Meat no more? Local health experts say not so fast

TOPEKA (KSNT) — If you’re planning on grilling up some hot dogs or hamburgers for the first game of the World Series Tuesday night, a new health study may make you think twice.

Information from the World Health Organization now shows processed meats can cause colon cancer, but you may not have to throw away all that meat just yet.

The report says eating one point seven ounces of processed meat each day, the equivalent to two slices of ham, can increase the risk of colon cancer by 18 percent.

But don’t be too quick to cut all meats out of your diet. Experts say there’s one key takeaway from studies like this.

“No one food causes cancer,” said Audrey Monroe a Dietitian and Director of Nutrition for the Kansas Beef Council.

“We need to look at overall healthy diets and really what we can control, where there is a strong scientific link, which would be maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and not smoking,” said Amber Groeling a Dietitian at the Hy-Vee in Topeka.

The Kansas Beef Council points out, meat can play an important role in achieving a healthy balance.

“Protein, such as lean beef, is an important part of that equation because research studies have shown if we eat enough protein we’re actually satiated and we feel fuller longer, so that can help us control our weight,” said Monroe.

But if you’re still concerned and looking for healthier options Groeling says meats marked ‘lean,’ ‘loin’ or ’round’ are the best way to go.

“They really can enjoy lean meat on a regular basis by just choosing those leaner cuts, like the round and lean cuts, and in the four to five ounce portions,” said Groeling.

As with anything moderation is key, so if you want to have a hot dog as you watch the game, chances are you’ll still be safe.

The USDA and FDA are due to issue new food guidelines by the end of this year.

The WHO’s findings could play a factor.

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