A: "I’ve heard that bacon is really bad for me and will give me cancer. I love bacon! Is there a safe amount or type I can eat?"
Gieun Chan, via email
A: Senior nutritionist Rose Carr responds:
"I’m afraid it’s bad news for bacon lovers. The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) November 2007 report, Food, nutrition, physical activity and the prevention of cancer: a global perspective advises us to consume ‘very little, if any’ processed meats. This refers to meats preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or preserved with chemical preservatives, such as bacon, ham, salami, corned beef, smoked beef and chicken, frankfurters, and sausages containing preservatives. The WCRF recommendation is based on substantial research supporting the link between eating processed meats and colorectal cancer. There is also less conclusive evidence of an increased risk for other cancers. If you can’t cut out processed meats, we suggest aiming to cut consumption in half. Risks are related to the amount consumed, so cutting back would be a good starting point."