Red Meat Gives You Cancer, but…

So Can Stressing About It!

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, we should eat no more than five hundred grams of red and processed meat a week; any more than this will increase our chances of pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer (a fancy name for bowel cancer). So it seems it’s time to banish that slice of sirloin steak you have been waiting all week to savour, bin those sausages that form part of your hangover cure, and don’t even think about making a packed lunch of ham sandwiches.

This is just one of a number of health scares we experience from time to time. If it is not red and processed meat it’s eggs; if it’s not eggs it’s beansprouts. What will be the next big crisis? Is salad linked to salmonella? Does an apple a day give you osteoporosis?

The fact is that most food in excessive quantities is bad for you in some way or another. Recently qmunicate’s own Hannah Burke wrote an article showing the benefits of fibre, yet a quick Google search shows that too much fibre causes abdominal pain and diarrhoea. So what can we eat?

My answer: whatever you want. You want that burger then you have it; if you fancy a bag of salt and vinegar crisps, munch away and ignore the calories; or if you enjoy eating citrus fruit, don’t worry about how much sugar is in it, just enjoy it for its zesty tang.

If you have a joie de vivre attitude, then I think what you eat is an important part of it. Eat what you want, maybe make sure some things such as chocolate are only a gradual part of your diet, but don’t stress out about it. It is better to be less than perfectly healthy and happy, than overly healthy and miserable. After all, it does not matter how much you extend your life with a healthy diet, it will always be too short for you to spend it worrying.

[Liam Caldwell]

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