In an announcement that’s guaranteed to cause misery around the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that processed meats are definitely, definitely carcinogenic. Yep. That greasy fried breakfast you had this morning was actually worse for you than you already knew it would be.
Bacon, sausages and ham have all been identified as long-term killers, but what’s scary is how little you need to eat in order to stray into the danger zone. According to the WHO’s figures, eating just 50g of processed meat per day (around two rashers of bacon) increases your chances of developing bowel cancer by 18 per cent.
Interestingly, it’s apparently not only the addition of preservatives, or process of smoking and curing the meats, that makes these tasty items bad for you. The WHO says there’s evidence that red meats, which are a great source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12, are ‘probably carcinogenic’ (nice of them to appear to be taking this seriously), but it’s currently limited. Smoking is still considered to be far worse for you than indulging in a processed pork-heavy sandwich, but the more greasy meats you throw down your gullet, the more chance you have of getting seriously unwell. And fat.
Don't feel totally awful though. We're constantly creating vegetarian versions of much-loved, yet unhealthy, meaty food items. For instance, the picture above actually shows off a completely plant-based burger batty! Still not satisfied? Tough.
Image credit: Nikolas Moya via Flickr