What are the health risks of processed meats?

Processed meat -- bacon, pastrami, and the like -- is as high in saturated fat as other types of red meat, and that's bad for your cholesterol. It's also high in sodium, which can boost your blood pressure, and nitrates, which may mess with your body's glucose tolerance and raise your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The equivalent of a couple of slices of deli meat or a hot dog a day is linked to a 42 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and a 19 percent greater risk of diabetes.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Processed meats such as cold cuts, bacon, sausages, and hot dogs contain nitrates, chemical additives that preserve freshness. Nitrates have been linked to stomach cancer and other degenerative diseases. These fatty meat products also are full of unhealthy saturated fat that can raise levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease and strokes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.