Processed Meats: The Killer in Your Sandwich
Did you know that processed meats have been labeled "too dangerous for human consumption"? That's right, the slice of ham you're putting in your sandwich is going to kill you!
It sounds funny and slightly dramatic to say that "processed meats will kill you", but the sad truth is that it's true. The World Cancer Research Fund has recently released a statement saying that processed meats are going to cause all kinds of cancer-related problems, and the internet is abuzz with the news! It's a sad day for hero subs and hoagies around the world, but it's a great day for mankind and their health!
Why Processed Meats are So Dangerous
The WCRF has labeled all processed meats as dangerous, which includes:
- Sandwich and lunch meats (say goodbye to the Black Forest Ham Subway sandwich)
- Beef Jerky (everyone's favorite road trip snack)
- Hot dogs (what will Gray's Papaya sell now?)
- Meats used in processed, canned, and frozen foods (Campbell's Chicken Soup and meaty TV dinner meals are no longer an option)
All of this processed meat has received the warning label as being "too dangerous for human consumption" - an indication of just how dangerous this food can be.
The culprit that forced the WCRF to make this declaration: sodium nitrite. Not to be confused with equally evil but slightly less damaging sodium nitrate, sodium nitrate is added to food in order to bring out the color. However, more than just bringing out the color of your food, it brings out the cancer in your body!
The WRCF states that sodium nitrite is directly linked to cancer, and it can cause a drastic increase in your risk of developing pancreatic cancer (a whopping 67%) and colo-rectal cancer (50% increase for every 50 grams of the processed meats you eat). Sodium nitrite causes nitrosamines to form in your body, which in turn promote the growth of carcinogens. Basically, it's going to increase your risk of cancer drastically, to the point where eating sodium nitrite almost guarantees that you'll break out with the Big C.
Sodium nitrite is used in processed foods to make the red of the meat look even redder, meaning that pretty much any processed meat that is slightly red or pink is going to be dangerous for you. Don't even get me started on meats like hot dogs, mystery meat, Spam, and baloney, but stick with the healthy stuff that you buy raw!
The Danger of All Meat
I am by no means advocating vegetarianism here - I'm an avid carnivore myself - but there's a lot to be said for a diet low on red meats. Both processed and raw red meats have their dangers, such as high sodium content, high saturated fat content, sodium nitrite of course, and many other problems. Red meat can be a dangerous addition to your menu, so it's wise to consider cutting it out - or at the very least reducing it.
Eating just one or two meals of red meat a week will ensure that you get all of the amino acids that you can only get from meat, but without overdoing it on the saturated fat. Processed meat, of course, is off the menu, so no more hot dogs, chorizo, salami, pepperoni, ham sandwiches, or pre-packaged burgers. Bacon is a food to keep an eye on, as the cheap stuff is often made with the sodium nitrite injected in it to make it look good. The costlier bacon is made without the injections, but it's going to be high in fat. If you want to be healthy, it's best to go with the healthier food options - fruits, veggies, and lean proteins.