Meat consumption can prove hazardous

Meat consumption can prove hazardous
Tej K. Munshi
he per-capita consumption of meat in the Kashmir Valley, is the highest among all the states of India, if the recent data available, is reliable. Lung, breast and stomach cancers are the most common in the valley, due to reasons obvious to one and all. Detection is delayed because of the indifferent response of the patients, inadequate prognosis, diagnostic facilities and medicare, available in hospitals and private nursing homes there. Nevertheless, our doctors are second to none in the country.

The increase in the new cases of cancers in the under developed countries, including the J&K state, is alarming. A study that tracked more than half a million Americans, aged 50 to 71, for ten years, revealed the following amazing findings. Those who reported eating the most red meat, were roughly 30 percent more likely to die of cancer or heart disease---than those who reported eating the least. Readers will be amazed to know that consumption of red meat does boost ones risk to cancer, heart disease and diabetes. As reported by Director of Public Health, University of North Carolina, the risk of dying of heart disease and cancer was roughly 30 percent higher for those who ate the red meat.

Cancer, heart disease, diabetes---all have been linked to red meat---mostly beaf, pork and goats' meat; and processed meats----bacon, ham, hot-dogs, sausages etc. People who eat a lot of meat, eat and drink differently, in other words irresponsibly.

Heart Disease:
Meat eaters are more likely to die of heart disease. The higher risk comes from the high amount of saturated fat and cholesterol, which raise the blood pressure and boost the risk of heart attacks. Replacing red meat with chicken and fish, published studies have revealed, is much advantageous.
That is partly because chicken and fish have less saturated fat than red meat----and partly because the omega-3 fats, in fish may lower the risk of heart attacks. Replacing red meat just with fish and chicken, nuts, beans, soy products and vegetable proteins, can afford fibre, vitamins and minerals, according to the Chairman, Walter Willett, of the Harvard School of Public Health. "You don't have to be vegetarian to be healthy; if you go from eating meat twice a day to once a week, you can eliminate most of the risk."---says Prof Willet of the Harvard.

Cancers of the colon, prostrate, pancreas, breast:
Recent researches in Sweden have revealed a 28 percent higher risk of colo-rectal cancer in red meat eaters. How might red and processed meat cause malignant tumours? Scientists have found that N-nitroso compounds cause cancer in lab. animals. These very compounds are formed in the gut when people eat processed meats. But when white meat or high protein vegetarian diet was fed to a group of volunteers, there was no N-nitroso compound formed. Some people have more bacteria in the gut that produce more nitroso compounds with the red heme-iron found in red meat. Grilling or smoking meat with subsequent cooling can create lethal mutagens---the heterocyclic and polycyclic amines which cause change in DNA, leading to cancer.

In the prostrate, lung, colorectal and ovarian cancer screening trial, men who consumed more than an ounce of red- meat a day, had a 40 percent higher risk of prostrate cancer than men who ate no meat. Men and women who ate more grilled or barbecued meat had 40-50 percent high risk of pancreatic cancer compared to 60 percent higher risk for those who preferred a well-done steak. A Canadian study of women showed a high risk for pre-menopausal breast cancer among those who consumed two servings of red meat a day.

A women's health study found a 28 percent higher risk of type-2 diabetes in those who ate the most red meat of any kind. There is adequate evidence that the adverse effect of red meat consumption, is related to its high heme-iron content, which damages the islet cells in the pancreas.

The bottomline for health Mantra is:
Replace red meat with poultry, fish, beans, nuts and soya-based vegetarian 'meats'. The best advantages of fresh fruits and vegetables to combat tumours, are already known to the discerning reader.

The detrimental hazards of smoking and consuming tobacco in the form of 'Panparag', in causing oral and lung cancer, are well established but beyond the scope of this writeup.
*Dr. Tej K. Munshi, Albany, NY.
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I know and have read from various articles that RED meat is harmful to health. I am a health concious person and do everything to be fit and healthy, but the fact that i love to eat red Meat in any form but take moderately, once a week, that too in small quantities. I always feel proud to be born a kashmiri, who have variety of meat preparations.kindly advise.
Added By Surrinder Saraf