Processed meats such as salami, bacon, hot dogs or ham have been classified as human carcinogens according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This branch of the World Health Organization also suggested that people who regularly eat red meat may be putting themselves at risk for prostate or pancreatic cancer.
Not the First Sign of Trouble:
This is not the first time that processed meat has been suspected of contributing to human cancer. The American Cancer Society tracked more than 184,000 volunteers between 1992 and 2009. They found that those who ate 10 servings a week of processed meats were at much higher risk of colon cancer than those who ate only two servings a week.
The Health Professionals Followup Study and the Nurses’ Health Study had previously found that people who ate processed meat nearly every day had a 20 percent higher risk of premature death, though the study did not specify if that death was primarily from cancer.
Cutting Back on Bacon:
It may be wise to move processed meats such as bacon and prosciutto into the category of rare treats to be savored only sparingly.