By Nancy Gay
Want to reduce your risk of breast cancer? Try swapping steak for chicken. That’s according to a new study published in the International Journal of Cancer.
Researchers from four institutions, including the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, analyzed data reported by more than 42,000 women over the course of seven and a half years. They found women who consumed the most red meat had a 23% higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who ate the least. Also, women who ate poultry had a 15% lower risk of breast cancer than those who ate the least red meat, but they do not know why.
However, the researchers caution that while this study found an association between red meat and breast cancer, it is not a direct cause and effect. That means they cannot prove that eating red meat causes breast cancer. They say there are a variety of factors involved including lifestyle choices such as paring red meat with other fatty foods like French fries or onion rings.
Red meat has also been associated with a higher risk of other diseases including colon cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.