Vegetarian Health Benefits

Recent Research by ACS Urges People to Avoid or Reduce Meat to Prevent Cancer

Now and then, we hear about or read some new research that demonstrates the various life-transforming benefits of becoming a vegan. The latest guidelines were revealed by the ACS (American Cancer Society) for cancer remission. It urged the public to avoid or reduce the intake of processed meat and make a shift to a plant-based diet.

According to the Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the fresh ACS guidelines recommend that a “healthy eating pattern” and daily workout can decrease the risk factors for different types of cancer.

The ACS states that “healthy eating” involves restricting or excluding lamb, beef, and pork besides processed flesh meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and lunch meats. Apart from the meats, alcohol, sugary drinks, and refined grains also come in the list of foods they suggest to not eat. The guidelines encourage the public to consume nutrient-rich, high-fiber foods like vegetables, whole grains, beans, fruits & peas.

Studies Say Red Meat Consumption is Linked to Colorectal & Other Cancers

The ACS’s recent guidelines are aligned with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) stance released in 2015, where they famously designated red meats as a Group 2A carcinogen that was “probably carcinogenic to humans.” They cited research that found a link between the regular consumption of red meat and colorectal cancer.

Moreover, the WHO categorized processed meats in the Group 1 carcinogen, which means it is no less bad than cigarettes. This classification indicates evidence that processed meats have a strong link with cancer risk.

As per the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) & the American Institute for Cancer Research’s study in 2018, it was discovered that consuming red meat raises the risk of pancreatic, nasopharynx, stomach, lung, and colorectal cancers. This study also found that eating processed meat could increase the risk of esophageal, stomach, lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers.

International’s Medical and Scientific Adviser at WCRF, Professor Martin Wiseman, stated-

“The evidence on processed meat and cancer is clear-cut. The data show that no level of intake can confidently be associated with a lack of risk.”

Whole Plant-Based Foods Could Help Reduce or Eliminate the Cancer Risk

Similar to the ACS, the WCRF also advised that taking a diet that is majorly made up of whole plant-based foods can help in decreasing or eliminating the cancer risk that’s associated with animal flesh consumption.

Dr. Rachel Thompson, Head of Research Interpretation at WCRF, said-

“Our evidence suggests the greatest risk is for people who consume no or hardly any vegetables or fruit.”

Besides various types of cancer, it is found that red and processed meat consumption is also linked to heart disease. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), whole food plant-based vegan diet can protect your heart health.

Three-decade-long research by AHA analyzed four dietary patterns of Americans from 1987 to 2016. It indicates that those consuming the highest amount of “healthy plant foods” had lower risks of cardiovascular disease. The study concluded that the plant-based vegan diets “were associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and all-cause mortality.”

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