A very large study concludes what should be apparent by now:
Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests.
James Gallagher defines the problem:
Processed meat refers to meat that has been preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives. Examples include ham, bacon, pastrami and salami, as well as hot dogs and some sausages. Hamburgers and minced meats only count as processed meat if they have been preserved with salt or chemical additives.
OK, so now we know. The question is, will we change? If you have a taste for meat, have the real thing: a lean steak or lean hamburger. Or fish. Or chicken (not fried, which begins the process of processing the meat). Processed meat like salami and hot dogs (or, my favorites, corned beef and pastrami), ham and bacon should be enjoyed in small amounts and not frequently.
Some difficult words for Americans to swallow, but also wise words we might try to live by:
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
— Michael Pollan — In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.