Tasty Swaps to Help You Eat Less Red and Processed Meats

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By now you’ve probably heard about the report last week categorizing hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats as a cause of colorectal cancer, and probably red meats also. In general, that supports AICR’s longstanding and continuous analysis of the research.

Since 2007, AICR has recommended to avoid processed meat and eat no more than 18 ounces of (cooked) red meat weekly to lower cancer risk. If you’re used to eating red meat or that daily salami sandwich, shifting your diet may seem daunting.

Here are swap suggestions to help. For the recipes, visit our updated Healthy Recipes.

Processed meat swapsAnd if you want to cut down on red meats…

Red meat swaps


Author: Samantha

Samantha Tryon MS, RD is a dietitian living in Washington, DC. Sam is a former high school teacher who is passionate about making science information accessible to the public and promoting healthy behaviors and a positive body image.

2 thoughts on “Tasty Swaps to Help You Eat Less Red and Processed Meats”

  1. Are the Mild Italian Chicken Sausages made in-store at Whole Foods without preservatives or smoke considered safe? Also, how about Whole Foods Uncured Center Cut Smokehouse Bacon where the animal is vegetarian fed, raised without antibiotics, and has no nitrates or nitrites added?

    1. Hi Shirley,
      If the chicken sausage or bacon is truly fresh – fresh pork belly, or a fresh side of pork – NO curing, salting or additives (even “natural” ones), then it would not be considered processed.

      Nitrite free bacon and lunch meat products are considered processed. But they are relatively new, so we need more studies to know if risk from eating them is different from regular bacon and lunch meat. The way that processed meat increases risk for cancer does not seem to be related to the animals’ diet nor to antibiotic use. For more info, check out Monday, October 26 blog http://blog.aicr.org/2015/10/26/bacon-hot-dogs-and-lunch-meat-is-it-processed-meat/

      Thanks for your question.

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