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Don’t we already know that processed meats aren’t good for us?

Posted in: General Health 08 Mar, 2013

This week science has proven that eating large amounts of processed meats on a daily basis is bad for you. Yes, eating a bacon roll a day is not good for you. This shouldn’t be groundbreaking news for anybody, but considering that lifestyle diseases in the UK are continuously on the, the truth might be that many of us don’t always know what we should and shouldn’t be eating.

The study

The study mentioned stretched over the course of 12.7 years and during this time 10, 000 people died of cancer and 5, 500 people as a result of cardiovascular problems. The researchers found that there was a link between many of the deaths and consumption of processed meats in large quantities on a daily basis, large being about 160g of processed meat. This equates to two sausages and a slice of bacon.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to your fry-up forever, as having a moderate amount of processed meat actually had some benefits.

What we should be having

Currently the UK government recommends that you eat no more than 70g of processed meat a day, according the BBC website. This is not something I was even aware of. I wasn’t even fully aware of what meats were considered processed. When I think of processed meat, I tend to think mostly of sausages or corned beef, but most of the meats we eat are processed. This means that I’ve probably eaten more portions of processed meat than I should have, and I don’t think that I am completely alone.

Meat is considered processed when something’s been done to it to enhance its shelf life and alter its original taste and even the best quality Cumberlands are still not completely free of potential artery clogging elements.

Fresh is better

Fresh cuts of meats with the fatty bits trimmed off are the only way to go, but they aren’t always the most affordable options. Although planning meals in advance and buying cheaper cuts to stew or buying meat when they are discounted and freezing them is also an option. Most meat is perfectly fine to freeze and still taste good if prepared in a healthy way.

However, having too much red meat, no matter how good the cut is, is still not desirable and the British Heart Foundation recommends that a healthy balance of other meats in your diet, this means eating fresh fish and poultry a few nights and having a hiatus from any kind of red or processed meat.

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