Nutritional Health

Nutrition focus – Processed Meats Cause Cancer

cancer_meatsIt is now proven beyond any doubt that certain processed meats cause cancer. Processed meats – such as bacon, sausages and ham – do cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Its report said 50g of processed meat a day – less than two slices of bacon – increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%. the report is based on research that an estimated 50-gram portion of processed meat you eat increases the risk of colorectal cancer.

What is processed meat?

Processed meat has been modified to either extend its shelf life or change the taste and the main methods are smoking, curing, or adding salt or preservatives. Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky and ham as well as canned meat and meat-based sauces. According to estimates cited by the WHO, about 34,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide can be attributed to diets that are high in processed meat. Also it has been found that 10% of vegetarian hot dog products contain meat. Perhaps worse, the company found hygiene issues in four of its 21 vegetarian samples. It also found human DNA in 2% of its hot dog samples. Overall, 14.4% of the hot dogs and sausages tested by Clear Foods “were problematic,” the company said. Clear Foods is a company that “translates quantifiable molecular tests into actionable food data insights,” In English, that means it uses genetic sequencing to figure out just what’s in your lunch.Its results on hot dogs aren’t always comforting. Overall, the company found nutritional label inaccuracies, pork substitution and some unexpected ingredients, including chicken and lamb.

Make your meals heavier on the vegetable, bean and cereal side. Fish and poultry are not included in this report as unsafe. You can also snack on nuts and fruit. You don’t have to do anything so extreme as avoiding carbohydrates as this has nothing to do with cancer. However, carbohydrates are better if they are of the whole-grain variety. Cook with olive oil as opposed to butter so you can limit the amount of saturated fat, meat and dairy.

So bottom line, if you must eat meat, make it a special treat rather than a staple. Eat more plants and you’ll feel better, you’ll be healthier and as we see most times, you’ll look good, too.

Guest author: Dr Paul Brown Bodhise, Mabuhay Chiropractic Specialist
Sources: National Public Radio, CNN, Science Blog, The Guardian, New York

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