It’s very American to grill out hamburgers and hot dogs. It’s fun grilling outside and to most people they both really good. However, there is growing evidence that red meat and especially processed meats are killing you.
A recent Harvard study analyzed the diets and health outcomes of over 100,000 men and women in studies that were conducted over the course of decades. The study found that each daily serving of red meat increased the risk of death by 13%. Each daily serving of processed meats increased the risk of death by 20%! Red meat included beef, pork and lamb. Processed meats included bacon, hot dogs, sausage, salami, bologna and cold cuts among other processed items.
It is important to note that a serving of red meat was just 3 oz. (about the size of a deck of playing cards) and a serving of processed meat was just 2 slices of bacon or 1 slice of cold cuts. Most people eat much more than a serving in a sitting, so your risk could be even higher than those indicated above.
What Should You Eat Instead?
Fortunately, studies have asked specifically this question. You can see in the chart below how effective various proteins fared in relation to red meat.
If you can’t give up your cheeseburger, we get it. They taste good. Just try to cut back as much as you can. Definitely do your best to eliminate processed meats as much as you can though. It’s just not worth the risk.