There have been many different opinions about meat and your health. While meat is not necessarily unhealthy, you should definitely stop eating processed meat because of the harmful chemicals and the bad habits that it can influence. We’re going to take a closer look at what processed meat is and what it can do to your health.
Processed meat is defined as any meat that has been preserved, by curing, salting, smoking, canning, or drying. This includes sausages, ham, smoked meat, and even beef jerky. Processing meat introduces many toxic chemicals to the food, which can be detrimental to your health. Most processed meat contain sodium nitrite which helps to prevent the growth of bacteria, preserve the color, and improve the flavor. However, nitrite is not all creative equally, and when you fry of grill processed meat, that nitrite can turn into N-nitroso compounds which are cancer-causing substances.
Furthermore, studies have found that people who eat more processed meat live unhealthier lifestyles. For instance, many people who eat a lot of processed meat are smokers, and they eat less fruit and vegetables. This unhealthier lifestyle helps link processed meat with chronic diseases. These chronic diseases include high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and bowel or stomach cancer. Of course, studies of processed meat consumption in humans are observational, but they do show that people who eat processed meat are at a higher risk to get these diseases. However, there is no proof that processed meat causes chronic diseases. Still, the connection between processed meat and chronic diseases is supported in studies in animals, including rats.
So, processed meats contain many harmful chemicals that can negatively affect your body. While you don’t have to go vegetarian, it would probably be beneficial to give up that morning bacon.