This Is What Eating Bacon Every Day Does To Your Body

Bacon is an extremely popular way to start the morning in many kitchens across the country. However, most people save it for special occasions. Does the weekend count? Given the fact that bacon is somewhat of a hassle to prepare, requires a good deal of cleanup, and people are correctly concerned about the health impact of eating too much of it, well, they may not want to.

Certainly, there are headlines from publications such as The Guardian proclaiming "Yes, bacon really is killing us." Did that get your attention? What prompted this startling proclamation is a 2015 decision by the World Health Organization to include processed meats like bacon and hot dogs in the same category of cancer causes like smoking and asbestos — although that doesn't mean they are as dangerous (via NPR). 

So what happens if you eat bacon every day? As you may have already guessed, it's not particularly good news. 

You might increase your risk of cancer

The aforementioned decision by the WHO was the result of a review of over 400 studies by 22 cancer scientists from 10 countries. They determined that processed meat was a proven carcinogen. In the WHO's decision, they noted that just 50 grams — a couple of pieces of bacon — increased the chances of colon cancer by 18 percent. These rates continued to go up the more you eat. 

Research also found that some 34,000 cancer deaths from across the world were attributed to processed meat intake. A 2018 study that used data from 262,195 women found that consuming only 9 grams of bacon daily (less than a single piece) would significantly increase the risk of developing breast cancer. The cancer risk is due to the inclusion of two preservatives: potassium nitrate, and sodium nitrate, that help to retain the pinkish color of the meat.

You'll take in almost half your recommended sodium allowance in one sitting

It should come as no surprise that because bacon is produced by soaking the meat in a salt solution, the finished product has loads of sodium (via Healthline). Just four pieces of bacon in the morning will account for 880 milligrams of sodium, or 40 percent of your recommended daily allotment of sodium (via Time). Over the short term, this will make you thirsty, and you may notice that you're bloated or puffy, given the fact that sodium intake results in water retention to try and make up for the increase of sodium in the body (via Healthline). 

Over the long term, a high intake of sodium corresponds to a higher risk of high blood pressure. High salt diets have also been linked to a higher risk of developing stomach cancer. One study found that of 268,000 participants, those who had a salt intake of 3 grams daily had a 68 percent higher risk of developing stomach cancer than the participants who had a lower salt intake of 1 gram per day. Of course, this cancer risk is compounded by the previously mentioned risk of developing colon cancer due to the nitrates in bacon.

You'll be eating lots of saturated fat

Almost 70 percent of the calories in bacon come from fat (via Web MD). Half of that fat is saturated. This does not vibe well with dietary guidelines that suggest that under 10 percent of daily caloric intake should be saturated fats (via Medline Plus). 

This is because along with trans fat, saturated fats fall into the "unhealthy fat" category. Eating foods with lots of saturated fats can also cause your cholesterol levels to rise. This, in turn, increases the risk of cardiovascular problems because the cholesterol begins to build up in the arteries making it difficult for blood to get through. When blood cannot flow through arteries in the heart, it leads to a heart attack (via Mayo Clinic).