By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Red meat is a very popular food choice here in the United States but we need to realize that it is best if eaten in moderation.

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Researchers looked at data from nearly 90,000 women who were part of a huge nurses health study. These women were still of childbearing age at the time of an initial dietary survey, were followed for ten years from 1991 to 2011 and, according to the researchers, the risk of breast cancer was increased by as much as 13% in women who made red meat a regular part of the daily diet.

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Here is the most interesting point: replacement of one serving of red meat with nuts, poultry, or fish was linked to a 14% lower risk of breast cancer.

According to the authors of the study who stress this is an association, not necessarily a cause, it is probably not the red meat but cancer-causing byproducts released during the cooking of red meat, or hormones given to beef cattle, that might contribute to these findings.

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We go back to a key point: everything in moderation.