The Science Behind How Bacon Causes Cancer

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The World Health Organization’s cancer agency, known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer, concluded Monday that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer.

That’s not totally groundbreaking: No one would mistake bacon for a health food. We’ve long known that processed meats are bad news for heart health, since they’re full of sodium and fatty acids. But you have to look beyond the food label to understand how they can cause cancer. During the processing and heating of meats, an array of carcinogenic chemicals form, and those compounds can potentially damage cells.

The latest news may have sent bacon-lovers scrambling to find something else to pair with your scrambled eggs. But is there such a thing as healthy bacon? Let’s take a closer look.

How Bacon Causes Cancer graphic

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