Maybe sub in some fish tacos :)

Maybe sub in some fish tacos 🙂

Howdy Team RevCon!

I am off to sunny California where the weather is going to be about as nice as it has been in sunny London, ON this week.  Once there, I will be stuck inside a hotel conference centre for two straight days and I will leave without seeing anything at all other than the hotel and the airport…BUT…I will have learned lots of stuff that will help us grow stronger, so it is well worth it!

Since I am away from the shop, I am going to hand this over to my friend Lisa Cianfrini, MSc, RD of and have her explain what the new WHO statement on processed and red meats means to you.

I am a little gutted to see my go to travel snack of jerky on there – just went with the cheese and almonds for this leg of the flight – – thanks Lisa 😉

Okay – here’s Lisa…

Q: Help! I heard that all processed meats, including deli turkey, cause cancer. I don’t know what to feed my kids at school and when at the arena or away! Are there any fast options for protein that are healthier?

A: The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a statement about red and processed meat, officially linking it to various cancers. While this isn’t really ‘new’ information, it has sent many into a frenzy.

Here is what you need to know about red and processed meats:

  1. Research does support that a HIGH intake of processed meats increases one’s risk for various cancers, including colorectal, prostate, stomach and pancreatic cancer.  The WHO document does not say that eating red or processed meats is carcinogenic (causes cancer), but that it is probable.
  2. While WHO doesn’t define what ‘high’ means, they list eating more than 50 grams daily (about 1/3 cup) of processed meats significantly increases one’s risk.
  3. ‘Processed meats’ include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, deli poultry, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces
  4. ‘Red meats’ include beef, pork, lamb and veal. 

Here are some recommendations to reduce your risk:

  1. Instead of relying on deli meats for lunches, make your own roast beef, turkey, chicken on the weekend and use left-overs throughout the week. Most grocery stores (such as Farmboy) have ‘in-house’ deli style turkey meat, which would be a much healthier choice.
  2. When cooking red meat, try not to char the meat as this increases the compounds that may be responsible for contributing to cancer. Be sure to still cook meat to a high enough internal temperature.
  3. When ordering fastfood, choose chicken or turkey burgers over hotdogs, red meat burgers or sausages.
  4. Incorporate some ‘meat free’ high protein foods, such as eggs, fish, legumes and dairy products.
  5. Eat adequate amounts of vegetables and fruits as these foods may reduce your risk.

Here is a sample day of substitutions to lower your or your childrens’ red and processed meat intake:

Meal Before After
Breakfast 2 slices bacon

2 eggs

2 slices toast

Orange juice

2 eggs

½ cup yogurt with 1 cup berries

2 slices toast with 1 tbsp nut butter

Lunch Kaiser bun with deli turkey, ham and salami Kaiser bun with ‘in-store’ deli turkey meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato
Dinner Fastfood hamburger with bacon, cheese


Homemade or store bought turkey burger with lettuce and tomato

Baby carrots with dip

Snack Beef jerky and almonds Hard boiled egg or Babybel cheese round, almonds and apple


Looking for a great homemade turkey burger recipe? Check this out this recipe for Turkey Burgers with Gouda

Note: Any type of cheese works. These patties freeze well, so make a double batch and freeze the patties before or after being cooked. 

…Maria here again – was that great info or what.  That’s what I love about Lisa’s approach to athlete nutrition, she does not get pulled into the frenzy of what’s trending.  She comes at nutrition from a practical and scientific perspective.  If you need help fine tuning your nutrition, she is one of my trusted resources.

If you have any questions for Lisa, make sure you post them in the comments section below and I will bribe her with a coffee from Locomotive to write up an answer for you – how does that sound?


PS – make sure you get out for a walk around the block or something today to enjoy this great weather – it will be over before we know it.  As much as I love the snow – this has been a great November so far!