Eating less red meat could reduce your risk of cancer. It's one of the essential recommendations for preventing cancer, and it's included in a list that also includes eating more plant-based foods, limiting 'empty calorie' foods, cutting down on alcohol, quitting smoking and doing some exercise.
Adopting these approaches can halve your cancer risk, according to bio-markers for inflammation in the body that are also associated with cancer.
Conversely, people who don't adopt any of the healthy lifestyles are likely to see a two-fold increase in the inflammatory bio-markers, say researchers from the University of South Carolina.
They tested the guidelines, which have been prepared by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute of Cancer Research, on a group of 275 pre-menopausal women.
The women who had adopted few if any of the recommendations had twice the level of cancer bio-markers compared to those who had introduced most, if not all, of them. Women who were obese or overweight had much higher levels of chronic inflammatory markers than women with normal weight, and had a five-fold higher level in the bio-markers associated with cancer risk.
Women who adopted the guidelines had normal weight, consumed more dietary fibre, fruits and vegetables, and ate less processed and red meat.
(Source: British Journal of Nutrition, 2015, published online, June 8, 2015)