The more rashers you eat increases risk of bowel cancer, study finds

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world but some of these cancers could be prevented through changing our diets Dr Kathryn Bradbury from the University of Auckland said

Eating red meat just once a day increases bowel cancer risk by a fifth

The NHS say that Red meat - such as beef, lamb and pork - is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and can form part of a balanced diet.

Moderate red meat eaters are significantly more likely to develop bowel cancer than occasional consumers, according to the largest United Kingdom study of its kind.

The World Cancer Research Fund said there is strong evidence that eating processed meat also increases the risk.

The study Diet and Colorectal Cancer has been published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Even those who broadly follow government advice and eat 76 grams of red and processed meat a day, equivalent to a slice of roast beef and a rasher of bacon, are 20 per cent more likely to develop the cancer than those who only eat 21g a day, the study found.

Processed meat including sausages, bacon and ham have been found to increase the risk of developing bowel cancer.

Dr Bradbury said people who ate red and processed meat more than four times a week, had a higher risk than those who had it less than twice a week.

During this time, 2,609 people developed bowel cancer.

It has always been linked to heavy consumption of red meat - especially processed types.

"Anything you can do to cut down how much meat you're eating and how often you're eating it should reduce your risk of bowel cancer", she said.

"You could try doing meat-free Mondays, looking for recipes using fresh chicken and fish, or swapping meat for pulses like beans and lentils in your usual meals".

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