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Processed meats cause cancer

October 29, 2015 - By Nautilus Plus

Temps de lecture 2 minutes

The topic of cancer is very much in the news as the 30-minute workout to help out the Fund draws closer. This event is, in fact, a fund-raiser for the UQAM Chair in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently examined over 800 studies to assess the relationship between eating red and processed meats and the development of a dozen types of cancer. In fact, the Agency published an abstract of its findings earlier this week. While the nutrition world already knows of the carcinogenic effect of these foods, it is the first time they are officially classified by an organisation as important as the IARC.

As shown in the table, processed meats are officially classified as carcinogenic in humans (Group 1). Processed meats include ham, bacon, sausage and hotdog meats, pepperoni, salami and other cold cuts, as well as canned meats and meat sauces.

What’s more, red meat has been classified as probably carcinogenic in humans (Group 2A). The most popular red meats are beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat.

More specifically, consumption of these meats (particularly processed meats) would increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer, one of the three cancers diagnosed the most frequently in Canada among both women and men.

IARC meat and cancer_ANG

What can we do about it?

You don’t need to suddenly switch to a vegetarian diet! Nutritionists recommend reducing portion sizes and the frequency of eating red and processed meats, and suggest replacing meat, as often as possible, with the following alternatives.


Suggestions for alternatives:

  • Legumes (beans)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Soy: tofu, tempeh
  • Fresh and canned fish
  • Seafood
  • White meat: chicken, turkey
  • Eggs

So you have no idea how to incorporate these alternatives? Nautilus Plus has five recipes for you.


Recipes with red meats alternatives:

Lentil and root vegetables salad with mapple dressing
Fresh lobster sandwich
Chicken and shrimp pad thai
Fish Tacos
Asian-Style poached salmon


I also recommend you read Top 5 best budget-friendly protein sources! By heeding the advice in this article, you’ll not only reduce your risk of developing cancer, but you’ll also save money!


By Alyssa Fontaine P.Dt., Nut.
Nutrition Supervisor




Processed meats cause cancer is a post from Nautilus Plus. The Nautilus Plus blog aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
Copyright © Nautilus Plus 2015

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