The World Cancer Research Fund shared some bad news for anyone who loves bacon, alcohol and sausage, but good news for anyone who hopes to lower their risk of developing cancer.
Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, some sausages and salami have been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer, reports TIME. Even unprocessed red meats like beef, lamb and pork can be related to a higher risk of cancer, but the WCRF said the evidence is not as strong in that regard.
Still, the WCRF said you should not completely cut unprocessed meat from your diet because it can still be a good source of Vitamin B12, protein, iron and zinc.
"If you eat red meat, limit consumption to no more than about three portions per week," reads the report. "Three portions is equivalent to about 350–500g (about 12–18oz) cooked weight. Consume very little, if any, processed meat."
"The evidence on processed meat and cancer is clear-cut. The data show that no level of intake can confidently be associated with a lack of risk," Professor Martin Wiseman, World Cancer Research Fund International's Medical and Scientific Adviser, explained. "Processed meats are often high in salt, which can also increase the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease."
When it comes to alcohol consumption, the WCRF recommends avoiding it altogether. The group even notes that it does not really matter what type of alcohol you drink, it can still pose a risk.
"There is strong evidence that consumption of alcoholic drinks is a cause of cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx, oesophagus (squamous cell carcinoma), liver, colorectum, breast (pre- and postmenopause), and stomach," the report reads. "There is also strong evidence that consumption of alcoholic drinks helps protect against kidney cancer. However, this finding is far outweighed by the increased risk for other cancers."
The WCRF recommends you maintain a healthy weight, stay physically active and eat whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans. You should also limit fast foods and sugary drinks, and make sure you do not rely on supplements to meet nutritional needs.
"The increasing availability, affordability and acceptability of 'fast foods' and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars is contributing to rising rates of overweight and obesity worldwide," the report reads on the impact of fast foods. "A whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach is necessary to create environments for people and communities that are conducive to limiting consumption of 'fast foods' and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars and to consume healthy diets consistent with the Cancer Prevention Recommendations."
You can click here to read the entire report.
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