A recent study released by the American Cancer Society found, not surprisingly, that people who ate more red meat, especially from processed foods, had a higher incidence of fatal colon cancer.
The findings note: “About 43 percent of the 580 people who ate about 10 servings of red or processed meat per week at the start of the study died during the follow up period. That compared to about 37 percent of the 576 people who ate about two servings per week.”
The study did not include vegetarians or vegans, but an earlier German study conducted in 1994 found that among vegetarians “[t]he mortality for colon cancer was reduced. No deaths were observed from rectal cancer. A vegetarian lifestyle of long duration (> or = 20 y) was associated with decreased overall and cancer mortality.”
For meat eaters, the worst animal products to eat are highly processed foods like bacon, hotdogs, and sausage, and more than a few studies have found that cooking any meat on the grill can expose you to carcinogens created during the cooking process.
If you eat meat, reducing your consumption to several servings a week, think meatless Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, will decrease your chances of dying from cancer, but won’t eliminate the possibility entirely. Tofu dogs are pretty tasty and safe to grill and there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan hamburger substitutes that taste great as well, especially when considering most people pile on pickles and onions, and slather on the catsup.