On Monday, a new set of analyses published in the Annals of Internal Medicine challenged the widespread recommendations to cut back on red and processed meats.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Assistant Professor Beth Kitchin, Ph.D., is available for comment on these controversial recommendations, and offered these initial comments:

"Red meat in moderation is not the devil. Scary headlines linking red meat with an increased risk of breast cancer need to be taken with, well, a grain of salt. That’s not to say there isn’t a link, but a little perspective will help meat-loving women make smart choices regarding how much meat they should eat.

Now, all that said, it probably is a good idea to cut back on red meat consumption. After all, it has also been linked to colon cancer, and the extra saturated fat you get can increase heart disease."

Here are some tips for red meat-eating:

  • Three or fewer servings of red meat per week.  Try to limit your intake of beef, pork, and processed meats to three or less per week. if you’re eating several servings a day, cut back as much as you can – set achievable goals and go from there.
  • Choose healthier protein sources. Substitute fish, chicken, turkey and soy foods for your red meat.
  • Choose lean cuts. Pork loin, sirloin, filet mignon, Canadian bacon, tenderloin, flank steak and rump roast are all leaner choices of meat.
  • Serving Sizes. A serving is three ounces — the size of a deck of cards — much, much less than what most Americans are used to.