From Red Meat To Breakfast – Here Are Other Yummy Things Said To Cause Cancer


What do sausages, hotdogs, bacon, salami and red meat have in common?

They are on the World Health Organization's Carcinogenic Classification Groups, and yet we all love them.

As if the added guilt weren't enough, here are more yummy things that are said to cause cancer.

Bread, Biscuits, Chips and Crisps

If these items are basically the whole of your grocery list - don't sweat it. The reason why they could lead to certain types of cancer can be traced back to a chemical called acrylamide. This is found in grilled, baked and fried food such as the above items and breakfast cereals. Acrylamide could lead to nerve damage and based on animal studies, trigger cancer as well as affect male fertility.

How then do we avoid acrylamide, given its presence in everyday food? The answer is simple: we can't.

The Food Standards Agency emphasizes that the only known diets to protect against forms of cancer are those that are rich in fruit and vegetables. Given this, it is far too early to advice people to take on diet or food preparation changes.

Dieticians do not recommend that these types of food be taken off the grocery list, just yet.

"Our bodies have been exposed to low levels of acrylamides for decades and our estimated daily intake is 1,000 times lower than the amounts found to affect rats," said Catherine Collins, chief dietician at London's St George's Hospital.

Collins said that the reduction of fried and fatty food intake is a definite recommendation; however, the occasional pack of bread, chips or crisps most likely won't hurt you.


A high risk of cancer of the esophagus, mouth, bowel, breast and liver has been linked to a consistently high alcohol intake.

The daily alcohol allowance recommended is two to three units for women and three to four units for men.

1 unit = 10 ml of pure alcohol, or a pint of beer, a small glass of wine, a pub measure of spirits

Red Meat

Those who eat large amounts of red meat (lamb, pork and beef) as well as processed and barbecued meat such as hamburgers, sausages, and (hold your breath) bacon have a higher risk of getting bowel cancer.

The culprits at bay are heterocyclic amines, which form on the surface of the meat that is burned, charred, barbecued, fried, grilled or roasted. A daily average of 140g of red or processed meat was recommended by the Department of Health in 1998.

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