Cutting the amount of red and processed meat we eat in half could lower the number of new diabetes, heart disease and cancer cases in Britain by thousands each year.
Researchers from Cambridge University estimate that a reduction in men’s daily meat consumption – from an average of 91g to 53g – would result in a 12 per cent fall in cases of type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer, as well as a 10 per cent decline in coronary heart disease rates.
Among women, the team, from the university’s Institute of Public Health, calculated that cutting daily intake of these types of from the current average of about 54g to 30g would lead to women’s rates of bowel cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease dropping by 8 per cent, 7.5 per cent and around 6 per cent respectively.
The Cambridge University study, published in the journal BMJ Ope, is the latest in a long line to highlight the health benefits of eating less red meat, which is high in fat and calories .
Earlier this year, US researchers claimed that people who eat an 85g serving of red meat each day are 18 per cent more likely to die from heart disease and have a 10 per cent increased risk of cancer-related death.
Furthermore, the study also highlights the potential benefit lower meat consumption could have on the environment, with the team’s calculations showing that almost halving intake of red meat would reduce Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions by 3 per cent.
“Dietary recommendations should no longer be based on direct health effects alone,” the authors said.

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