Processed Meats cause Cancer

Say Goodbye to processed meats like Sausages and Spam. The World Health Organization has warned that processed meats rank alongside as cigarettes as a major cause of cancer. If you love luncheon meat in your Breakfast Bee Hoon, or Chinese Sausages in your Fried Rice,it is time to say good bye to these goodies.

When i read the recent news released by the World Health Organization, it was hardly shocking news. I have been warned about these processed products for some time. In case you don’t know, Luncheon meat or spam is not real meat and with Maling having been processed in China, I kind of suspect, that i don’t really want to know how they make it!


In case I have not got your attention, the Straits Times has also reported that Colon Cancer is also the most common Cancer in Singapore! And if processed meats causes Colon Cancer, the co-relation seems to be that products like luncheon meat has certainly made its mark in Singapore!

Sounds terrible doesn’t it! And with Sausages, Bacon and Spam being well loved by everybody in my household, this just double confirms that we need to stay far away from these goodies.

Besides sausages, bacon and ham, here are some of the 116 things that the WHO deems as carcinogenic. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Processed meat: Meat that is cured or treated in some way, either for preservation or taste. Examples include ham, bacon and sausages. It was ranked as dangerous as tobacco in October 2015 by the World Health Orgnaization (WHO), with specific links to bowel cancer.
  • Chinese-style salted fish: Diets that are very high in salt-cured meats and fish, or pickled foods – which are more common in parts of Asia and northern Africa – can increase the risk of nasopharyngeal cancer, related to the upper part of the throat behind the nose. These foods can be very high in nitrates and nitrites, which react with protein to form nitrosamines. These chemicals can damage DNA. (Can you imagine, a western report writing about Salted fish…This means that it must really be very bad!)
  • Alcoholic beverages: Alcoholic beverage consumption is a cause of breast, colorectal, larynx, liver, oesophagus, oral cavity and pharynx cancers, and as a probable cause of pancreatic cancer. ( Better stop giving your friends a Carlsberg, as it may be killing them softly).
  • Sun lamps and Tanning beds – (Don’t play play with these tanning machines.)
  • Secondhand smoke: Otherwise known as passive smoking, a non-smoker’s risk of getting lung cancer can increase by a quarter by breathing in other people’s smoke.

According to the medical experts, each 50g portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent.

But experts have said that the research should not stop people from consuming processed meat, as meat in general still remains a good source of nutrients such as zinc, protein and vitamin B12. However, I think they are referring to ham and bacon (Not Spam or salted fish…).

One thing is for sure…I think we better keep our children away from Sausages, Spam and Salted Fish. We may have developed a taste for these substances over the years, but I think it is best that we keep the next generation away from it. As for ourselves, I guess we still “cheat” once in a while, but we definitely need to reduce these “cheat” days and watch our diet.

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