Red and processed meat intake associations with health and guidelines for adults in Greece
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Benetou, V., Kastorini, C. M., Belogianni, K., Zota, D., Papadimitriou, E., Spiridis, I., Kosti, R., Panagiotakos, D. & Linos, A. (2014) Red and processed meat intake associations with health and guidelines for adults in Greece. Iatriki, 104(2), pp. 136 A.-154.
Introduction High intake of red and processed meat has been associated with detrimental effects on health. The level of scientific evidence supporting these associations needs to be investigated in order to formulate dietary guidelines for the general adult population. Material-Method The association between consumption of red and processed meat and incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cancer was investigated and the evidence was graded. Quantitative and qualitative guidelines were subsequently developed after considering several other factors. Results There is general agreement that the highest intake of processed meat compared to the lowest is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. High intake of red meat compared to lower intake is associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer (general agreement) and type 2 diabetes (majority of the evidence). The final recommendations were set to consume maximum one serving of red meat per week and to avoid processed meat. Conclusions The limitation of red meat consumption to one serving weekly and the avoidance of processed meat for adults living in Greece, is based on sound evidence, is consistent with the traditional Greek dietary pattern and should be encouraged by all health professionals.