Processed meat causes cancer – WHO

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Processed meat such as bacon, ham and sausages can cause cancer, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Processes meat refers to meat that has been modified to increase its shelf-life or alter its taste such as by smoking, curing or adding salt or preservatives.

WHO says that consumption of 50 grams of processed meat a day, less than two slices of bacon, increases the chances of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.

However, the organization also acknowledged that meat does have health benefits. Red meat is a major source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

The processes such as salting, smoking, curing and preservation are the factors that increase the risk of cancer.