Eating meat regularly ‘causes killer diseases’

Fry’s: Meat eaters try out plant-based alternatives

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Their study is the first to suggest a diet that regularly includes any meat could cause conditions including diabetes and pneumonia. Even poultry – often seen as a healthier alternative for carnivores – was associated with the insulin imbalance and digestive disorders. People typically eating meat three times a week were deemed to be regular consumers.

Dr Keren Papier, who led the research at Oxford University, said: “We have long known unprocessed red meat and processed meat consumption is likely to be carcinogenic.

This research is the first to assess the risk of 25 non-cancerous health conditions in relation to meat intake in one study.

“Additional research is needed to evaluate whether the differences in risk we observed in relation to meat intake reflect causal relationships.”

The eating habits and health of 475,000 UK adults were assessed over an average of eight years.

The team found a high poultry diet created a greater risk of developing gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, gastritis and duodenitis, digestive disorders, gallbladder disease and diabetes.

The three-times-a-week meat eaters were also more likely to be overweight, smoke, drink and eat less fruit and vegetables.

The study said a diet high in unprocessed red meat and processed products like bacon and sausages – known as a risk for colorectal cancer – was linked to coronary heart disease, pneumonia, digestive disorders, colon polyps and diabetes.

The findings, published in BMC Medicine, come as a survey by food tech firm Spoon Guru found one in four adults are eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables for health and environmental reasons.

The World Cancer Research Fund recommends three red meat portions a week at most, and advises eating processed meat rarely, if at all.

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