Deli Meat Boosts Heart Attack Risk by 50%

According to a new American study, eating bacon, sausages, hot dogs and
other processed meats can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Eating unprocessed beef, pork or lamb appeared not to raise risks of
heart attacks and diabetes, they said, suggesting that salt and
chemical preservatives may be the real cause of these two health
problems associated with eating meat.

The study, an analysis of other research called a meta-analysis, did
not look at high blood pressure or cancer, which are also linked with
high meat consumption.

“To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should consider
which types of meats they are eating,” said Renata Micha of the Harvard
School of Public Health, whose study appears in the journal Circulation.

“Processed meats such as bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs and
processed deli meats may be the most important to avoid,” Micha said in
a statement.

Based on her findings, she said people who eat one serving per week or less of processed meats have less of a risk.

Most dietary guidelines recommend eating less meat. Individual
studies looking at relationships between eating meat and cardiovascular
diseases and diabetes have had mixed results.

But studies rarely look for differences in risk between processed and unprocessed red meats, Micha said.

She and colleagues did  systematic review of nearly 1,600 studies
from around the world looking for evidence of a link between eating
processed and unprocessed red meat and the risk of heart disease and

They defined processed meat as any meat preserved by smoking, curing
or salting, or with the addition of chemical preservatives. Meats in
this category included bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs or processed
deli or luncheon meats. Unprocessed red meat included beef, lamb or
pork, but not poultry.

They found that on average, each 50 gram daily serving of processed
meat a day – one to two slices of deli meats or one hot dog – was
associated with a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 19
percent higher risk of developing diabetes.

They found not higher heart or diabetes risk in people who ate only
unprocessed red meats. The team adjusted for a number of factors,
including how much meat people ate. They said lifestyle factors were
similar between those who ate processed and unprocessed meats.

The Spinal Centre’s Comment:

I think most of us are guilty of sitting down to a big plate of eggs
and bacon occasionally, or succumbing to the ‘big breakfast’ on a
Sunday morning down at the local cafe. Unfortunately, as with a lot of
things, it’s a case of everything in moderation.

It comes as no surprise that food packed with fat, salt,
preservatives, colouring etc. can cause heart disease and diabetes.
Really – gorging yourself on bacon, sausages, hot dogs, ham and any
sort of salami was never going to be good for you.

Obviously, avoidance is the best approach. But that’s no fun for a lot of people.

Try to cut it down to once a week or less. Only have a bit of bacon
on the weekend, and fill your sandwiches with fresh meat or salad
instead of deli ham. Make smart food choices – fill up with fresh
vegies, fruit, unprocessed lean meat, fish – and you’ll really be
negating the need for a slice of ham or piece of salami.

Want to know more about eating to prevent disease and promote good health? It’s not as hard as it may seem. ReadHealth Promoting Nutrition‘ for a great starting guide, and ‘Why Change your Diet?‘ for that extra bit of incentive. Diabesity is another great article illustrating how our dietary habits are literally killing us.

What else can I do?

  • Move it or lose it. Exercise is often undervalued. Truth is,
    exercise is one of the best tools you have to prevent disease and live
    a long, healthy life. Stop making excuses, and start doing half an hour
    of exercise everyday.Click here for more information.
  • Supplement for your health. As well as good diet and exercise,
    there a several different supplements you can take to help ward off
    heart disease and diabetes.Use fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease your risk of
    heart attack, protect against hard arteries and lower your blood
    pressure. They are also a great natural anti-inflammatory, boost
    concentration and support skin and hair health.

    Don’t just settle on the cheapest fish oil you can find – you need
    the correct ratios and potency to benefit from supplementation. The Spinal Centre
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    Take a multivitamin everyday. A great multivitamin helps to
    ‘fill in the gaps in your diet’, and recent research has shown that
    long-term regular use of a multi may reduce the risk of dying from
    heart disease by 16%. Add on the benefits of a healthy diet, omega-3
    supplementation and regular exercise, and you are well on your way to
    preventing a potentially fatal disease. Check outThe Best Multivitamins for our best multimineral/multivitamin supplements.

    The heart enzyme CoQ10. Co-Enzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring
    compound that is vital for energy production. As we age, or use statin
    medications, CoQ10 is depleted from the body, leading to poor energy
    production, lowered immune health and free radical damage – factors
    known to contribute to heart disease occurrence. Refer to Co-Enzyme Q10 Formulasfor the best CoQ10 supplements around.

  • Get sugar cravings all the time? Try a natural blood-sugar balancing formula like Eagle Pharmaceuticals Gluco Support.

Further Reading: