World Cancer Research Fund Reports Bacon and Alcohol Are Not Safe

If you are looking to reduce your risk of cancer by 40 percent, the World Cancer Research Fund has a recommendation. According to a new set of health guidelines the answer is stop eating bacon, and all processed meat and stop drinking alcohol.

The new guidelines from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) are part of a ten-point plan to help you reduce your risk of cancer. In the largest cancer study ever conducted on a study of more than 50 million people, the WCRF guidelines says of those 50 million people, 3.5 million were eventually diagnosed with cancer. The research found that there is strong evidence that the consumption of processed meat and red meat are both causes of colorectal cancer.

As a result of the study, the WCRF urges people to limit their intake of red meat (all types of meat, such as beef, lamb, deer, veal, pork, and goat) and also recommends to eat little to no processed meat which includes bacon, ham, salami and sausage.

If you cannot bear the thought of giving up red meat, the WCRF recommends limiting consumption to no more than three servings per week (12 to 18 oz total for three portions).

The study, however, is even stricter on the consumption of processed meat.

“The evidence on processed meat is even more clear-cut,” the guidelines read. “The data show that no level of intake can confidently be associated with a lack of risk.” Meaning, your risk of cancer is increased by eating even the smallest amounts of processed meat.

Alcohol is also a contributing factor and makes the do-not-consume list. It is linked to cancers of the mouth, breast, liver, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, and colorectum. 

“There is strong evidence that drinking alcohol is a cause of many cancers,” the study’s overview reads. “Even small amounts of alcoholic drinks can increase the risk of several cancers.”

Just as processed meat, the WCRF says there is no amount of alcohol, even the smallest amount, that does not increase your risk of some cancers.

The ten-point guidelines also links obesity to certain cancers. However, as stated above, red meat, processed meat and alcohol were directly linked to cancer itself, not just to obesity.

The ten-point plan to reduce your risk of cancer includes:

  • Be a healthy weight
  • Be physically active
  • Eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans
  • Limit consumption of red and processed meat
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Limit consumption of “fast foods” and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugar
  • Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Do not use supplements for cancer prevention
  • For mothers: breastfeed your baby, if you can
  • After being diagnosed with cancer: continue to follow the above recommendations



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