I read a blog that said Harvard University researchers found a link between eating too much red meat and breast cancer. How much red meat is safe to eat?"

There is no evidence of an association between eating red meat and breast cancer. However, eating red and processed meat (cured with the addition of preservatives and/or other additives) is associated with a modest increased risk of colorectal (bowel) cancer. Despite some concerns about meat and cancer, Cancer Council recognises that lean red meat is an important source of dietary iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and protein in the Australian diet.

Cancer Council recommends:

  • only eating moderate amounts of red meat: 65-100g of cooked red meat, 3-4 times a week
  • avoiding consumption of processed meats – such as salami, frankfurts, bacon and ham – that contain nitrate and nitrate preservatives and are high in  fat and sodium (salt)
  • avoiding burnt or charred meat.