BREAST HEALTH TIP 20: Avoid Red Meat Avoid eating red meat because it substantially increases the risk of breast cancer. Instead, favor a plant-based diet rich in organically grown fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you love the taste of red meat, don’t despair--there are many delicious varieties of vegetable-based meat substitutes with surprisingly similar tastes and textures.
Research has shown beyond a scientific doubt that eating red meat is a serious risk factor for breast cancer. Many studies have shown that women who eat the most red meat have an 88 to 330 percent increased risk of this deadly disease. The numbers were even higher in premenopausal women.
There are four major sources of health dangers in red meat:
#1: ANIMAL PROTEIN
The meat of animals is composed primarily of muscle protein, which is made up of smaller subunits known as "amino acids." It also contains creatine, an important substance that muscles use for energy. As you know, protein and amino acids are essential to health, and so is creatine. However, when animal protein is cooked, especially at high heat, structural changes occur in the protein, amino acids, and creatine—changes that create dangerous new carcinogens. A study from Uruguay found that red-meat protein is associated with a 220 to 770 percent increased risk of breast cancer!
#2: SATURATED ANIMAL FATS
Saturated animal fats (a type of lipid) from red meat and dairy products are poisonous to your body. These lipids make the cells in your body more resistant to insulin. As a result, your insulin levels go up. High insulin levels are lethal. In fact, they are one of the biggest risk factors for breast cancer. Research shows that women with the highest insulin levels have a 283 percent greater risk of breast cancer.
There are two other ways that saturated animal fat can raise your risk of
breast cancer, as well. First, saturated animal fat is converted into a carcinogenic substance by the bacteria in your colon. Second, oxygen free radicals have a tendency to attack and damage these types of fats, changing them into powerful stimulators of inflammation, and inflammation fuels the growth of breast cancer. Worse yet, inflammation and oxygen free radicals engage in a deadly dance with each other, each one increasing the numbers and power of the other. Inflammation produces more oxygen free radicals, and oxygen free radicals, in turn, spark the fires of inflammation.
#3: CONCENTRATED TOXINS IN RED MEAT
Red meat is a storehouse of concentrated toxins including pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and growth stimulators. In the United States, livestock are regularly fed and injected with growth hormones and stimulators to make them grow bigger and faster and to increase their production of milk. When a cow is injected with rBGH, its body produces large amounts of insulin-like growth factor–1 (IGF-1). At higher concentrations, IGF-1 is extremely dangerous because it becomes an extraordinarily potent stimulator of breast cancer. In fact, scientists believe it may be the most potent stimulator of breast cancer known. Women with the highest levels of IGF-1 in their bodies have a 700% increased risk of breast cancer! Eating conventionally raised beef and dairy products is the principal way that excessive amounts of IGF-1 get into your body.