Pancreatic Cancer Risk Increases With Every 2 Strips of Bacon You Eat:
A study funded by the Swedish Cancer Foundation examined 11 studies and case reports on more than 6,000 pancreatic cancer patients and found that every 50 grams of processed meat – roughly one sausage or two strips of bacon – you eat daily increases your risk of pancreatic cancer.
Eating around 150 grams of process meat a day, makes you 57% more likely to suffer from pancreatic cancer (5).
Although researchers still aren’t sure what mechanisms are to blame, nitrates and nitrites have often come under fire. Not because they’re toxic but because they have to potential to be.
What Are Nitrates?
Nitrates are naturally-occurring compounds found in the soil, air and water. They act as a preservative and color enhancer in meat products.
The problem is, when nitrates found in meat are exposed to high heat from cooking, they turn into compounds called nitrosamines. This can only happen when the right amino acids are present.
These carcinogenic compounds are the real danger. They’re often found in cured meats, beer, some cheeses, nonfat dry milk, and processed fish (10).
In fact, these foods are also linked to increased risk of bladder, esophageal and stomach cancer (11).
Eat Foods Rich In Vitamin C
While the best way to avoid these carcinogenic compounds is to cut out processed meats and dairy products all together, you can minimize your exposure to nitrosamines by eating vitamin C-rich foods during nitrate-rich meals to prevent nitrosamine from forming in the first place (13).
You can also swap bacon for salted pork belly, kept frozen and heated slowly over low heat or go to your local butcher for nitrate-free sausages.