Eating Bacon, Sausge, & Lunch Meats Is Risky Business
Most dietary guidelines recommend eating less meat, but a new analysis by Harvard University researchers says the type of meat is what matters.
The researchers reviewed 20 nutrition studies that followed more than 1.2 million people from 10 countries. People who ate a daily serving of processed meat such as bacon, sausage, and lunch meats boosted their risk of heart disease by 42 percent, and of diabetes by 19 percent.
In contrast, people who ate unprocessed beef, lamb, and pork had no added risk.
The harmful effects of processed meats may be related to high levels of salt and nitrate preservatives, rather than fats, the researchers speculated. They found processed and unprocessed meats in the United States had similar amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.
The study, published last week on the website of the journal Circulation, concluded that having a single serving of processed meat per week “would be associated with relatively small risk.” So keep track of those BLTs.