he more steak, burgers, and bacon you eat, the sooner you’ll die, says a new study of more than 500,000 people. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland compiled data on the intake of red and processed meats over a 10-year period, then cross-referenced data on deaths over the same decade. They found that both men and women who ate a lot of red meat and processed meats such as hot dogs and bacon were more than 30 percent more likely to die than people who rarely consumed these foods. “You eat a hot dog a week you’re going to up, quite a bit, your risk of death in a 10-year period,’’ epidemiologist Barry Popkin tells The Washington Post. Most of the premature deaths were the result of heart disease and cancer. Red meat contains high levels of saturated fat, which pushes up levels of bad cholesterol, and cooking red meat is known to produce carcinogenic compounds. Hot dogs, salami, and other processed meats contain enormous doses of salt and are preserved with nitrites, a known carcinogen. Health experts recommend that you eat red meat no more than once a week, and that you eliminate processed meats from your diet completely.
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