Red meat lovers have been warned of being at higher risk of cancer or heart attack, while those who consume white meat do not have the same effect, a study has said.
According to The Age, the study revealed that barbeque red meat can cause the most cancer causing 'carcinogens'.
The study looked at the diets of more than 500,000 people and a follow-up 10 years later and found those who ate the most red, or processed, meat had a higher incidence of death.
Eating white meat -- poultry or fish -- did not have the same effect and was associated with a slightly decreased risk.
Cancer Council Australia chief executive Ian Olver said that while the study could not be said to show that red meat caused cancer, the apparent link warranted further research.
'Such population studies demonstrate these relationships between red meat and cancer deaths but are not able to prove that one causes the other,' he said, adding 'With red meat, for example, the method of cooking is important'.
'For example, more carcinogens would be expected to be produced from barbecue than by slow cooking (while) the other factor predisposing to cancer is the fat content of the meat,' he said.
The research, produced as part of the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, is published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.