Eating red meat could lead to early death’

Eating a portion of processed red meat daily can boost a person's risk of dying young by up to 20%, said a long-running US study of more than 120,000 people released on Monday.

While the research by Harvard University experts offers more evidence that eating red meat increases the risk of heart disease and cancer, it also counsels that substituting fish and poultry may lower early death risk.

"This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death," said Frank Hu, senior author of the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers gleaned their data from a study of 37,698 men who were followed for 22 years and 83,644 women who were tracked for 28 years. Subjects answered surveys about their eating habits every four years. Those who ate a card-deck-sized serving of unprocessed red meat each day on average saw a 13% higher risk of dying than others. And if the red meat was processed, like in a hot dog or two slices of bacon, that risk jumped to 20%.

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