For years, doctors have recommended that people eat less red meat or none at all. They say it carries health risks such as higher cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and shortened lifespan. A recent study may have uncovered another risk.
The British Medical Journal released a report that high red meat intake in women in their 20s and 30s may increase their risk of breast cancer later in life. The data comes from a study tracking the health of 89,000 younger women, almost 3,000 of whom developed breast cancer. Past research has made similar links to bowel cancer. Many people have different reasons for cutting the food out of their diet.
"People that don't eat meat tend to have healthier hearts and muscles," said Gilmer County resident Samantha Minney. "People don't think that because they say meat's full of protein, but actually they get more protein from nuts and vegetables and stuff than you get from meat."
Others 5 News talked to said they try to cut down, but various circumstances influence them to stay with red meat as a food choice.
"I've been trying to do that anyway and throw in a vegetarian meal here and there. But I have growing boys and they tend to life beef," said Tracia Fisher of Harrison County. "So when I'm cooking, so I don't have to cook more than one meal at a time I usually try to mix it in here and there."
Experts remind us that there is still no strong link between the food and breast cancer, but they say it's probably not a bad idea to swap out some red meat for beans, nuts, or fish.