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Say NO to red processed meats


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SausagesEating processed meats leads to higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, shows a recent study by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health. After reviewing almost 1600 studies the researchers concluded that people who eat processed meats such as salami, bacon, hot dogs, sausages or processed deli meats have a 19 percent higher risk of developing diabetes and a 42 percent higher risk of developing heart disease.

“When we looked at average nutrients in unprocessed red and processed meats eaten in the United States, we found that they contained similar average amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol. In contrast, processed meats contained, on average, four times more sodium and 50 percent more nitrate preservatives,” said Renata Micha, a research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH and lead author of the study. “This suggests that differences in salt and preservatives, rather than fats, might explain the higher risk of heart disease and diabetes seen with processed meats, but not with unprocessed red meats.”

“To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should consider which types of meats they are eating. Processed meats such as bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs, and processed deli meats may be the most important to avoid,” said Micha. “Based on our findings, eating one serving per week or less would be associated with relatively small risk.”




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