Processed Meat Linked to Fatal Diseases

Shared by Dushyant Krishnan (founder-foodnetindia)

Processed meats can be defined as meat preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding chemicals like sodium nitrite. They are ham, bacon, corned beef, salami, bologna, pastrami, hot dogs and bratwurst. While processed meat consumption is very low in India, it is rising rapidly, especially in urban India and also consumed in sandwiches or burgers from fast food outlets.

Processed meat has been linked to fatal diseases like Cancer, Heart disease, Diabetes etc.

Along with a bucket list of health risks, a new study has also linked processed meats to problems with men’s fertility.

Eating processed meat regularly linked to Cancer

A study conducted in Sweden collected data on more than 4,700 patients from 15 studies published from 1966 through 2006. It concluded that eating 30 grams of processed meat a day was linked to upto 38% increase in stomach cancer risk.

Researchers conclude that premature deaths could be reduced by 3% simply by people eating less processed meats, they recommended limiting such meats to less than one ounce a day.

Sodium Nitrates in Processed Meats causing Heart Disease

Sodium nitrate, a preservative used in processed meats like bacon, jerky and luncheon meats, may put you at risk of heart disease.

Sodium nitrate has long thought to cause damage to blood vessels making the arteries more likely to harden and narrow, leading to heart disease.

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) also revealed that eating processed meats increased the risk of heart disease by 42% and the risk of type 2 diabetes by 19%. Such links were not found among those not eating processed meat.

Processed meat can worsen male fertility

In a study of 141 men undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) with their partners, it was found that men eating least amount of processed meat including sausage, bacon, and canned meat products had a 28% higher rate of fertilization during IVF compared to those who ate the most.

Those who ate the most poultry (and presumably less processed meats and possibly overall healthier diet) also had a 13% higher fertilization rate than men who ate the least.

We are better off avoiding processed meats, but organic, pastured meats can be a healthy part of our diet. There are benefits of grass-fed and grass-finished meat, for example higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and other healthy fats. It also has a more balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6.

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