What are processed meats

According to the WHO (World Health Organization) eating processed meat increases the possibility of suffering from colorectal cancer. After these statements that the Agency for Research against Cancer (IARC) has released, it has been known that food products such as sausages, canned meats, or sausages contain toxins that can cause the appearance of cancer. It is, for this reason, we want to discover what processed meats are and also make you aware of this statement so that you understand the relationship between these foods and the appearance of cancer.

Processed meat and cancer

The data released by the WHO are clear and direct: for every 50 grams of processed meat you eat daily, the chances of suffering from colorectal cancer throughout your life increase by 18%. A team of 22 experts from the Agency for Research Against Cancer came to this conclusion after analyzing 800 different types of cancers that occurred in the colon and rectum.

It is for this reason that they have placed processed meats in group 1 of carcinogenic products, a place that also includes other harmful agents such as tobacco, alcohol, or UV rays. This group is the one that includes the most dangerous substances for people’s health and, from now on, meats such as sausages, bacon, or sausages will also be part of this list.

The type of cancer caused by processed meats occurs in the colon and rectum and, in fact, about 34,000 deaths per year can be attributed to eating a diet rich in this type of food. This given, however, is well below other products that are also part of the aforementioned group 1, such as tobacco, which annually causes around 1,000,000 deaths a year due to cancer, or alcohol which each year affects 600,000 people.

This same study also talks about red meat (beef, pork, beef, etc.) and considers it “probably carcinogenic to humans”. But the conclusions drawn from the study are not as evident as they have been in that of processed meats. There is no scientific evidence that can attribute 100% a direct relationship between red meat and cancer. Although there are some warnings in this regard and, therefore. It is recommended to considerably reduce your intake.

What are processed meats?

Once this news has been received, most people have surely wondered: what are processed meats? To answer this question, we refer, once again, to the IARC study that designates processed meats as any meat that has been transformed through processes such as salting, fermentation, curing, smoking, etc. Therefore, any meat that has been altered and does not have a 100% natural flavor would be included in this group of processed meats.

One of these meats is sausages which are meat preparations that include a much higher percentage of fatty acids and cholesterol than natural meat. In addition, they are prepared with a lot of salt (which is added to increase their conservation). And, in the industrial process, chemicals can also be added so that the meat is not contaminated. As is the case with nitrosamines, a substance that contains carcinogenic substances.

Next, we are going to give you a list of processed meats. So that you know what they are and can, thus, limit their consumption:

  • Bacon
  • Sausages: salami, cold cuts, fuet, sausage, chorizo, serrano ham, sausage, etc.
  • Sausages and their derivatives: frankfurters, botifarras, hot dogs, etc.
  • Blood sausage
  • Burgers
  • Dumplings
  • Pre-cooked lasagna or cannelloni
  • Nuggets
  • Corned meats
  • Chistorra
  • Dried meat
  • Corned beef
  • Meat-based sauces (prepared Bolognese sauces, for example, are also processed meats)

And, in general, any meat that you know you are not taking in its natural form. But has been industrially treated, that is, processed.

A healthy diet

According to the IARC, to reduce the risk of cancer. The most recommended thing is that you stop eating processed meats and switch to natural alternatives without chemical additives. As with tobacco or alcohol, in order to have a healthy life. The best thing to do is to stop including these foods in your diet.

This does not mean that you have to stop eating hamburgers. But instead of buying the one that is already prepared in the supermarket. Go to the butcher shop, and ask him to mince the meat. And prepare a homemade hamburger yourself. In this way, you make sure that the main base of this dish. That is, the meat is without additives and without substances that could harm your health.

To know how to eat after this published study, what you have to think about is buying those meats that have the natural form (if it is chicken, make it a chicken, not a chicken nugget because in that recipe there will be very little chicken). And If you want to make special dishes like hamburgers or meatballs, make them yourself to avoid introducing carcinogenic toxins into your body.

In addition to this, do not forget that in order to eat a healthy diet you must enjoy a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low in fat and sugar, and where fish is also an important part of your menu. After this news, all you have to do is start changing habits, such as:

  • Stop having the ham sandwich every day and opt for a cheese one. Or prepare a vegetable one with egg, lettuce, tomato, and onion, for example.
  • Prepare your own hamburgers or meatballs at home.
  • In general, any prepared product that contains meat should not be consumed. And, failing that, you can prepare it yourself: meat sauces, lasagna, etc. .

As you can see, what this study indicates is something that we could already imagine: prepared or canned dishes do not contain the same nutritional value as in their natural form and, what is more, the extra substances they contain are carcinogenic. For this reason, we must begin to move to a healthy life, cook with natural foods. And put aside products that can seriously harm our state of health.