Meat that has been preserved through different processes such as salting, adding chemical preservatives, smoking, fermenting and curing is known as processed meat. It includes hot dogs, bacon, deli meats, sausages, ham and pepperoni.
Processed meats are convenient, affordable and ready to eat kinda food. It has been used worldwide, especially for those people who don’t have a desire or time to cook.
What is processed meat? It is the manipulation of fresh meat into something that can be preserved for a long time. A very simple solution that is becoming more and more useful these days. Most people love processed meat tastes and buy it because it is ready to eat meal. It has been used in many famous dishes.
Processed meat is famous among children which include hot-dogs, nuggets, sausages and pizza favorite pepperoni. Mostly it is liked for its flavor.
Different Types of Processed Meat:
Many people don’t know “what is considered processed meat.” It has been used everywhere and included in different products that are used on a daily basis. If the meat changed after slaughtering and cutting the animal into pieces and then preserving it through different processes, then it is considered to be processed meat.
Processed meat vary from region to region. Every country has its own kind of processed meat. The most widely used processed meat examples are as follows:
- Hot dogs
- Canned meat
- Dried meat
- Corned beef
Difference Between Processed and Unprocessed Meat:
Processed meat has more fat and calories, less cholesterol and protein than non processed meat.
Unprocessed red meat has no salt preservatives while processed meat has four times more salt in it.
In 2018, it was estimated that an American can eat an average of 100 kilos of meat per person.
Is Processed Meat Convenient or Beneficial?
In the United States, meat processed products are cheap because the United States government finances the farmers of crops like wheat and corn.
The largest crop of the United States is corn. It is used in countless processed food items such as sweet corn, candies, cereals, bread, snacks and many other things. The corn sweetener has also been used in the production of processed meat and poultry products.
People consider processed meat much cheaper than fresh meat. These industrialized ready-to-eat meals are loaded with chemical processes.
The main reason why processed meat is cheap compared to fresh meat because it is usually made with the “disposable” parts of the animals.
These highly processed foods are generally cheaper than fresh and healthier options. Life these days is so tough that people considered this processed food more convenient rather than fresh farm food. Because they are less time consuming i.e. ready to cook food. But the problem with this processed meat is that they are highly processed and unhealthy.
You can not deny or ignore the fact that PROCESSED MEATS ARE THE MAJOR CAUSE OF CANCEROUS AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES.
Processed Meat is Associated with an Unhealthy Lifestyle:
People who are not healthy-conscious eat more processed meat. The highly-processed meats are linked with harmful diseases. Eating processed meat is always associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. It has a very major effect on our life.
People who eat processed meat are usually involved in unhealthy activities. According to www.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed, smoking is progressively regular among those who eat lots of processed meat. Their intake of fresh vegetables and fruits is low and has an unhealthy lifestyle.
Diseases that are Caused by Processed Meat:
Many chronic diseases are caused by processed meat. Chronic disease is defined as a disease that continues for a long time. It can not be vaccinated or cured by any permanent medication or medicine.
Eating processed meat is related to an increased in many chronic diseases. These diseases include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Bowel and stomach cancer
- Pulmonary disease
“Is processed meat bad?” Processed meat is a major contributor to obesity and cancer around the world. It has been researched for many years, that processed meat and cancer are associated with one another. Eating 50 grams of processed meat daily, increase the risk of pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.
According to www.ncbi.nlm.nih, “A study of more than 200,000 women found that eating about 20 grams of processed meat each day, less than the size of an hot-dog, increased breast cancer rate 21 percent.”
The risk of colorectal cancer is more in the people who have a daily intake of processed meat. There are particularly three chemicals linked with colorectal cancer. One of these chemicals includes meat naturally. Others are added during the making of processed meat. These three chemicals are as follows:
- Heme is a pigment mostly found in red meat
- Nitrites and nitrates are added to keep meat fresh for a long time.
- Polycyclic and heterocyclic amines are delivered when meat is cooked at high temperatures.
All these chemicals can damage your cells in rectum and colon. Occurring damages may lead to cancer.
People who consume processed meat in their daily life have also an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
Processed meat includes many harmful chemicals that are not present in fresh meat.
Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Processed Meat:
- N-Nitroso compounds
N-Nitroso compounds are cancer-causing substances that are responsible for harmful effects in processed meat.
Nitrite or sodium nitrite is added to processed meat. It is used in it for three reasons. Firstly, to preserve the red or pink color of meat. Secondly, to improve the flavor of fresh meat. Thirdly, to prevent the growth of bacteria and cutting the risk of food poisoning.
Nitrosamines are the main source of processed meat. As it is formed when processed meats products are usually exposed to high heat, i.e. when frying an hot-dog or grilling sausages.
How to Avoid Processed Meat:
It is very hard to avoid such a thing, which you are using in your daily life. There are no such precautions through which you can avoid processed meat. You have to cut processed meat altogether from your life.
Unfortunately, it is not easy for many people out there. You have to be conscious about your health, your lifestyle and most importantly about your food intake. Initially, you can’t cut off from processed meat immediately but by avoiding it, i.e. switching it with other meals. To research alternatives to processed meat, you can easily avoid it.
People who are unable to give up on processed meat can buy their products from local producers. It is a great deal to know and understand where your food is coming.
To adopt a vegetarian lifestyle, initially, it will be very difficult for you. But it will decrease your intake of this toxic processed food. You can enjoy different kinds of vegetables as a snack. A vegetarian strictly avoids any kind of meat intake. Being a vegetarian is that you are aware of what you are eating and you are following a healthy diet plan.
Processed meat is not beneficial for human health. It is considered to be a major cause of many diseases. The process of cutting it down is not easy for anyone. It can not be done at any particular time. As human habits are difficult to break, but you can break it down, slowly and gradually. For this purpose, you need to educate yourself, about the food you intake, its advantages and disadvantages. One has to do enough research about his/her diet. Cutting down processed meat from your diet would be a great start to a healthy lifestyle.