Thinking about going a week without a hamburger, hotdogs, bacon and other processed meats may be difficult. However, you may want to consider how much processed meat you consume for health reasons. As a source of protein, meat can provide your body with necessary nutrients such as zinc, iron and B12. On the other hand, overconsumption of processed meat is thought to be related to negative health effects. Below are a few reasons why you should consider reducing your processed meat consumption.
- Helps you maintain a healthy weight
According to the BBC, researchers in a study of 400,000 adults found a direct link between eating meat and gaining weight. Meat contains various nutrients, including amino acids, that help you build lean muscle when taken in moderation. However, over-consuming high-fat processed meats, such as hot dogs and bacon, may contribute to weight gain and make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight, especially for those with a more sedentary lifestyle.
- Associated with various cancers
Research has associated the regular consumption of processed meats with various cancers, including colorectal cancer. Indeed, the World Health Organisation has categorised processed meat as a Class 1 carcinogen. But what is the proposed mechanism? Researchers have found that the chemicals such as Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic amines (PCAs), nitrate, and nitrites found in processed or red meat may be associated with the development of cancer. Focus on increasing your intake of plant-based foods, which are rich in fibre to support intestinal health. You might also opt to go for regular checks from reputable providers such as Check4Cancer to ensure you are in good health, especially if you are a regular processed meat eater.
- Effectively manage your blood sugar level and blood pressure
Another reason you should consider cutting meats out of your diet is to help manage your blood sugar level, blood pressure, and cholesterol. As mentioned earlier, the overconsumption of processed meat has been linked to weight gain and obesity. However, visceral adipose tissue increases your chances of associated diseases, such as diabetes. Processed meats also often contain high levels of sodium, which is linked with high blood pressure. This, in turn, may cause hypertension and lead to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks.