When it comes to health and food almost nothing is "established" beyond doubt...however, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest saturated fat is absolutely nowhere near as bad, if it is bad at all, as was once thought. The "western pattern diet" is pretty ****ty for humans but the jury is still out as to why. There is a fairly well established link between people who's life style includes eating high levels of processed meats and higher incidences of certain illnesses such as heart disease and some cancers. However, it's not easy with food studies to account for other lifestyle choices and habits. There is a stronger link between high levels processed meat consumption and higher incidences of colon cancer. This may be due to the use of Nitrates in the curing process which convert into what are called nitrosamines, which have been highly associated with various cancers. That said life has GOT to be too short to skip the odd Bacon sarnie, Sausage butty or Charcuterie board. It's certainly far to shorty to skip a reasonable amount of good quality read meat as part of a balanced diet. Unsmoked for me with HP sauce and if at all possible a couple of slices of black pudding tucked in there. Also the Bacon Vodka Ernie mentioned makes a fantastic Bloody Mary!