“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” – says it all, period! Now, that the World Health Organization (WHO) has made its statement this week on processed based meats like bacon, sausage, hot dogs, luncheon and cured meats – we are hearing more about the importance of cancer prevention and our eating pattern. When we look to the research from the American Cancer Society (ACS) or American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR), their recommendations have always encouraged avoidance of process based meats like bacon, sausage, hot dogs, luncheon and cured meats due to their potential increase risk of cancer and in particular colon cancer. When we go a little deeper into the metabolism, it’s the preservatives of these processed based meats of bacon, sausage, hot dogs, luncheon and cured meats that contain nitrates that form nitrosamines that are known to be harmful. There is also evidence that the digestion and metabolism of red meat can result in other harmful compounds that can increase a person’s cancer risk. They are known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s), heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) and the heme related iron from animal protein.
So what do we do about this? We work to follow the recommendations from the ACS and AICR to avoid process based meats like bacon, sausage, hot dogs, luncheon and cured meats in our eating pattern. This is where following a plant based eating pattern or having more meatless meals can help reduce risk for developing cancer. The ACS and AICR have great resources available to help you make the changes in your eating pattern for cancer prevention. Here are a couple of wonderful links:
-Jeffrey Whitridge, Clincial Nutritionist Educator Dietitian/Nutritionist with Mission Cancer Care.
From the American Cancer Society –
From the American Institute of Cancer Research –