Processed Meats: Serious Health Risks
Many studies have concluded that regular consumption of processed meats may lead to higher risk for breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon, liver, a lung cancers. That’s why the American Institute for Cancer Research advises people to avoid all forms of processed meat until we know more about what it is specifically about processed meat that increases cancer risk.
When it comes to increasing the risk for certain cancers, things get downright scary for bacon lovers. Not only is bacon considered a red meat, it’s also a member of the dreaded “processed meat” group (even turkey bacon falls into this category).
And NO amount of processed meat is considered safe to eat, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Processed meat is usually red meat preserved via smoking, curing, or salting and it includes many favorite foods:
- Hot dogs
- Almost all deli meats/ luncheon meat
It’s not clear how exactly processed meat raises cancer risks, but it might have to do with:
- Nitrates, which are often used as preservatives in processed meat, change into N-nitroso (compounds that promote cancer) in the meat and also in the gut when it is being digested.
- Carcinogenic PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) compounds can be produced during processing.
So if your diet regularly includes any of the above mentioned food, it would be wise to make some major changes – sooner rather than later. At most, save the occasional slice of bacon or deli meat sandwich for a rare treat once in a while. Eating any of this stuff regularly could have dire consequences for your health.
I took the warning seriously when I first heard about it a year ago and I rarely ever touch these foods that used to be an almost daily part of my diet. The stuff is yummy, but its not worth it when it comes with a serious health warning. Cutting these foods our of your diet may be a little touch at first, but soon your body adjusts and you stop thinking about them all together.
If I could do it – and I loved these foods – so can you. Do it for your health.