Hot dogs, bacon and salami show up everywhere as we single them out for fast foods, barbecues, picnics and snacks.
But now they are facing new questions as cancer research ranks them right up there with tobacco and alcohol in risk level.
According to BBC News, the new review by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), puts processed meat in its group one list, which also includes tobacco and asbestos, for which there is sufficient evidence of cancer links.
The IARC recently did a formal review of meat for the first time and examined 800 studies in a meeting of 22 health experts in France.
Linking ham, sausage and other processed meats to colon, stomach and other cancers, the IARC research said red meat may be cancer causing too. But they added meat has health benefits, and this research suggests cutting down rather than giving up red meats.
Overall, the word “moderation” came up frequently as cancer specialists like Dr. David Agus said, the lifetime risk of colon cancer is five percent. If you have a hot dog every day your risk goes to six percent.
However, Dr. Kurt Straif of the IARC pointed out even though the risk of developing colorectal cancer from the consumption of processed meat remains small, this risk increases with the amount of meat eaten.
The agency estimated each 50 gram serving of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.
Looking at Our Daily Menus
Researchers are posting their results, and we may all have to step back and take a closer look at how much processed food, such as hotdogs, bacon, sausage, and ham, wind up in our grocery baskets and on our tables. Along with the sweeping bacon promotions that we see everywhere, from burgers to pizza, and the endless hot dog variations out there, our culture provides lots of opportunities for all of us to eat processwd foods.
For children’s menus, quick choices like hotdogs may be worth reconsidering, as we dial back the amounts. By making them a regular choice we could also be creating less than perfect lifetime habits.
Processing involves smoking, curing, or adding salt or preservatives. Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky, ham, canned meats and meat-based sauces.
Researchers also question the chemicals involved in cooking, which could increase cancer risk. High temperature cooking, such as barbecuing, has also been shown to create carcinogenic chemicals.
As we continue to follow this research, when you have questions about your diet and that of your family’s, always check with your doctor first.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.