Of course we all know that red meat is not good for you. Some of us eat it on occasion, others think grass-fed beef isn’t that bad, and can be good in small quantities. But research out of the University of California states that eating a lot of red meat causes a toxic immune reaction which in turn causes cancer. Red meat is considered by the body to be a foreign invader triggering a reaction by the immune system. Antibodies are produced. This causes inflammation and that inflammation leads to cancer. For decades medical researchers have said that consuming considerable amounts of beef, lamb and pork cause tumors. But now they know why. The reason eating so much meat affects humans is that their bodies do not produce a certain type of sugar, Neu5Gc, present in red meat. Other carnivores however naturally produce this substance in their systems and so can ingest it. This reaction observed in humans has now been proven to take place in mice.
Besides cancer, a diet with a high red meat intake also leads to type-2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. One researcher, Dr. Ajit Varki, said that limited amounts of red meat can be good for the diet, especially for young people. Though it has many vitamins and minerals, and lots of protein, a pile of evidence suggests it’s not good for one’s health, long-term. Other research shows different deleterious effects. A Harvard University study found that women with a diet high in red meat increase their risk of breast cancer by 22%. A 2005 study found that those who consumed 5.6 oz. (160g) of red meat daily increased their risk for bowel cancer. Other studies have shown that the pigment in red meat can damage the digestive tract. For those who eat red meat daily, it is recommended that one consume not more than 2.5 oz. (70g). This is two slices of roast beef or ham or one lamb chop per day. If someone you know eats a lot of red meat, urge them to diversify their protein source. They should add fish, poultry and of course plant-based protein such as nuts, seeds, lentils, beans and legumes whenever they can.