Mar 4, 2016
From vegan to carnivore, from low-carb to low-fat, and from Paleolithic to Mediterranean, no matter which nutritionist or diet advocate you ask, you’ll hear them all say one thing in common: stay away from processed meats!
But why is that, exactly? What makes sausages, salami, and pepperoni so much worse than ham, chicken, and beef? Why does meat lose its nutritional value when you process it?
- It Uses The Worst Cuts
Ever since they were first invented, sausages have been used as a way to get rid of the less than choice parts of pork and beef. While the best cuts are sold on their own, the remaining edible but unsellable parts are covered in a generous supply of spices to mask their flavor and then ground up into sausages. You can usually count on these parts being fattier, less nutritious, and full of cholesterol.
- It’s Full Of Salt
Salt is a preservative, which is part of the reason it’s added to less processed cold cuts in addition to highly processed sausages and salamis. Of course, salt also happens to be tasty, and so the other reason meat processing factories add so much salt is because it tricks people into liking their products. Of course, too much salt can raise your blood pressure, and the reason it’s such a widespread problem is because every company is using this trick.
- It’s Full Of Preservatives
You may have heard about the deadly cancer-causing potential of nitrites, though you may not have heard about how other sources include spinach and even saliva. It’s worth stating that the nitrates in processed meats are still a small cause of concern, especially for those who use proton pump inhibitors, and there may be some yet-unknown cancer-causing factors in processed meats, but by far the biggest causes of concern are the high fat and sodium contents.
Whether you consider meat in general to be good or bad, the fact is that processed meat is more trouble than it’s worth. While you won’t have a heart attack just by eating a single hot dog at a backyard party, the more you can avoid processed meats the better off you’ll be.