What You Need To Know About Processed Meats

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Processed cold meat

Hi all,
I just wanted to share a quick message about processed meats. In 2015 the World Health Organization released a statement about processed meats and how it affects you. You can find more information here.

In the meantime, check out my video on processed meats and what to look for when buying your food and meal planning.

This is hard news to accept in the low carb community, I understand. We love our bacon and our quick fixes! It doesn’t mean we have to give up these foods entirely, but we really do need to keep an eye on what we are eating and make sure we are not trading one disease for another.

For red meat, the concern is with a chemical known as heme, which is part of the red pigment in blood, hemoglobin. This is broken down in our stomachs to form a group of chemicals called N-nitroso compounds. Red meat is more of a problem because it generally has more of these chemicals in it when compared to other meats.These are known to damage the bowel, making it so more cells have to form and replace the damaged ones. The more often a cell replicates, the more “chances” there are of things going wrong and an “error” occurring in the cells DNA, which can lead to cancer.

It all sounds pretty complicated, but our cells regenerate quickly enough as it is. Just the cells in our stomach can be completely replaced every 5 days. When you speed up the process of billions of cells replicating at an already high rate, errors occur at a higher rate as well.

During the process of cooking meats with sodium nitrites,  these chemicals combine with amines found in meat naturally and form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. This process also occurs when barbecuing and cooking at high temperatures, this occurs when there is “charring of the meat”.
So despite what people may believe, the “quality” of the meat does not really play a role. You can get your meat from the local butcher or from Walmart, and will get the same result. It is the processing of the meat combined with chemicals already found in meat that can potentially lead to cancer.

There are some other options out there. Vermont Smoke & Cure Uncured Summer Sausage, 6 Ounce for example, is Nitrate Free. {affiliate link}

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky {affiliate link} Is also a Nitrate Free Product.

So we have options! We just need to use them!

Thanks for watching!