Research has linked eating processed meat to heart disease, cancer, and an increased risk of early death. Findings from BMC Medicine have shown that the consumption of processed meat causes 3% of premature deaths and increases a person’s risk of dying from cancer by 11% and heart disease by 72%.
Since 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), has tried to encourage abstaining from processed meats completely. Dr. Rachel Thompson states that “strong evidence” affirms that consuming 50 grams of processed meat per day (that’s the equivalent of one sausage or two slices of bacon) increases a person’s risk of bowel cancer by 18% and eating 100 grams a day increases it by 36%.
Dr. Thompson also says that processed food as a whole contributes to obesity, which increases risk of cancer. Seven forms in particular are bowel, breast, gall bladder, kidneys, oesophagus, pancreas and womb. Also, salt consumption in large amounts has been linked to stomach cancer, and large quantities of salt are found in processed meats. Dementia and depression have also been linked to the consumption of processed foods. In 2010, Harvard researchers linked every 50 grams of processed meat a person consumes with a 19% increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and a 42% extra risk of heart disease.
When looking at ingredients of red meats, stay away from nitrites, nitrates, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Nitrites and nitrates have been proven to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Nitrates have been linked to intrauterine growth, miscarriage, sudden infant death syndrome, and infant heart problems when consumed by pregnant women. Nitrates and MSG are linked to brain cancer in children whose mothers consumed processed meats during pregnancy.
Sodium nitrite is used to make the meat look fresh by turning it a bright red color, nitrates are used to preserve the meat, and MSG makes the food addicting, so that it is much harder to stop eating food that contains it. So, needless to say, its much safer and healthier to look for uncured, all-natural, and organic red meat products.
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