beef-Based Meal Compared to a Calorie Matched Bean-Based Meal on Appetite and Food Intake. Journal of Food Science, 2015

Source: Bonnema, A, et al., The Effects of a Beef-Based Meal Compared to a Calorie Matched Bean-Based Meal on Appetite and Food Intake. Journal of Food Science, 2015

Continue reading