What ARE processed meats? Processed meats are any meat that has been preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding chemical preservatives. Commonly used processed meats include sausage, bacon, ham, hot dogs, pepperoni and luncheon meats.
Why avoid processed meat? Processed meat contains nitrites which can form cancer-causing compounds.
Why limit red meat? Red meat contains heme iron which can damage the lining of the colon. Red meat also stimulates the production of cancer-causing agents in the gut.
Helpful Tips from AICR to cut down on Red Meat:
- Instead of planning dinner around red meat, choose your vegetables and whole grains first, then think of red meat as a condiment to flavor your meal.
- In casseroles, soups and stew, cut the amount of red meat in half and substitute beans (rinsed and drained first if using canned beans) for the remaining amount of meat
- Enjoy other sources of plant and lean animal protein: fish, poultry, nut butters, tofu and other minimally processed soy foods, high-protein grains like quinoa, beans and legumes.