Dr. Helen

Is Bacon Toast?

If you are listening to the news today, you can’t miss the stories about how bad bacon and processed meat are for you:

Eating hot dogs, ham and other processed meat can cause colorectal cancer, and eating red meat “probably” can cause cancer, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency reported Monday.

Kurt Straif of the International Agency for Cancer Research said the risk of developing colorectal cancer from eating processed meat remains small but rises with the amount consumed. Consuming red meat was linked to colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer, but the link was not as strong, the IARC report said.

“In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance,” Straif said.

The IARC report labeled processed meat a carcinogen — cigarettes are similarly labeled — and said red meat is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

The North American Meat Institute scoffed at the report, saying it ignored “numerous” studies showing no link between meat and cancer.

Every so often, these negative stories come out about meat. I wonder how much of the negativity is political? In other words, does the WHO organization just dislike the red blooded Americans and others who like meat and tend to let that sway the outcomes of their studies or is there a grain of truth to it? Is it just processed meat that may be bad or is it all meat? I think moderation is the key with any type of food or substance.

Will this study change the way you look at bacon?