“Eating too much red meat can increase colon cancer risk,” says Mary Ellen Phipps, a wellness dietitian at MD Anderson. “Try to limit red meat to 18 ounces or less each week to reduce your risk.”
Follow these easy tips to limit red meat in your diet.
- Eat more plant proteins. Beans, soy and even soy yogurt are all excellent sources of protein. In fact, a half cup of beans contains as much protein as an ounce of broiled steak.
- Experiment with chicken and fish recipes. Chicken, turkey and fish tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than their red meat counterparts. And they’re often lower in calories, which can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risks for many types of cancer.
- Focus on fruits and vegetables. Make meat the side dish instead of the main focus of your meal. A good rule of thumb is to fill two-thirds of your plate with plant foods like vegetables, fruits and grains. The rest can be lean protein, following the New American Plate model.
- No need to completely eliminate red meat. Eating red meat, like beef, pork and lamb, in modest amounts provides valuable nutrients, including protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Just keep it under 18 ounces per week.
Request an appointment at MD Anderson's Lyda Hill Cancer Prevention Center online or call 877-632-6789.
Use this guide to determine how much red meat you are eating. Pork, lamb, deer, buffalo and beef, including hamburgers, are all red meat.