Cancer experts issue updated dietary guidelines


Today cancer experts have issued new warnings about the links between red and processed meats and bowel cancer, while also emphasising that “the evidence that foods containing fibre protect against bowel cancer has become stronger.

The new advice came in a report released by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Based on their latest review of scientific evidence the WCRF/AICR recommends “a plant-based diet” and that people limit their red meat consumption to 500g a week.

Tellingly, no such figure was suggested for processed meat, the advice being simply to “avoid” it. Processed meat includes ham, bacon and sausages and as I wrote last week (scroll down to the last-but-one section), these usually contain carcinogenic nitrosamines.

The chair of the WCRF’s Continuous Update Project expert panel, Professor Alan Jackson of Southampton University, commented: “On meat, the clear message that comes out of our report is that red and processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer and that people who want to reduce their risk should consider cutting down the amount they eat.”

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