Does red meat boost the risk of frailty?

Scientists tracked some 86,000 women aged 60 or older for 14 years. Frailty was defined as having at least three of five criteria: fatigue, low strength, reduced aerobic capacity, unintentional weight loss, or at least five chronic illnesses like arthritis, cancer, depression, heart attack, hypertension, stroke, or type 2 diabetes.

The risk of frailty was 8 percent higher for each daily serving of unprocessed red meat (beef, pork, lamb, veal) and 26 percent higher for each daily serving of processed red meat (like bacon, sausage, or cold cuts).

What to do

This type of study can’t prove that red and processed meats cause frailty. But it’s worth cutting back because both have been linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.