Processed Meat Linked to Heart Disease

by Jodee on May 25, 2010

Do you enjoy eating cold cuts and other types of processed meats? The results of a study conducted by researchers in the United States may make you want to rethink this part of your diet. Eating foods like bacon, sausage and hot dogs regularly can increase your risk of heart disease by 42 percent.

The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) compiled information taken from 1,600 studies conducted around the world that included approximately 1.2 million people. The results indicated that eating a single hot dog or one or two slices of deli meats daily was enough to make the risk of heart disease jump.

The salt and preservatives used in preparing these foods may be the real reason why these foods aren’t the healthiest choices. High levels of sodium have already been linked to heart disease.

Eating non-processed meats doesn’t appear to carry the same level of risk for heart health. If you enjoy red meat, you can include lean cuts in your diet. Choose healthier cooking methods, like baking, broiling or grilling, more often. You can also make a point of trimming excess fat off before cooking.

Chicken or turkey can also be part of a heart-healthy diet. If you like hamburgers, try adding some variety to your table by picking up some ground turkey and making turkey burgers instead? You may want to add some spices to the meat before cooking to jazz up the patties, since the turkey can be a little bland on its own.

Once the turkey burgers are cooked, serve them on whole wheat buns. Feel free to garnish with some relish, onion, lettuce and tomato for a tasty sandwich that the whole family can enjoy.

You can still eat processed meats occasionally without increasing your risk of developing heart disease. According to the results of the study, eating these types of foods once a week or so won’t lead to heart problems. Keep them in mind for an occasional treat instead of including them in your daily diet if you want to be good to your heart.

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