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A new study has found that women who avoid red meat have a significantly lower risk of colon cancer.

The U.K. study, which was published in the International Journal of Cancer, looked at the diets of 32,147 women over the course of 17 years. 462 of those women developed colorectal cancer, which is a cancer that starts in the colon or rectum.

The researchers examined how the women’s diets affected their chances of getting colorectal cancer. 65 percent of the women were classified as red meat eaters, 13 percent were considered fish eaters, and 3 percent ate poultry. 19 percent of the women in the study were classified as vegetarians.

Vegetarians in the study were found to have the lowest risk of colon cancer, while the women who ate red meat were found to have the highest.

The researchers noted that the women who ate poultry and fish were generally younger and had lower BMIs than the women who ate red meat – it’s unclear whether those factors could also have had an impact on their risk of colon cancer.

“The impact of different types of red meat and dietary patterns on cancer locations is one of the biggest challenges in the study of diet and colorectal cancer,” said researcher Dr. Diego Rada Fernandez de Jauregui.

“Our research is one of the few studies looking at this relationship and while further analysis in a larger study is needed, it could provide valuable information for those with family history of colorectal cancer and those working on prevention.”

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer for women after breast and lung cancer, as well as the third highest cause of cancer-related deaths, according to the CDC.

Try These Alternatives To Red Meat

Looking for a satisfying, protein-rich meal that’s also a healthier option? Try some of these plant-based recipes from the Food Monster App!

Vegetable Protein Steak

This Vegetable Protein Steak uses textured vegetable protein to achieve a ‘meaty’ taste. It’s the perfect main course for a nutritious dinner!

Seitan Steak in Beurre Blanc Sauce

This Seitan Steak in Beurre Blanc Sauce has a delicious beurre blanc sauce with vegan butter and white wine! Try it with oven-baked french fries on the side.

Eggplant Burger

This Eggplant Burger is perfect for when you’re craving fast food but want to eat something more nutritious. Plus, it has plenty of protein!

Hungry for more plant-based cooking info? Download the Food Monster App, where you can find tons of recipes for meat alternatives and other healthy food. The app is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day.

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