People who eat meat every day have a higher risk of dying over a 10-year period — mostly because of cardiovascular disease or cancer — than their peers who eat less meat, including processed meat product.

In the study, a research team led by Rashmi Sinha, from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., looked at more than 500,000 people, ages 50 to 71 when they enrolled in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health study.

Over a 10-year period, people who ate the most meat every day (about 62.5 grams per 1,000 calories per day-- equivalent to a quarter-pound burger or small steak per day) had about a 30 percent greater risk of dying compared with those who consumed the least amount of meat (a median of 9..8 grams per 1,000 calories per day). The excess mortality was mostly the result of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The meat in the study included all types of beef and pork, such as bacon, cold cuts, ham, hamburgers, hot dogs and steak, as well as meat in pizza, chili, lasagna and stew.

In addition, those who ate the largest amounts of processed meat (defined as about 22.6 grams per 1,000 calories per day of bacon, red-meat sausage, poultry sausage, cold cuts, ham, regular hot dogs and low-fat hot dogs) also had a slightly higher mortality risk than those who consumed the least.

In contrast, people who ate the most poultry and "white meat"-- including chicken, turkey and fish, as well as some poultry products and canned tuna-- seemed to have a slightly lower mortality risk during the study than those who consumed the least amount of white meat.

Click here to see the full story from the American Meat Institute.

Source: AMI