Warning as bacon and sausages ‘increase your risk of silent killer by a third’

BACON could raise your risk of type 2 diabetes, scientists warn.

French researchers found preservative chemicals in the breakfast favourite may increase rates of the disease.

Bacon could raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes because of chemicals used to preserve the meat, scientists claim


Bacon could raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes because of chemicals used to preserve the meat, scientists claimCredit: Getty

Their study tracked diets and diabetes rates over 12 years in more than 104,000 people.

The condition was around 27 per cent more likely in those who ate the most nitrites — preservatives also found in sausages, ham and salami — compared to the least.

Lead author Dr Bernard Srour, of Sorbonne Paris Nord University, said people should “limit their consumption of foods containing controversial additives, including sodium nitrite”.

He said: “These results provide a new piece of evidence regarding the need to reduce nitrite additives’ use in processed meats by the food industry.

“They could support the need for better regulation of soil contamination by fertilisers.”

Research has also linked nitrites — found naturally in the earth, as well as artificially added to processed meats and in nitrogen fertilisers — to bowel, breast and prostate cancers.

A group of MPs and food scientists last summer called on the Government to limit the use of the chemicals in foods because consumers are “worryingly unaware of” the dangers.

No10 recommends eating no more than 70g of processed meat a day, the equivalent of around one-and-a-half rashers of bacon.

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Bacon has been voted the UK’s favourite sandwich filling and Brits scoff millions of the sarnies a year.

Around 3.8million people in the country have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to deadly heart disease and stroke. 

It’s often linked to being overweight or inactive.

The latest study, published in PLOS Medicine, used data collected from 104,168 over-14s in France who have been tracked from 2009 to 2021.

They were asked about their diet in online questionnaires to find out how many nitrites and nitrates, another similar chemical, they ate a day.

Participants were split into three groups based on how much they ate: 3.3mg per day or below, around 5.1mg per day or 8.6mg per day or less.

While the top group for nitrites were significantly more at risk of type 2 diabetes, nitrate consumption had no effect.

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