I keep reading about bacon as a health food. Seriously: bacon never was and never will be a health food. While diets like the Paleo Diet may have some redeeming qualities, these diets are often just an excuse to eat more meat … and especially more bacon. Here are 9 reasons to ditch bacon for good:
1. A 42% Increased Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
Regular bacon consumption has been linked to a significant increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Three strips of bacon contain approximately 435 mg of sodium. If you’re not sure, that’s a lot. Regular bacon or other processed meat consumption has been found to increase the risk of heart attack by 42%.
2. A 44% Increased Risk of Dying Young
According to a study published in the medical journal BMC Medicine, researchers found that eating processed meat such as bacon significantly increased the risk of dying prematurely from any cause, but especially from heart disease or cancer. One in seventeen people followed by researchers died; however, those who ate more than 160 grams of processed meat (about two sausages and a slice of bacon) were 44% more likely to die than those who ate about 20 grams daily.
3. A 19% Increased Risk of Diabetes
While food manufacturers and celebrity chefs alike seem to be adding bacon to just about everything, including cookies, ice cream, chocolates, and almost any main course, bacon consumption is no laughing matter. The journal Science Daily published research illustrating that daily consumption of bacon and other processed meats can increase the risk of diabetes by 19 percent.
4. Increased Risk of Lung Disease or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
A study from the University of Columbia found that consuming bacon 14 times a month – less than once every two days – significantly increased the risk of lung disease and reduced lung function. Eating bacon or other cured meats increased the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including disorders like emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
5. Can Trigger Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Just Two Days
In a Harvard University study published in the journal Nature researchers found that eating a diet high in meat rapidly alters the microorganisms residing in the gut. They found that a diet high in animal-based foods caused an overgrowth of microorganisms that can trigger inflammatory bowel disease within only two days of eating a high meat diet.
6. A Significantly Increased Risk of Cancer of the Urinary Tract
In a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention researchers found a significant increase in urinary tract cancer in men who ate the highest amounts of bacon and other processed meats.
7. A Risk of Colorectal Cancer
An earlier study published in the medical journal Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health found a link between meats like bacon that are treated with preservatives known as nitrates, and an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
8. An Increased Risk of Lung Cancer
Consumption of bacon and other processed meats has also been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer in both men and women according to research in the journal Epidemiology. No amount of processed meat is considered safe to eat, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
9. Allergic and Asthmatic Reactions
The preservatives found in many brands of bacon can cause an allergic or asthmatic reaction in some individuals and is best avoided by those suffering from breathing disorders like asthma or those with many chemical or food allergies or sensitivities.