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Ditch two fry-up ingredients to slash heart disease, diabetes and cancer risk, study says


In the UK we love a fry-up. The traditional full English is a menu staple in cafes and pubs across the nation. Part of the appeal is its versatility with the open to add or remove whatever items you like from the plate.

However, certain components of the full English are typically found in most iterations with eggs, sausages, bacon, and beans among the most favoured ingredients.

While these may be tasty, the fry up is not considered the healthiest of meals. And now a study has pinpointed two mainstays of the full English that could be putting you at risk of an early death.

Research found that processed meats, such as sausages and bacon, could be massively increasing your risk for severe disease.

Completely avoiding these foods is not practical for everyone, but a new study showed that cutting back just a little could have a significant impact on health.

A team from the University of Edinburgh estimated that cutting back processed meat intake by 30 percent was enough to see results.

More specifically, they determined that if Americans slashed their intake by that amount over a 10 year period it could lead to around:

It could also lead to 16,700 fewer deaths from all causes.

Based on data of more than 242 million adults they worked out that would be the equivalent of cutting out 10 slices of bacon each week.

As part of the study, which was published in The Lancet Planetary Health, computer modelling was used to simulate how cutting back on processed and unprocessed red meat to various degrees would impact public health.

These findings were particularly striking for processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats, but there were also benefits to limiting unprocessed red meat intake.

Professor Lindsay Jaacks, personal chair of Global Health and Nutrition at the University of Edinburgh, explained how cutting back on meat would not only help our health but the environment.

She said: “Cutting consumption of meat has been recommended by national and international organisations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including the Climate Change Committee here in the UK and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC.

“Our research finds that these changes in diets could also have significant health benefits in the US, and so this is a clear win-win for people and the planet.”

Regarding unprocessed red meat, a 30 percent reduction was estimated to prevent:

  • 732,600 cases of type 2 diabetes
  • 291,500 cases of cardiovascular disease
  • 32,200 cases of bowel cancer
  • 46,100 deaths from all causes.

The health benefits were found to be greater for men, who eat more meat than women on average.

Findings were based on the average American eating around 29 grams of processed meat and 47g of unprocessed red meat every day.

Currently the NHS advises cutting down to 70g (cooked weight) of red or processed meat a day if you eat 90g or more.

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