What's all the commotion about meat that has been processed? Let's see if we can understand it better. The name "processed" meat is used for meat that is salted, smoked or treated in a different way to extend its shelf life. Examples are: smoked ham, bacon, salami, smoked sausages, and most of the minced meat products on the market. Meat products that are frozen or boiled are not considered as "processed" in this context. Meat products that are smoked, salted or conserved with nitrite or nitrate should be reduced from your diet. On the other hand, it is advisable to products that are cooked by cooking, frying, drying, canning, fermentation or freezing.

Live longer

New research from BMC Medicine shows a link between treated meat and premature death. More than half a million men and women between 35-69 years were in ten countries followed by researchers over a decade. At the end of the study, 26,000 of them died. The researchers found a correlation between Processed Meat and increased the chance of early death, especially from cardiovascular disease and cancer. According to Women's Health Magazine, researchers estimate that around 3 percent of early deaths a year could be avoided by restricting its intake to less than 20 grams per day on average.

Linked to Intestinal Cancer

Red and processed meat have also come to the warning list after clear links to intestinal cancer.

It's advisable to keep the weekly intake at a maximum of 500 grams a week. The research shows a clear connection between intake of processed meat and cancer of the rectum and colon.

Potential DNA damage

Nutrition professor Rune Blomhoff, states that there are complex mechanisms that can make you get cancer.

"In red meat, there are substances that we call carcinogens, which can damage the genome DNA, and increase the risk of cancer cells forming," Blomhoff said.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

"One might think, among other things, that iron in the muscle fibers of the meat can act locally in the intestine because iron is harmful in free form. Here are probably more things that work together - a bunch of mechanisms,” Blomhoff says.

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So, instead of risking your health, you can reduce the intake of processed meat products by choosing pure raw materials with little fat and salt.

For those who have too much intake of processed red meat, the health authorities recommend replacing this with chicken and turkey meat. The meat, which are considered red, are cows, pigs, sheep, and goats.