Pack of Processed Meat Every Day. Cancer Risk?

I have to admit, my diet in general is extremely healthy and fits pretty much 99% into the Bodybuilding nutrition mould. That being said, the one thing that has been concerning me recently about a specific part of my diet is this… In order to get some added protein/calories into my daily diet, one of my 6 meals a day contains a full pack of processed sliced lean ham, as shown in the photo below.

Whilst I know processed food isn’t the best, due to my limit budget it fits within my price range to buy sliced meat such as this instead of fresh sliced meat from the deli counter at my local supermarket. Am I putting myself at risk of cancer etc by eating a pack of this every day? Should I look at alternatives instead?

Thanks guys.

That’s 14g of protein in that packet. Have 2 eggs instead.

I’d agree with @strongmangoals that you could get your protein in a more efficient way, but if you just like this stuff and don’t want to change it, then I honestly wouldn’t worry about cancer. If I told you the cancer risks associated with building materials, rugs, cooking equipment, and just about everything you come into contact with on a daily basis, you’d realize that 1, a pack of deli meat isn’t going to be what gives you cancer, and 2, if you live long enough you’ll probably get some form of cancer at some point anyways, so fuck it. It ain’t smoking, don’t sweat it.

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Agreed! Everything you touch could cause cancer. And let’s face it, if they actually knew what caused it, they could cure it, bottom line.

Good read there on bacon (it’ll apply to Ham as well)

Tldr: your real baseline risk of getting colon cancer —without eating bacon—is .043 percent, and with bacon, it rises to .051.

So, worth it.


100% - I probably wouldn’t give it up even if it had smoking levels of risk (might treat it more like a cigar though, just for special occasions!)

Fortunately that risk is small enough by a long stretch for me to eat it regularly!

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Thanks guys, much appreciated. I know that I could get the same amount of protein from 2 eggs, but I’ve already been eating 6-7 eggs a day plus egg whites for years, so the thought of even more eggs isn’t really appealling. I like the ham as well which is a plus. I gave up smoking as well cold turkey 3 years ago, so there’s that at least. It’s just that I read some article earlier claiming that even 50g of processed meat every day could increase risk of colon cancer by 14%, which got me a bit worried. Then again, as said above, most things supposedly cause cancer nowadays so I’m probably just being a hypochondriac.

As the above article and stats mention, whilst it’s a “14%” increase (or whatever current figures are) that translates to 51 people out of 100,000 getting colon cancer instead of 43 out of a 100,000, which seems less significant than saying 14% and if you’re already eating a decent diet and training and sleeping well I don’t see a major issue.