Bacon Will Totally Kill You

Illustration for article titled Bacon Will Totally Kill You

Sorry, Woody Allen. It's the future, and red meat is still bad for you. According to a new study, even a little bit will make you die sooner. And bacon is especially fatal.


The LA Times reports on a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, in which researchers followed over 110,000 people for over 20 years. They found that eating even 3 ounces of red meat per day upped subjects' risk of death during that 20-year period by 13%. And eating one serving per day of processed meat, like hot dogs or bacon, raised the risk by 20%. Lead study author An Pan says "any red meat you eat contributes to the risk" of early death. He adds, "If you want to eat red meat, eat the unprocessed products, and reduce it to two or three servings a week. That would have a huge impact on public health."

Bacon may be the biggest death-meat, but researchers were surprised that unprocessed meats had an effect too. Basically, all red meat comes out of this looking pretty bad. Meatheads take heart, though — one critic points out that studies that rely on food questionnaires, the way this one did, can be prone to error. That's because people kind of suck at remembering what they've eaten. It's also worth noting that of course no diet will stave off death forever. That said, you might be able to eke out a few more years if you periodically replace bacon with fish, poultry, nuts, low-fat dairy, or whole grains — one such substitution per day lowered folks' death risk by up to 19%.

Image via Kenneth Sponsler/



What about rabbit and duck? Curious because they have such high fat content, but generally lumped in with "white" meats.