We have some bad news for anyone who likes to start their mornings with a couple strips of bacon: It might increase your risk of dementia.
The upsetting discovery comes from a study published this week by researchers at the University of Leeds. After observing data from more than half a million people over an eight year period, they found that consuming 25 grams of processed meat on a daily basis (which is roughly equivalent of just one thin slice of bacon) increased their chance of developing dementia by 44 percent.
Although bacon isn’t the only culprit when it comes to this type of meat, it is arguably the most popular of the bunch. In fact, it’s not unlikely to see bacon piled on top of or wrapped around other processed options like deli meat, hot dogs, burgers, sausages, and chicken nuggets.
We certainly can’t deny how delicious all of those foods are, but this study is also just the latest in a long line of research that highlights how processed meat can cause all kinds of health issues ranging from high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer.
The researchers aren’t suggesting we give up meat entirely, though. Just consider making your bacon and other processed meat choices more of an occasional indulgence rather than a regular part of your daily eating habits.
Plus, their findings showed that people who ate 50 grams of unprocessed red meat each day (like beef, pork, or veal) actually had a 19 percent less chance of developing dementia! Of course, there are other health factors to consider with red meat, so it’s still important to mix things up with your diet now and then.
We understand that bacon and processed meat fans might not love the idea of cutting back on any of their beloved foods, but it’s a good idea to at least make sure you’re getting plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies to balance things out!