A new study published in International Journal of Cancer has some foodies concerned.
The new research by the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health combined 16 previous studies on breast cancer from around the world.
And it warns that eating processed meats - including bacon, sausage, and ham - could increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
Suggests "Cutting Back" On Processed Meats
The new survey of cancer research says that eating just 25-30 grams of processed meat a day is comparable to a 9% increase in your breast cancer risk.
"However,” the study’s authors note, “red meat was not a significant cause of breast cancer."
That difference is tricky, but significant. Researchers suggest "cutting back" on processed meats, but say that alone won't keep you cancer-free.
It’s worth noting that other behaviors of women in the study who ate plenty of bacon (like a lack of exercise) may also explain the cancer connection.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation says that 12% of women in America will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives.
And while indulging in processed meat is not a major concern for most people, this is not the first time research has raised red flags about bacon.
Bacon's Cancer Risk
The World Health Organization already includes processed meat on its list of substances known to cause cancer.
It's unclear what causes that link, but some researchers believe curing salts and other additives that preserve the meat are to blame.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says there are plenty of other reasons to cut bacon out of your diet.
The meat is high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, but that doesn’t stop the average American from wolfing down 18 pounds of the greasy stuff each year.
The committee also reports that 1.7 ounces of bacon a day (less than two strips) can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer by 21%.
While that’s a lot of bacon, the group still warns “no amount of processed meat is considered safe for consumption.”
[H/T: ABC 13]