Processed meat causes early death

You can’t exactly now when and where you will find your death. But it’s clear that you can bring it closer through the diets high in processed meat.

Diets high in processed meats like sausages, ham, bacon, etc. were linked to cardiovascular disease such as infarction or the stroke, cancer, early deaths.

The researchers, writing in the journal BMC Medicine, said salt and chemicals used to preserve the meat may damage health.

The British Heart Foundation suggested opting for leaner cuts of meat.

The study followed people from 10 European countries for nearly 13 years on average.

Lifestyle factors
It showed people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours known to damage health.

However, the researchers said even after those risk factors were accounted for, processed meat still damaged health.

One in every 17 people participated the study died. It became clear that those who eat more than 160g of processed meat (two bangers and a slice of grilled bacon) per day are 45% more likely to die over typical follow-up time of 13 years than those who chooses not more than 20g of processed meat per day.

In total, nearly 10,000 people died from cancer and 5,500 from heart problems.
Prof Sabine Rohrmann, from the University of Zurich, told the BBC: “High meat consumption, especially processed meat, is associated with a less healthy lifestyle.
“But after adjusting for smoking, obesity and other confounders we think there is a risk of eating processed meat.
“Stopping smoking is more important than cutting meat, but I would recommend people reduce their meat intake.”
Health benefits
She said that deathes could be prevented by eating no more than 20 g of processed meat per day.
The UK government recommends eating no more than 70g of red or processed meat – two slices of bacon – a day.
A spokesperson said: “People who eat a lot of red and processed meat should consider cutting down.”
However the study proved that only mixed food has real health benefits so vegetarianism as well as diet poor in fruits and vegetables is harmful.
Ursula Arens from the British Dietetic Association told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that putting fresh meat through a mincer did not make it processed meat.
She said even good quality ham or sausages were still classed as processed meat, while homemade burgers using fresh meat were not.
“For most people there’s no need to cut back on fresh, red meat. For people who have very high intake of red meat – eat lots of red meat every day – there is the recommendation that they should moderate their intake,” she added.
Doctor also confirmed that the study’s finding that processed meat was linked to heart disease was new.
Dr. Roger Leicester, a consultant surgeon and a member of the Meat Advisory Panel, said: “I would agree people should eat small quantities of processed meat.”
However, he said there needed to be a focus on how meat was processed: “We need to know what the preservatives are, what the salt content is, what the meat content is…meat is actually an essential part of our diet.”
The organisation said there would be 4,000 fewer cases of bowel cancer if people had less than 10g a day.
“This is why World Cancer Research Fund recommends people avoid processed meat,” said Dr Thompson.
Tracy Parker, a heart health dietitian with the British Heart Foundation, said the research suggested processed meat might be linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and early death, but those who ate more of it in the study also made unhealthy lifestyle choices.

“They ate less fruit and vegetables and were more likely to smoke, which may have had an impact on results.
“Red meat can still be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.
“Opting for leaner cuts and using healthier cooking methods such as grilling will help to keep your heart healthy.
“If you eat lots of processed meat, try to vary your diet with other protein choices such as chicken, fish, beans or lentils.”


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