It seems that in these times, cancer is unavoidable. A diverse array of people have been diagnosed with the deadly disease in recent years, regardless of lifestyle choices. It has been suspected for a long time that cancer is related to the foods that we consume. Recent research by the World Health Organization (WHO) has proven that this notion is true to some degree. Their findings show that the consumption of processed and red meats increases the chances that one will contract cancer. WHO has placed bacon, ham, sausage and other processed foods on the same level as cigarettes, when it comes to health hazards.
WHO’s report comes after 22 health professionals from ten countries analyzed 800 studies on human disease and other data. They found that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day (the equivalent of two slices of ham or a sausage) increases the risk of contracting colon cancer by 18 percent, according to the NY Times. When it comes to red meat:
The report said that if the association between red meat and colon cancer were proved, the data suggests the risk could increase by 17 percent for every 100 grams of read meat eaten daily.
Processed meats have been classified in the Group 1 category, meaning that it has been proven to be carcinogenic. This is the same category that tobacco and asbestos are grouped in, although processed meats aren’t said to be as risky. Red meats are categorized as Group 2, meaning it is “probably carcinogenic to humans with limited evidence between eating it and developing cancer.”
The Times reports:
The risks arise from chemicals produced by processing the meats and from cooking. Cooking at high temperatures or with the meat in direct contact with a flame can produce certain types of carcinogens, but the report said there is not have enough data to support conclusions about whether the way meat was cooked affected cancer risks, or about whether it was better to eat it raw.
Read the World Health Organization’s report, here.