Processed meats 'raise risk of heart disease'

Eating processed meats like bacon, ham and sausages can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to new research.

Processed meats are already linked to a higher chance of developing bowel cancer but a round-up of worldwide research has shown a link with other conditions.

A review by the Harvard School of Public Health in the US found people who eat processed meats have a 42% higher risk of heart disease and a 19% increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. However, unprocessed red meats, such as beef, pork or lamb, do not raise the risk.

Experts examined 20 worldwide published studies involving more than a million people. They found a 42% increased risk of heart disease and 19% increased risk of Type 2 diabetes for each daily serving, on average, of 50g of processed meat. A serving of 50g is roughly the equivalent of two rashers of bacon or one hot dog.

Writing online in the journal Circulation, the authors said: "Consumption of processed meats, but not red meats, is associated with higher incidence of coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus (Type 2).

Source - Independent