Why You Should Avoid Processed Meats

Processed meat –- a harmless snack or a dangerous plunge into illness? If you were like me, you probably grew up enjoying corndogs at the summer fair or a turkey sandwich for lunch. Processed meats are in various foods that are readily available in places like grocery stores, restaurants, and fast food chains. They can be found in your cheeseburger, ham sandwich, or hot dog. Although they may be quite tasty, health threats are lurking between the buns. Numerous preservatives, salts, chemicals, and sugars are added to foods like bacon, sausage, and ham for various reasons. They’re added to enhance flavor, improve taste, boost texture, and prevent the meat from spoiling too soon. While they improve certain characteristics of the meat, they can wreak havoc on your health and wellness down the line.

Numerous research studies have been conducted that link processed meats to health threats like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The World Health Organization classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogenic – having the potential to cause cancer - to humans. Ingredients like nitrates and nitrites are used in many processed meats to preserve shelf life, but they pose the risk of potentially damaging cells.

Lower Your Consumption of:
- Cured Bacon
- Jerky
- Salami
- Canned Meat
- Corned Beef
- Pepperoni
- Hot Dogs
- Prepackaged Deli Meats

If you want to remain health-conscious, it’s important to limit your processed meat intake. Incorporating better options into your diet like roasted chicken, tuna, and legumes will offer greater long-term health benefits. If there are ingredients you can’t pronounce in your meals, you probably shouldn’t be consuming them in the first place.

- Cut back on processed meat
- Be diligent when it comes to readings labels
- Look out for dangerous ingredients
- Replace processed meats with healthier options
- Go for the veggie options