Healthy Alternatives for Red and Processed Meat

With more research indicating a rather strong link between overconsumption of red and processed meats and colorectal cancer many people are looking for alternatives to work into their diets. After all, protein is a critical daily requirement, but there are better ways to obtain it.

If cancer prevention is the plan, these healthier alternatives to processed lunch meats and red meats can offer tasty and smart way to go:

  • Fish – Rich in protein and important nutrients, such as Omega 3 fatty acid, fish is a great choice to replace process foods, burgers or steaks. It also tends to be a lot lower in calories, especially if it is not fried or battered.
  • Chicken and turkey – Poultry represents a strong alternative protein choice. In addition to easily replacing red meat as a main dinnertime staple, it works well in healthier sandwiches in place of processed meat.
  • Nuts – Walnuts, peanuts, almonds and other choices can serve as a great alternative protein source. They may not serve well as a meal replacement, but they make an excellent snack. Do watch out though; nuts can pack a lot of calories.
  • Beans – This rich source of protein can easily stand in place of meat in a wide variety of dishes.
  • Whole grains – Some whole grains offer a decent amount of protein while also offering the benefit of fiber.

Research has found that red meat should be limited to only a few servings a week to keep down the risk of colorectal cancer. In regard to processed meats, they should only be selected on a very rare basis. That doesn’t mean, however, that healthy protein sources aren’t available. Fish, poultry, nuts, beans and other foods can easily stand in place while ensuring a balanced, healthy diet in the process.

People who are concerned about colorectal cancer are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. Doctors can help assess personal risks and make recommendations for addressing them.

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