- Processed meat include high amounts of N-nitroso compounds
- Eating processed meat occasionally is fine and will not be harmful
- Instead, go for a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains
In the jam-packed schedules, we often look forward to eat quick and convenient food. The super convenient food includes packaged and processed food. These ready-made packaged foods are laced with chemicals and preservatives which are harmful for the overall health of the body. Hence, they should be avoided as they are unhealthy. Eating high amounts of processed food is common among people who lead an unhealthy lifestyle. In general, the processed food is harmful and in the following article let us talk about the health hazards related to them.
Processed meats are smoked, fermented, cured, salted, canned, dried or preserved. These include cold cuts, salami, beef, canned meat, chicken nuggets, smoked meat, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, ham and other processed meats. Processed meats are associated with a variety of health problems. Excessive salt, preservatives, chemicals to increase the shelf life and fat in the products are the primary causes of several diseases. People who ate processed meat on a regular basis are at a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer (bowel and stomach cancer).
Health hazards related to processed meat:
Processed meat include high amounts of N-nitroso compounds. These compounds promotes cancer-cell growth which are further responsible for developing certain types of cancer and lung disease. They are formed from sodium nitrite that is added in high quantities to process meat products. Nitrite compound is used in the process of preserving. Sodium nitrite is used as an additive to preserve the color of meat, to enhance the flavour and to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Processed meat products are particularly high in sodium chloride, which is also known as table salt. For several years, salt has been used as a preservative. It is also quite often used to improve the taste of the products. Therefore, it may increase the salt intake of many people. We also know that a low sodium diet is always beneficial for people with high blood pressure and heart diseases. Excessive salt consumption may play a key role in hypertension and high blood pressure can further lead to heart diseases.
The sodium increases blood pressure and the preservatives in the processed meat reduce the tolerance to sugars. All the more, reduced tolerance to sugars increases the risk of developing diabetes.
Healthy alternatives to processed meat:
- Lean or low-fat meat or poultry
- Chicken breast
- Boiled chicken
- Fatty fish like salmon, trout and tuna
To conclude, eating processed meat occasionally is fine and will not be harmful. But do not eat them regularly as they can have a negative impact on your health. Foods that have a lot of calories, saturated fat and sodium tend to increase weight, belly fat and blood pressure, which in turn, may lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases or high blood sugar levels. Instead, you should go for a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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