If you’ve been swayed by recent reports that red and processed meat isn’t harmful to your health, put down that bacon — there’s bad news.
New analysis of long term data on nearly 30,000 people found a small but significant risk of death from any cause tied to eating two servings of processed meat or unprocessed red meat each week.
Similar risks for cardiovascular disease were found for those eating two servings a week of processed meat, unprocessed red meat or poultry — although that last category might be due to frying or the consumption of skin, researchers said.
There was no association for eating fish, the study found.
One serving of processed meat equaled two slices of bacon, two small sausages or one hot dog. One serving of unprocessed red meat was equivalent to 4 ounces of red meat or poultry, or 3 ounces of fish.
Claiming there’s no need to reduce your red and processed meat intake for good health.
“Everyone interpreted that it was OK to eat red meat, but I don’t think that is what the science supports,” said senior study author Norrina Allen, associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a statement.
“It’s a small difference, but it’s worth trying to reduce red meat and processed meat like pepperoni, bologna and deli meats,” Allen said, adding that prior research has also shown an association with other major health risks such as cancer.