PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For many people, bacon is likened to a gift from above. However, the popular breakfast food, delicious as it may be, has been linked to causing various types of cancer.
Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer say that bacon acts as a bit of a double whammy in that it is both a red meat and a processed meat.
In a question-and-answer session, a committee of scientists from The World Health Organization explained how exactly red and processed meats are carcinogens.
“According to the most recent estimates by the Global Burden of Disease Project, an independent academic research organization, about 34,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide are attributable to diets high in processed meat,” scientists said, adding that “diets high in red meat could be responsible for 50,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide”.
There is a correlation that both types of meat, red and processed, can increase the risk of colorectal, pancreatic, stomach, and prostate cancer to varying degrees. However, evidence of this is still not conclusive.
Recently, a study published in the European Journal of Cancer showed that eating processed meats like bacon could cause an increase in the risk of breast cancer. The National Health Service explained in further depth what the research meant and how it could be best understood.
In spite of this research, don’t fret over giving up your beloved bacon just yet. The WHO recommends that a limitation on a red meat and processed meat can be very beneficial in avoiding increased risks of cancer.