Processed Meat May Play a Part in Early Death: Study

It found those who ate the most increased their risk of dying prematurely by 44 percent

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Health professionals, educators and food companies need to make efforts to change the culture of food in the United States so that healthy, plant-based eating becomes the daily norm, Heller said.

The American Meat Institute took issue with the findings.

"While we have significant concerns about the study's methodology and results, if one chooses to accept the study's conclusions Americans can rest assured that their processed meat consumption is, on average, at the approximate level recommended by these researchers and can feel confident that red meat consumed as part of healthy balanced diet offers good nutrition and no increased risk of mortality," American Meat Institute Foundation Chief Scientist Betsy Booren said in a statement.

More information

For more on a healthy diet, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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