A REVIEW of a number of studies has found women who ate high levels of processed meat were more likely to develop cancer, when compared to those who ate small amounts.
Previous findings from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have concluded that processed meats can cause cancer and, as such, this study supported previous findings. The new study mentions that those eating excessive levels of processed meat are nine per cent more likely to develop cancer in the future.
The dataset included over a million women, and despite showing a link between the food and cancer, it may not be clear whether it is the food that is causing the development of cancer. Counter arguments include the fact that each of the 15 studies used had different definitions of a "high consumption" of meat. Some studies defined it as around nine grams a day, whereas in other studies this value was much higher.
Each study followed women and what they ate, and identified whether they developed cancer. It is not clear whether or not the risk of breast cancer could be due to other factors - such as being more or less healthy in other ways.
The authors stress that the results apply to processed and not red meat. Processed meat as classified by the WHO includes sausages, bacon, corned beef, ham, beef jerky, hot dogs and salami. These meats have been modified to extend shelf life, or to change the taste by curing, smoking or adding salt and preservative to the meat.
~ The study was published in the International Journal of Cancer.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !