A recent 2014 study published by the British Medical Journal revealed that higher intakes of red meat in early adulthood increases the risk for breast cancer in women. 2830 cases were followed over a period of 20 years [i]. Overall researchers found that red meat was associated with a higher risk for breast cancer while other protein sources such as fish, poultry, legumes and nuts were not associated. The researchers also looked at links of different proteins based on menopausal status. Higher intake of poultry was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women but not in premenopausal women.
Practices such as Meatless Mondays (eating meat free meals once a week) have become more and more common today and now there is finally some science backing this trend! This study showed that substituting one serving/day of legumes for one serving/day of red meat was associated with a 15% lower risk of breast cancer among all women and a 19% lower risk among premenopausal women. If you cannot cut out the meat in total there is more good news, substituting one serving/day of poultry for one serving/day of red meat was associated with a 17% lower risk of breast cancer overall and a 24% lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Change that.
Practical list of tips to sub out the red meat in some meals
- Craving a burger? Try a lean turkey burger which had less total fat and saturated fat than beef patties as well as fewer calories
- If you are feeling like being vegetarian for a meal and still want a burger try a grilled Portobello cap which is filled with fiber, low in calories and has a great “meaty” texture
- Feeling like a steak? Try grilling up some tofu, at around 8 grams of protein this soybean based protein absorbs any flavor so marinate in your favorite sauce and dig in
- Beans are low in fat but high in fiber as well as vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium and folate. They work great in chili, quesadillas and tacos and pasta!
Vegetarian Version: Recipe Time
- ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Cloves garlic
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 Cup carrots, chopped
- 1 Cup celery, chopped
- 1 Cup zucchini, chopped
- 1 Cup onion, chopped
- 1 Cup chopped bell pepper
- 1 large jalapeño, chopped
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp Oregano (dried)
- 3/4 Cup vegetable broth
- 4 oz chili powder (to taste)
- Add olive oil to a large stock pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the onions, peppers, carrots, celery and zucchini and cook until the veggies just start to become tender.
- Next, add in the beans. Then add the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and broth. Stir.
- Add chili powder depending on your taste preference.
- Bring this mixture to a boil while stirring to combine all the flavors. Once it boils, put a lid on it and turn down the heat to simmer, then wait patiently if you can for about 1 hour. This allows the flavors to meld beautifully together. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Serve it up and eat it while it’s hot. It’s even better the next day!