Letter to the Editor

Consider this: Eat less red meat

Sunday, March 29, 2009

To the Editor:

A new study might make you rethink your dinner plans.

Red meat, long associated with cancer and heart disease, is now linked to increased risk of death from all causes.

National Cancer Institute researchers looked at the diets of more than half a million people ages 50-71 and found that those who ate four ounces of red meat a day -- about the size of a small hamburger -- were the most likely to die over the next 10 years.

Beef, pork, bacon, sausage, cold cuts, hot dogs or other red or processed meat all increased the odds of premature death.

And chicken isn't a healthy choice either -- high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat put consumers at risk of heart disease and stroke.

The good news? Other studies show that a low-fat vegetarian diet can increase the body's ability to fight premature aging and many chronic diseases.

Tonight, fill your plate with a generous array of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains -- these foods could add decades to your life.


Krista Hayes, R.D.,

Staff Dietician,

The Cancer Project,

Washington, D.C.