In order to explore the role of nutrients and bioactive related substances in colorectal cancer, we conducted a case-control in Uruguay, which is the country with the highest production of beef in the world. Six hundred and eleven (611) cases afflicted with colorectal cancer and 1,362 controls drawn from the same hospitals in the same time period were analyzed through unconditional multiple logistic regression. This base population was submitted to a principal components factor analysis and three factors were retained. They were labeled as the meat-based, plant-based, and carbohydrates patterns. They were rotated using orthogonal varimax method. The highest risk was positively associated with the meat-based pattern (OR for the highest quartile versus the lowest one 1.63, 95 % CI 1.22-2.18, P value for trend = 0.001), whereas the plant-based pattern was strongly protective (OR 0.60, 95 % CI 0.45-0.81, P value for trend <0.0001. The carbohydrates pattern was only positively associated with colon cancer risk (OR 1.46, 95 % CI 1.02-2.09). The meat-based pattern was rich in saturated fat, animal protein, cholesterol, and phosphorus, nutrients originated in red meat. Since herocyclic amines are formed in the well-done red meat through the action of amino acids and creatine, it is suggestive that this pattern could be an important etiologic agent for colorectal cancer.