A new study has found that processed meats such as sausages are twice as likely to increase the likelihood of heart disease than red meat.
Scientists at Harvard have discovered too that as little as 50g of processed meat a day increases the risk of developing diabetes.
Processed meat includes sausages, bacon, salami – any meat that has been preserved by smoking, curing or salting.
The study, published in the journal Circulation, suggests that salt and preservatives may explain the disparity between processed and red meat, given that both contain the same amount of cholesterol and saturated fat.
Researchers found that an average daily serving of processed meat – one sausage or a couple of bacon rashers – increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 42 per cent and diabetes by 19 per cent.
More than one million people from 10 countries took part in the trial, run by the Harvard School of Public Heatlth.