A nutritionist, Mrs. Kemi Adegoke-Abraham, has advised Nigerians to avoid the risk of colorectal cancer (bowel cancer) by consuming only 70 grammes of cooked red and processed meat per day.
Nigerian police and civilians inspect the site of a suicide attack at a busy cattle market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on June 2, 2015. At least 13 people were killed in the attack, the Red Cross and civilian vigilantes battling Boko Haram said. The blast in the Borno state capital happened as traders were wrapping up business for the day. AFP PHOTO
Adegoke-Abraham gave this advice in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Kubwa, Abuja.
She said that the consumption of a lot of red and processed meat could increase the risk of bowel cancer.
“It is recommended that people who eat more than 90 grammes of cooked red and processed meat per day should cut it down to 70g.
“This can help reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Red meat includes beef, lamb and mutton, pork, veal, venison but does not include chicken, turkey, duck, goose, game birds and rabbit,” she said.
She, however, said that red meat such as beef and pork were good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals as well as form a balanced diet.
According to her, processed meat include the meat that has been preserved by smoking, salting or laced with preservatives.
This, Adegoke-Abraham said, included sausages, bacon, ham, canned meat such as beef and sliced luncheon meat made from chicken or turkey.
The nutritionist advised that in addition to eating a smaller portion of red and processed meat, one could also go for alternatives.
“If you eat more than 90 grammes of red and processed meat on a certain day, you can eat less the following days or have meat-free days so that the average amount you eat each day is not more than 70 grammes.
“You can also swap either the bacon or sausages for mushrooms, tomatoes or toast and swap one of your ham or beef sandwiches for a non-red meat filling, such as chicken or fish.
“You can also choose a chicken, fish or vegetable burger for a change or even swap roasted beef, pork or lamb for chicken, turkey or fish.
“Just try to have a meat-free day each week and ensure you include more vegetables, beans and use less red meat in your diet.”
Adegoke-Abraham advised that children above the age of five should eat a balanced diet which includes meat or other sources of protein, saying that the amount they need depend on their age and size.
The nutritionist added that babies and children under five could slowly be introduced to white and red meat, and other solid foods after proper consultations with an expert.
She also said that properly washed, well cooked meat and vegetables would help reduce the risk of bacteria in foods and also ensure good and healthy digestive system.