It would be enough to eliminate meat two days a week to reduce the risk of cancer by 10%

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Elia Tabuenca García
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How consuming less red or processed meat during the week can reduce cancer risk by 10%, University of Oxford confirms.

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Decreasing the consumption of red meat or processed meat and increasing the amount of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and grains could lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer, this is what a recent study conducted by the University of Oxford states. (Also read: Changing what you eat could extend your life by up to 13, according to this study)

How the meat-based diet can affect your health

The research published in the academic journal BMC Medicine was conducted on 472.377 British patients divided into groups of patients who eat meat regularly (247.571), patients who eat meat inconsistently (205.385), patients who eat mainly fish (10.696) and vegetarians ( 8685). After an analysis that lasted for more than 11 years, 54.961 cases of cancer were found, including colorectal, breast and prostate cancers. Compared to regular meat consumers, those who consume small amounts, eat fish, or are vegetarians had a lower risk of developing cancer.

Specifically, those who ate meat five times a week had a 9% lower risk of developing bowel cancer than those who ate meat every day. In contrast, vegetarian women were 18% less likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancer than those who ate meat regularly. Vegetarian men had a 31% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, while those who ate a fish-based diet regularly had a 20% lower risk. Vegetarians and pescetarians also had lower BMI (body mass index) values, were more likely to be non-smokers, and consumed less alcohol than those who ate meat regularly.

However, it should be remembered that there are other factors to pay attention to besides the consumption of meat, such as smoking or visceral fat. Therefore, vegetarian diets and diets that include smaller amounts of meat can reduce the risk of some cancers, in particular that to the intestine, breast and prostate. It would be enough to reduce the consumption of meat for two days a week to improve your health. However, further studies are needed to provide more accurate estimates.

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Photos: BMC Medicine

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