When asked what one food he would ban if he could, PETA's chief medical adviser, Dr. Neal Barnard, responded with three: hot dogs, bacon, and ham. We'll let him tell you why!
In an interview with Forbes magazine, the bestselling author and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [http://pcrm.org/] cited those three processed meats as foods that no one, especially children, should ever eat.
In 2007," he says, "the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research released the most comprehensive review on diet and cancer ever published, prepared by the world's leading experts, and it was quite damning about the link between processed meat and colorectal cancer. In early 2011, an update to the report encouraged people to avoid processed meats altogether.
But the disease that's weighing on Dr. Barnard's mind and that has increased threefold in just the last 30 years isn't cancer—it's diabetes. And here again, meat is to blame.
Dr. Barnard notes that the fats that people consume, prevalent in meat, make muscle and liver cells resistant to the action of insulin, triggering diabetes. "The forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is frightening: one in three people born in 2000 will eventually develop the disease," he says. "The medical burden is bad enough—the average person with diabetes loses well over a decade of life."
To read the rest of Dr. Barnard's eye-opening interview, visit Forbes.com. And to find tasty recipes that are 100 percent ham-, bacon-, and hot dog–free, visit our "Living" page.