A report released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in the Lancet medical journal is stating that processed meat like bacon, hot dogs, and even red meat can cause colorectal cancer. The IARC, which is part of the World Health Organization, analyzed 800-plus studies regarding processed meat, stating that “sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer.”

Processed meats encompass any meat that has been salted, cured, fermented, or smoked like hot dogs, sausages, deli meats, and beef jerky. Dr. Kurt Straif of IARC says, “For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed.”

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From the findings it is advised to limit the consumption of processed meats. The reports says: “Overall, the Working group classified consumption of processed meat as ‘carcinogenic to humans’ on the basis of sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer.” It’s also noted by the group that red meat can possibly be carcinogenic to humans and it has also been seen to be linked to pancreatic and prostate cancer. The IARC report defines red meat as, “unproccessed mammalian muscle meat — for example, beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, or goat meat — including minced or frozen meat; it is usually consumed cooked.”

There’s also been a link for either meat to potentially cause breast cancer. The report closed by saying that consuming over 1.7 ounces of processed meat daily can increase a person’s risk for colorectal cancer up to 18 percent.  And honestly, this all should not be a shock — hello processed meat is bad for your overall health along with a high consumption of red meat!

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Remember to stick with leaner cuts of meat such as chicken and turkey, and to also choose lean fish like salmon and tuna. Including, plant-based protein into your diet will help you make your gains. Simply, eat clean.