You may have read the recent news that your morning fry up of bacon and sausages, or even your lunchtime ham sandwich isn’t as healthy as you might have thought. So what are the facts?
This recent study is part of a large European trial tracking the diet and behaviour of nearly half a million adults and their risk of developing cancer. It showed that people eating large amounts of processed meat (bacon, sausages, ham and salami products) also seemed to eat fewer fruit and veg and were more likely to be smokers. However, even after controlling for these factors, there still seemed to be an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease associated with eating large amounts of processed meat.
The study therefore recommended that people limit their intake of processed meat to no more than 20g a day, which is equivalent to just one rasher of bacon or a slice of ham.
Interestingly, the research showed that eating red meat was NOT linked to an increased risk of death from any disease. This has been shown in a number of studies and is good news because red meat is a source of many essential nutrients, such as iron that are lacking in the diet of many young people and adults in the UK.
So while you may want to limit the amounts of processed meat you eat to just one full English a week, you can still continue to enjoy red meat as part of a balanced diet.