Red meat” refers to beef, pork, lamb, and goat from domesticated animals, including that contained in processed foods and in most beefburgers. It does not include poultry or wild game, or offal (however, the impact of consumption of offal and wild game on cancer risk is unknown). Although eating a lot of red meat increases the likelihood of developing bowel cancer, red meat is also a good source of several nutrients. As a guide, it is recommended to avoid eating more than about 500 grams of red meat per week (500 grams cooked weight, which is equivalent to about 700–750 grams raw weight, depending on the cut and how it is cooked).

Processed meat” refers to meat preserved by smoking, curing, or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives. This includes, for instance, ham, bacon, salami, and some sausages such as frankfurters. Because consumption of processed meat is also positively associated with risk of bowel cancer, even in smaller amounts, and offers no additional nutritional benefit over red meat, it is recommended to avoid processed meat as much as possible, to reduce cancer risk.