Meat vs. Tobacco: Which is Worse?

Here's an interesting fact.  Meatless cafeterias save as many lives as smokeless ones.  Or so

According to Neal Barnard, M.D., "Mounting evidence demonstrates that consumption—sometimes as little as one serving a day—of meat and other animal products is associated with increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases."

 The good news is that meat consumption declined by more than 12 percent between 2007 and 2012—"an unprecedented drop," Barnard writes.

Kathy Freston writes at The Huffington Post that our country's three biggest killers -- heart disease, cancer, and stroke -- "are linked to excessive animal product consumption."  She notes also that vegetarians have much lower risks of all three.

People who live on fruits and veggies also have incredibly lower rates of diabetes and obesity than the general population.  So meat is shaping up as a close second to the dangers tobacco can present to your health.

Even medscape.com, the respected medical information Web site, has pointed to the link between meat and cancer, citing the volume of data gathered in recent decades "that has supported a link between colorectal cancer and red meat consumption, especially processed (cured) red meat," like hot dogs, bacon, bologna, sausages and all lunch meats.

In fact, studies have shown that the risk for colorectal cancer increases by 21% for every 50 grams (that's just a little over one ounce) of red meat, according to medscape.com.

So should you stop eating red meat?  Of course not.  But cutting back isn't a bad idea.  And watch the grilled meats, too.  Cooked too well-done, they also contribute to certain cancers from the substances they release. 





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