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Author Topic: Processed meats  (Read 4798 times)

Rita

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Processed meats
« on: August 27, 2013, 08:02:23 AM »
I have this very good book that I'm reading called The Great Cholesterol Myth.    I got it for my husband who is still on the low fat whole grain mindset for a heart healthy diet.  It's an easy read, well laid out book, that goes into lots of studies and is heavy on nutrition.  They are not fans of statins and they make a very good case.   It's right in line with what we all believe on this forum.  Sugar and carbs are the main culprits of heart disease.


But the book goes much deeper into other areas of nutrition as well.


One thing I'm not sure about now is the bacon I eat.  I'm buying Applegate bacon from Whole Foods.  It's uncured, minimally processed, organic, and is the healthiest option on bacon that I have found thus far.   I buy it from the meat counter, so I don't have a package that I can take a good look at.


So anyhow, an excerpt from this book says:


Quote
Processed meats contribute to both inflammation in general and heart disease specifically.


Harvard researchers investigated the effect of eating processed meat versus unprocessed meat.  Processed meat was defined as any meat preserved by curing, salting, smoking, or with the addition of chemical preservatives such as those found in salami, sausages, hot dogs, luncheon meats and bacon.  ( Previous studies had rarely separated processed meat from unprocessed meat when investigating the relationship between disease and meat eating).   The researchers analyzed twenty studies that included a total of 1,218,380 people from ten countries on four continents.  They found that each 1.8 ounce daily serving of processed meat ( about one hot dog or a couple of slices of deli meat) was associated with a 42 percent higher risk of developing heart disease.   ( In contrast, no relationship was found between heart disease and nonprocessed red meat)


Although the study didn't identify which specific ingredients in processed meat could be responsible for the association, many health professionals believe that high levels of sodium and nitrates might be responsible.   "When we looked at average nutrients in unprocessed red and processed meats eaten in the US, we found that they contained similar amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.  In contrast, processed meats contained on average, four times more sodium and 50 percent more nitrate preservatives," said Renata Micha, a research fellow in the department of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the study.  "This suggests that differences in salt and preservatives, rather than fats, might explain the higher risk of heart disease and diabetes seen with processed meats, but not with unprocessed red meats"




So although I have organic, no antibioitic, minimally processed bacon with no nitrate or nitrites added ( except those naturally occuring in sea salt), it's still smoked, and has sea salt and sugar added.


Thoughts?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 11:32:45 AM by Rita »

Rita

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 09:04:55 AM »
Okay-  just learned some new things from Mark's Daily Apple on bacon.


According to him, he thinks bacon is fine.  But a few recommendations:


1)  Stay below the upper limit of 1500-2300 mg of sodium for the day.  ( Most of us have cut out processed foods, so this is easy to do.  But, if a diet still consists of lots of processed foods, it's pretty easy to get too much sodium in )


     Side note from me -   Potassium works opposite sodium, so if you increase sodium, you also need to increase potassium or you will be out of balance




2)  Mark says it's not worth getting nitrite free or nitrate free bacon, as we get nitrates and nitrites everyday anyhow from our vegetables.     But, he says that nitrates can convert to nitrosomes, which is a known carcinogen.  However, having a serving of vegetables or vitamins C or E with that meal, will help inhibit this conversion.   Apparently, vitamin C is added to most bacon formulas because of this.

Linda R

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 09:08:44 AM »

Rita

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 09:22:54 AM »
So 2 slices is 290 mg of sodium.   I think I can live with that.   I normally don't cook with salt and need to still have a source of salt.    And I'll just make sure we have some berries with our breakfast.  ( I always include berries with our breakfast anyhow ).


So I'm thinking about these beef sticks to add in my son's school lunch, with a little aged cheese from hormone free cows, a hard boiled egg, and some veggies.

http://www.oregontrailjerky.com/glutenfree.aspx

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 09:27:01 AM by Rita »

bcflyfisher

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 11:09:06 AM »
I'd be interested to know how they controlled for other lifestyle factors in that study.  I strongly suspect that people who are inclined to regularly choose convenience foods such as processed meats are likely to score high in other risk factors.  Other processed foods, packaged foods, pop, sugar, carbs, fast food, drive-through, sedentary lifestyle.......


I also find it interesting that Mark says what he does about maximum sodium intake yet many, many other sources describe the need to increase one's sodium intake in conjunction with a low carb diet.  2 sides to every story, but for the most part I think Mark has it "right" almost all the time. 

HungryinTN

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 12:08:44 PM »
I also find it interesting that Mark says what he does about maximum sodium intake yet many, many other sources describe the need to increase one's sodium intake in conjunction with a low carb diet.  2 sides to every story, but for the most part I think Mark has it "right" almost all the time.


In my head he's talking about high-sodium foods, not sea salt.  I add lots of sea salt to the foods that I cook, but very little that I eat has a high sodium content.  I think that if you are following the WB/paleo/primal lifestyle, that is generally going to be the case.  I guess the upshot of that would be eat the bacon, but don't eat nothing but bacon all day every day. 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 12:15:55 PM by Rita »

Bob Niland (Boundless)

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 01:45:15 PM »
[> Mark says it's not worth getting nitrite free or nitrate free bacon, as we get nitrates and nitrites everyday anyhow from our vegetables.     But, he says that nitrates can convert to nitrosamine, which is a known carcinogen.  However, having a serving of vegetables or vitamins C or E with that meal, will help inhibit this conversion.   Apparently, vitamin C is added to most bacon formulas because of this.

And if you are very low carb, you may be largely immune to low-level carcinogens, so the nitrosamines hardly matter.

If you really want bacon in the raw, look for organic no-hormone no-antibiotic "side pork". Or hunt feral hogs, which are a major pest species in many places.

The sugars in cured pork are a much bigger problem than the nitrites in my view.

Rita

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 03:17:22 PM »
Actually ... I should be making my own jerky






And I should be making my own bacon:


http://paleodietlifestyle.com/homemade-bacon/
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 03:21:50 PM by Rita »

Lila

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2013, 05:21:16 PM »
I don't care for jerky but I surely like bacon and sausage and occasionally mystery meat hot dogs (have been alternating between Kosher hotdogs and Oscar Meyer uncured).  The last bacon I bought is uncured. I do have sausage or bacon for breakfast with eggs (I still feel guilty).


I also haven't been tracking my sodium, suspect I may be overdoing it because with the weather warmer the last few days, I have some leg and ankle swelling.  (which could also be due to my "absolutely fine" thyroid...we'll know in a few days whether the TSH is a good enough measure of that)


Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2013, 07:08:57 PM »
I just came back from Whole Foods and they do carry nitrate and sugar free bacon.  According to the video, it is easy enough to "cure" your own bacon.  But, where would you purchase a slab of pork belly?  Does it have to be special ordered?  I am assuming that you want the pigs to be raised without hormones and additives.  Do pigs need to be pastured?  You can tell I am not a country gal!


Another thought is: will the slab of mostly soft fat be easy to cut or do you need a slicing machine to do it?  I would really hate to go to all the trouble of searching for, buying and curing a slab only to hack it into irregular slices because it was too difficult to cut.

Rita

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2013, 07:21:44 PM »
I know Barbara.  A pain.


So maybe I should just be fine with the bacon I'm eating.   It's just that it's a big part of the diet these days, so I want to feel 100% good about what I'm doing and what I'm feeding my son.

Jan in Key West

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2013, 07:31:24 AM »
Applegate Farms bacon is fairly 'clean'......with the exception of the 'less than 2% evaporated cane syrup'.  We've tried the local/pastured uncured antibiotic/hormone free slab variety and didn't care for it.

Bob Niland (Boundless)

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2013, 09:57:23 AM »
> with the exception of the 'less than 2% evaporated cane syrup'.

That amount of sugar, in two slices of bacon, is less than 1 gram,
perhaps worth avoiding for a low-carber, but irrelevant to anyone else.

An honorable food seller would have just called it "sugar", or
in this case "organic sugar".

Using the phrase "evaporated cane syrup" means one of two things:
1. The seller is a wool-pulling charlatan, and/or
2. The seller thinks you are a food-fad chasing idiot.

Table sugar is evaporated cane syrup. That's how it's made.

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2013, 11:10:42 AM »
Thank you Boundless!


Would you know anything about actually cutting the side slab of bacon?  Should I be concerned?  Could your wife easily do it?


Jan in Key West

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2013, 11:12:27 AM »
Guess we'll have to try the slab stuff again.....or just forego bacon altogether!

Bob Niland (Boundless)

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2013, 11:43:53 AM »
> Would you know anything about actually cutting the side slab of bacon?

Side pork can usually be bought already sliced. And in any authentic butcher shop, they can slice it for you if it's not.

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Re: Processed meats
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2013, 11:43:53 AM »

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