There's a lot of buzz going on involving the WHO's recent statement on meat and cancer! Here are my thoughts on the recent report by the WHO stating that eating processed meat causes cancer:
Will I continue to eat meat? Definitely. Will I continue to recommend that my patients eat healthy meats and protein sources? Yes. But it should be done in the right, healthy way.
One of the most important distinctions that needs to be made is that there is a huge difference between eating processed, conventionally raised meats, and eating truly natural, healthy, often labeled as "free-range" or "grass-fed" organic meat and protein sources.
Processed meats are often loaded with preservatives, additives, hormones, antibiotics, pollutants, and other chemicals. Certified organic meats are generally free of these chemicals and carry a drastically lower toxic load. Everyone must learn to become an avid and knowledgable label reader! We must begin to know what is the quality and origin of the food we are buying.
Furthermore, the meat of organically and humanely raised animals is much higher in essential nutrients and healthy omega fats, while conventionally raised animals have meat that is high in unwanted and unhealthy fats. You are as healthy as the animal that you are eating was. So how was your animal raised? Roaming and eating grass, bugs, and other nutrient-dense foods that it was meant to eat? Or was it raised in an intensive, cramped animal farm, under high stress conditions, and eating diets of corn and processed grains? Animals were not meant to live off grains, just as humans are not.
So yes, quality of the meat plays a huge role. What also plays a huge role is otherwise how balanced your diet is. Are you eating a clean and healthy diet otherwise? Are you eating many vegetables, some fruits, and other healthy foods as you should be?
Even furthermore, how balanced of a life are you living? Are you managing your stress in addition to eating well? Are you practicing self-care? The more you do these things, the lower your overall inflammation levels are, meaning the healthier you are. Inflammation is a normal immune response, that is supposed to be short lived. When we are chronically stressed, both physically and mentally, inflammation can become more chronic and cause damage to the body, as well as set the stage for disease and cancer.
Cancer is not usually caused by just one thing. Rather it is a cumulative result of a combination of chemical, structural, and emotional factors.
Check out the article below for a great summarization of the latest WHO report by my great, successful fellow colleague Dr. Phil Maffetone!