Processed meats increases cancer risk

February 10, 2019

We refer to processed meats in all kinds of negative sayings: You’re ham-fisted (bumbling and awkward); you’re full of baloney (you don’t know what you’re talking about); and our favorite, from Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” bacon-fed knaves (referring to “those slovenly, bacon-fed men who feed their faces till near bursting ...”).

But many women don’t seem to understand how negative it is to eat those nitrite-and nitrate-laden, sat-fat pumped, artificially preserved concoctions. In 2015, Americans spent at least $3.35 billion on luncheon/processed meats, including hot dogs, ham, sausages, corned beef, jerky and meat-based sauces transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes to preserve or enhance flavor.

Manufacturers are really bringing home the bacon, and it’s at your expense!

The latest study confirms that we’ve been talking turkey (and other lean, whole proteins) about the dangers of processed meats. The International Journal of Cancer published an analysis of 15 studies and found that women eating processed meat up their risk of breast cancer by 9 percent.

That’s on top of a 2015 study in the European Journal of Cancer that found that eating 9 grams (around 3 ounces) or more a day of processed meats, or the equivalent of about two sausages a week, boosts your risk of breast cancer significantly. In fact, it was found to also increase the risk 9 percent for those who consumed the most processed meats compared with those eating the least. So, no belly-achin’ about not eating bacon; ditch processed meats and go for lean proteins, like fish and skinless poultry.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

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