When the World Health Organization (WHO) weighs in and says eating two slices of bacon or one sausage a day increases your cancer risk by 18%, the world has to take notice

WHO has linked red meat, but primarily processed meats, to higher risk of bowel cancers and other cancers.

So should you go cold turkey (or rather cold sausauge)? Our dietitians advise that we stick to recommendations set out by the UK’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition – that we should eat no more than 500g cooked meat a week or 70g maximum a day (as per NICE guidelines); have a meat-free or a few meat-free days a week and steer clear of highly processed meats, which are, as WHO points out, full of salt and saturated fat.

Confused by what processed foods are? Our experts at the British Nutrition Foundation defines them as those subjected to ‘smoking, curing, fermentation or salting, or adding chemical preservatives to extend the shelf life or change the taste’.

HFG’s advice is that if you want a less processed sausage or burger, shop at reputable butchers for leaner sausages or make your own burgers, so you know exactly what’s in your meal. We recommend you proceed with caution and make your meals from scratch as much as possible, and use processed meats such as bacon and chorizo sparingly as we do in these recipes:

Chorizo and lentil soup

Creamy bacon and courgette spaghetti

Don’t, as McDonald’s has recommended today in the Metro, rush out to buy its bacon and sausage combo in a bun!