The WHO Report and Why Red and Processed Meat Increases the Risk of Mortality


There has been a lot of news of late about whether or not meat is good for you. This is mainly due to a controversial WHO report that linked some forms of meat consumption with cancer. In October, the WHO issued a report that placed processed meat into its Group 1 category, which means there is “sufficient evidence” that it could potentially cause cancer. It suggested that red meat “probably” caused cancer as well. The report was issued by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of WHO, which consisted of 22 experts who looked at 800 studies on cancer in humans.


What Should You Know about the Report?


For the purposes of the report, the WHO defined red meat as “all mammalian muscle meat, including, beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat.” Processed meat was defined as “meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes”


It should be noted that it is nowhere near the risk level of smoking and other known carcinogens. The rate of colon cancer is increased by a factor of about 1.1 or 1.2 for every serving of processed meat consumed per day. In comparison, smoking increases the likelihood of lung cancer 20-fold.


However, this is not the only study that has linked meat consumption with cancer. According to one Harvard study, where researchers tracked the food choices of 121,000 adults for 28 years, they found that those who consumed at least 3 oz. of red meat a day were 13% more likely to die from heart disease or cancer. If they had daily servings of bacon or other processed meats, their risk went up to 20%.


Researchers believe that there are several potential reasons for the increased risk. Red and processed meats have high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol. Preparation could be a factor as well. For example, cured meats and salt have been linked with an increased risk of stomach cancer. It’s for this reason why the Hope4Cancer® Institute in Tijuana focuses on nutrition in treatment and recovery. The nutrition principle of its Seven Key Cancer Treatment Principles includes a diet devoid mostly of meat that instead focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables along with alkalinized water.


For the purposes of the WHO report, the results are significant. Colorectal cancer was the third-most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and women in the United States, so even a small reduction in red and processed meats could potentially improve cancer mortality rates and healthcare costs.

Five Health Myths You May Still Believe


It’s flu season, so it’s likely that you or someone you know is currently suffering from the flu. There are countless tips out there about how to deal with the flu. One of the most common ideas that have been passed around is the idea of feeding a cold and starving a fever. The idea is to focus your body’s strength on fighting the virus. However, this couldn’t be further from the ideal treatment plan. In fact, doctors recommend that you attempt to eat something even if you don’t want to (like chicken soup), so you preserve your strength.

Why Do We Buy Into Some Common Health Myths?


Old wives tales have been around since before modern medicine. Some of the most common ones like the aforementioned flu treatment myth have been repeated so many times that people assume that they’re true. There are various reasons why these myths become truths in our society. Some are passed on from generation to generation.  Others are half-truths that might have some merit but can’t be proven. Doctors and nurses may even still believe some of these tales. Whatever the origin of the myth, it is still a myth, so it’s important to be aware of them as you try to maintain your best health.

Common Health Myths that Many People Still Believe


You have probably heard all of these health myths before. One of them was actually the basis for a movie and current television show. If you have any questions about your health, it’s best to consult with your primary care provider instead of following what you may have heard from a family member, friend, or through the media. Here are several common health myths to be aware of:


  • You should drink eight cups of water a day. Hydration is important, but there isn’t a set amount of water that you should be drinking every day. However, you should be aware of your hydration levels. The more accepted metric today is to drink half the number of ounces per day as your body weight in pounds. People should also be aware of their environment-based water needs, as well as their activity level based needs.  Sedentary individuals may be more at risk because their body does not perceive the need for water; however, because of their low levels of activity, the body stagnates more and results in higher levels of toxins … that only a replenishment of clean water can help clear out on a regular basis.
  • Cold weather can cause a cold. You may stay indoors due to the cold where more germs could be. This is not to say that you should go outside in a blizzard wearing shorts. You are still susceptible to hyperthermia, frostbite, and other dangerous conditions.
  • You lose most of body heat from your head. Any exposed skin or body part will cause you to lose body heat.
  • Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. It doesn’t, but research suggests that you might impair your hand function if you crack your knuckles too much.
  • You only use ten percent of your brain. This is probably not true. CT scans and MRIs have shown that most of our brain is being used at all times.

While these are myths that have been passed down, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that some ideas that have been dismissed as myths may have some merit. For example, there have been significant advancements in alternative cancer treatments, like those found at the Hope4Cancer® Institute in Tijuana, that have shown to treat certain cancers without the side effects of conventional cancer therapies. Therefore, it’s important to always ask questions about where these ideas are coming from.