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If You Are Too Fond Of Processed Meat, Think Twice; It Is Not A Healthy Food

By Shubham Ghosh

Processed meat is very popular in today's fast food culture. But, it is extremely unhealthy and can lead to serious heart ailments and cancer if taken over a long time. The main reason why processed meat is unhealthy is that it contains chemicals that are not present in fresh meat.

Processed meat is the food product which has been preserved by the means of salting, smoking, drying and canning and by means of adding chemicals as well. It includes sausages, ham, salami, hot dog, dried meat, smoked meat, corned beef, canned meat, etc.

Processed meat is considered unhealthy for the health and people who tend to lead unhealthy lifestyle consume more of it. For example, people who eat processed meat in a large quantity also smoke a lot and consume less fruits and vegetables that are good for health.

Eating processed meat can lead to several chronic ailments like high blood pressure and heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stomach cancer, etc.

Its Effect On Health As Per A Study

Until recently, there was not much evidence to confirm the link between processed meat and health hazards like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.

In 2010, the Harvard School of Public Health carried out a study, which found that consuming processed meat is related to over 40 per cent increased risk for heart disease and nearly 20 per cent higher chance for type 2 diabetes. Hot dogs and bacons were found to be particularly harmful.

The same study also saw that processed meat contains about four times more sodium and 50 per cent more nitrate preservatives. The salt and preservative concentration made processed meat more dangerous for heart ailments and diabetes.

In 2012, the Harvard institute concluded that even small quantities of processed meat eaten on a regular basis increase the risk of cancer and heart disease.

What Does Processed Meat Contain?

The nitrate compounds used to preserve processed meat lead to the formation of cancer-causing compounds called carcinogens.

Processed meat contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon or PAH, which can cause cancer. It damages the DNA. These findings have led to the conclusion that eating just one serving of processed meat in a week or even less would reduce the risk of serious diseases.

It is always advised hence to increase natural foods and add those that are prepared with ingredients that are healthy for our body. Those who are fond of meat can focus more on the natural varieties and prepare them with healthy ingredients at home. It will definitely help them to live extra days.

Read more about: heart cancer diabetes disease
Story first published: Friday, December 9, 2016, 15:30 [IST]
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