Can sausages and processed meats be carcinogenic?

¿Las salchichas y carnes procesadas pueden ser cancerígenas?

There is enough evidence to say that processed meats can cause colorectal cancer

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The certain capacity of food produce cancer is constantly debated, and the odds increase when it comes to processed foods or foods with too many preservatives. Thinking about it, this time we will talk about the sausages and processed meats, and its carcinogenic index.

Carcinogenicity of processed meats

The World Health Organization has stated that processed meats are classified in Group 1 of carcinogenicity to humans, indicating that are a proven agent for the development of cancer.

Specifically, Group 1 of carcinogenicity is the space where the elements that have the necessary sufficient evidence of its ability to promote some type of cancer.

The classification is based on epidemiological studies with exposed humans. In the case of processed meats, these epidemiological studies concluded that there is sufficient evidence to associate the consumption of processed meats with the development of Colorectal cancer.

What are processed meats?

Can sausages and processed meats be carcinogenic?
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The WHO indicates that processed meats are all those that are transformed from salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, and other processes that increase its flavor or preservation.

Most processed meats contain beef or pork, but they can also contain other red meat, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood. Among processed meat we find examples such as:

  • Hot dogs
  • Sausages
  • Ham
  • Corned beef
  • Jerky or dried meat
  • Canned meat
  • Preparations
  • Meat-based sauces

Cancer is a serious disease that should not be neglected, especially if it is possible to manage the risk of developing any of its types from something as achievable and basic as food. That is why we must do our best to reduce from our daily intake all the elements that could be harmful to our health.


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