Bacon and ham reportedly causes cancer

The World Health Organisation declares bacon, ham and other processed meats, to be causes of cancer.

The World Health Organisation's cancer research agency suggests that eating the delicious goods can cause colorectal cancer.

While they claim meat has "known health benefits" such as good sources of zinc, protein, iron and B12, it may be wise for big meat eaters to cut back their intake.

"This decision doesn't mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat," says epidemiologist, Tim Key of Cancer Research UK.

"But if you eat lots of it, you may want to think about cutting down. You could try having fish for your dinner rather than sausages, or choosing to have a bean salad for lunch over a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich)."

However, nutritionist Elizabeth Lund, suggests that far bigger risks of cancer are obesity and lack of regular exercise.

"Overall, I feel that eating meat once a day combined with plenty of fruit, vegetable and cereal fibre plus exercise and weight control, will allow for a low risk of CRC," she said referencing colorectal cancer.

"It should also be noted that some studies have shown that if meat is consumed with vegetables or a high-fibre diet, the risk of CRC is reduced."

Consuming meat is "probably one of many factors" of bowel cancer in the US, Australia and Western Europe, according to Ian Johnson from UK-based Institute of Food Research.

"There is little or no evidence that vegetarians in the UK have lower risk of bowel cancer than meat eaters," Ian says.

The World Health Organisation lists bowel cancer as the third most common type of cancer, with 900,000 new cases each year resulting in 500,000 deaths.

Nutrition professor Tom Sanders of King's College London recommends limiting meat consumption to once or twice per week.

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