There has been a lot of media attention recently about the dangers of consuming too much processed meats. Processed meats are any meats that have had ‘something done’ to them before you buy them. So, this includes ham, bacon and sausages – even expensive, lean, organic ones – as well as more obvious things like Pepperami and salami.
It is thought that it is the chemicals used in processing the meats have a toxic effect on the cells in the bowel, and can cause cancerous changes. These meats are also high in fat, and being overweight is a big risk factor for many types of cancer.
The evidence for the link between consuming processed meats and bowel cancer is now so strong that we are being advised to limit our consumption. The most recent research states that eating 150g of processed meats like bacon and sausages daily increases the risk of bowel cancer by 63%.
There is similar evidence for red meat too, which is reinforcing the message that the healthy option is always fish and poultry.