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Processed meats are a huge cancer risk on par with smoking, WHO admits

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(NaturalNews) Not too long ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently came forward and announced that glyphosate, Monsanto's main herbicide ingredient, is "probably carcinogenic to humans." After constant debate between the greedy agrochemical giant who maintained (and still does) that the ingredient is safe and those who know better after seeing its effects on the human body, WHO's declaration earlier this year was a victory for the health-conscious.

It looks like WHO is on a roll.

Their latest declaration is something that many people have long believed, but it hasn't been "officially" recognized until now. WHO has announced that eating processed and red meats poses a significant cancer risk to humans and advises easing up on the consumption of such foods. A press release from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), WHO's cancer division, states that red meat is "probably carcinogenic to humans" and that processed meats are "carcinogenic to humans."

Better think twice about processed and red meat consumption

Sorry, bacon lovers: it's either your good health or continuing to indulge in society's bizarre fascination with bacon-everything.

However, it's not just bacon and the 18 pounds of it that the average American consumes annually that WHO suggests people avoid. Other processed and cured meats such as sausage, ham, corned beef and hot dogs are considered harmful for human consumption, and the press release stresses that it's not just red processed meats, either. "Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood," the IARC states of such foods that have been salted, fermented, cured or smoked for preservation and flavor-enhancing reasons.

"In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance," says Dr Kurt Straif, the Head of the IARC Monographs Programme, which was behind the findings.

Variety of cancers linked to eating processed meat

The announcement comes after a Working Group of 22 experts across ten countries convened by the IARC Monographs Programme reviewed a variety of scientific literature that included more than 800 studies on the topic, mainly honing in on colorectal cancer. In fact, the experts found that every 50-gram (1.7-ounce) portion of processed meat eaten on a daily basis boosts colorectal cancer risk by 18 percent. However, "associations were also seen for pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer" as well; it wasn't just limited to colorectal cancer.

Interestingly, the ranking of processed meats as "carcinogenic to humans", which is the highest ranking, is right up there with alcohol, cigarettes, arsenic and asbestos, which also carry the same label.

As you'd expect when such announcements are made, there are bound to be those who beg to differ. "We simply don't think the evidence support any causal link between any read meat and any type of cancer," says Shalene McNeill, executive director of human nutrition at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

People love their meat, but the best choice is to eat more fruits and vegetables

As previously mentioned, the average American eats 18 pounds of bacon annually. The problem of consuming a great deal of processed and red meats doesn't just exist in the United States. In the UK, where 2.5 million people are living with cancer, 33 percent of people consume more than 3.5 ounces of red meat daily.

These findings have also been published online in The Lancet Oncology.

Clearly, the best bet is to assess your red meat and processed meat consumption and take steps to drastically reduce the amount you eat. Fill your plate with more fruits and vegetables than the likes of salami and hot dogs. Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, for example, boost the immune system and protect the body from bad bacteria.

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