Proccesed Meats are deadly and here is why... by Dr. Mercola visit Mercola.com.
Processed meats are those preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or the addition of chemical preservatives. This includes bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs, some sausages and hamburgers (if they have been preserved with salt or chemical additives) and more.
Particularly problematic are the nitrates that are added to these meats as a preservative, coloring and flavoring. The nitrates found in processed meats are frequently converted into nitrosamines, which are clearly associated with an increased risk of certain cancers.
It’s for this reason that the USDA actually requires adding ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or erythorbic acid to bacon cure, as it helps reduces the formation of nitrosamines.
Meat cooked at high temperatures, as many processed meats often are, can also contain as many as 20 different kinds of heterocyclic amines, or HCAs for short. These substances are also linked to cancer.
In terms of HCAs, the worst part of the meat is the blackened section, which is why you should always avoid charring your meat, and never eat blackened sections. Heating meat at high temperatures also appears to increase the formation of nitrosamines, with well-done or burned bacon having significantly more nitrosamines than less well-done bacon.
So at the very least you will want to surely avoid eating hot dogs, bacon or sausages that are charred and very well done.
Many processed meats are also smoked as part of the curing process, and smoking is a well-known cause of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which enter your food during the smoking process.
There may be other factors at play as well, but at the very least it’s known that eating processed meats exposes you to at least three cancer-causing substances: nitrates and nitrites (leading to nitrosamines), heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Learn more