Local cancer doctor explains what's okay to eat, what's not afte - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local cancer doctor explains what's okay to eat, what's not after report links meat to cancer

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new health report links cancer to some of America's favorite meats. But what is okay to eat and how much is too much?

There are dozens of articles about the World Health Organization's report, but the news has created fear and panic.  

Some of our viewers still won't give up their favorite foods.

Monica says: "What doesn't cause cancer these days? You can take all the alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs, but you can't take my bacon!"

Dennis joined in: "I'm going to celebrate this new information with a bacon cheeseburger."

Rick added: "If this scares you away from bacon, steak or other meats, then don't eat it. Leaves more for the rest of us."

All joking aside, what is safe? Doctor John Hamm at Norton Cancer Institute says you can still eat processed meats in moderation.

"If I pack a ham sandwich for lunch everyday, what's that doing to me?" reporter Rachel Collier asked.

"Probably not very much," responded Hamm.

"I would not panic, I would not throw out all the hot dogs in the refrigerator unless that's all you eat, you may want to reconsider because that's not good for your lifestyle anyways," said Hamm.

While red meats may also cause cancer, Doctor Hamm says the real concern is for processed meats and eating too much of them.

"They actually put a warning on the processed meats calling them carcinogenic. That's a little misleading to think of that the same as cigarettes are carcinogenic. It's not nearly the risk, it's not in that range at all," Hamm said.

To try to prevent cancer, Hamm says stop smoking if you do and exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.

"A low fat, low cholesterol diet is good for anybody," Hamm added.

Good health starts at the grocery store. Nutritionist Anita McLaughlin recommends making sure 1/2 your cart is full of fruits and vegges, and ask yourself these questions: "Do you have vegetables and fruit with your lunch? Same at dinner. Do you have fruits and veggies with dinner? What's your portion of meat?"

It is scary news, but when put in perspective, a little easier to digest.

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