Meat is an essential source of protein, B vitamins and trace elements. However, its increased consumption has been associated with the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, colon cancer or even premature death.
The World Health Organization has determined that processed meat is a major contributor to colon cancer, labeling it a "carcinogenic to humans."
Just one hot dog or a few strips of bacon eaten daily increases the risk of cancer by 18%. The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Research on Cancer (AIRC) also found that "the evidence for processed meat and cancer is clear."
Which meats are considered processed?
Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through
other procedures to enhance flavor or improve preservation.
Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal or meat by-products such as blood.
What types of meat are harmful to our health?
It is not right to blame all meats but it is tempting to give guidelines about which ones are more harmful to us.
All cured meats (bacon, ham, paris, salami)
any pre-prepared items such as frozen burgers or breaded chicken.
the corned beef
the biltong or beef
meat preparations and sauces.
What does W.H.O says?
Colorectal cancer isn’t the only cancer risk that comes from consuming processed meat. Eating 50 grams of processed meat daily also increases the risk of prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and overall cancer mortality. And a study of more than 200,000 women found that eating about 20 grams of processed meat each day—less than half the size of a regular hot dog—increased breast cancer risk by 21%.
Processed meat is also linked to cardiovascular disease and death, according to a study that found people eating more than 150 grams of processed meat per week increased their risk of heart disease and death by 46% and 51%, respectively, when compared to those who did not eat processed meat. A National Institutes of Health study of more than half a million people also found that those who consume the most processed meat have an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. A study published in JAMA found that processed meat consumption was tied to 57,766 deaths from cardiometabolic diseases in 2012.
Eating a hot dog takes away 36 minutes of healthy life (good-quality and disease-free life) according to a study that evaluated more than 5,800 foods and ranked them by their nutritional disease burden.
Grilled and Smoked Meat.
Red meat consumption can increase the risk of colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer. Grilling and smoking meat make it more dangerous to human health. chemicals worth knowing when it comes to carcinogens in smoked foods are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These form when meat cooks at high temperatures. Sugars and amino acids that comprise proteins in meat form HCAs upon reacting with heat.
PAHs form when fat and juice interact with the flame, stoking smoke, and then adhere to meat. Like smoking cigarettes, smoked meats expose people to PAHs, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
How much is safe?
The national dietary guide recommends the consumption of 20-30 g/week. This corresponds to one to two slices of turkey. Reduce the consumption of cold cuts and choose meals with legumes and vegetables. Use avocado sound though and vegetables in your toast or pie.
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