Bacon bumps up diabetes risk by 50 per cent

Caroline Cassidy

The aroma of sizzling bacon is one many of us find hard to resist but scientists claim devouring just two of those mouth-watering rashers each day can increase your risk of diabetes.

processed meats diabetes risk
processed meats diabetes risk

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Researchers at Harvard University studied the health records of more than 440,000 men and women and found that just 100g of red meat eaten daily raised the risk of type 2 diabetes by 19 per cent.

But it's processed meats, such as ham, bacon and sausages, that really does the damage.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that just 50g - equivalent to two slices of bacon, one small burger or a solitary sausage - could increase your risk of developing the disease by 51 per cent.

Some 2.5 million Brits currently have type 2 diabetes and experts estimate a further one million are as yet undiagnosed sufferers.

Though treatable the disease can cause serious health problems such as kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes.

Too much red meat has long been associated with increasing the risk of health problems but this is this study is evidence of the risk posed by a daily diet of processed meats and the researchers are keen that the public are advised to swap such products for poultry and fish.

However, Dr Iain Frame from Diabetes UK told the Daily Mail: "Based on analysis of previous studies this research simply suggests eating a daily portion of red meat may increase someone's risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

"The suggested increased risk is small so people should not be afraid of eating red meat as part of a healthy balanced diet."

Rest easy folks... you can still tuck into that tempting bacon sandwich every once in a while.

What do you think - have you cut out red meat because of the health risks? Leave a comment below...