The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) reported a study which found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. Another study revealed that every 50 grams (that's a little over 1 1/2 ounces) of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 50 percent.
The culprit? Sodium nitrite. It's a preservative and colorative (wonder why your red steak is SO red?). It is mainly found in red meat products (not in poultry or fish products). So, if you're interested in cutting your risk of colon or pancreatic cancer, do your best to stay away from the following processed foods. It's not that difficult to do.
- Beef jerky
- Hot dogs
- Sandwich meat
- Nearly all red meats sold at public schools, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and theme parks
Your best bet is to always read the ingredient labels and make sure sodium nitrite and monosodium glutamate (MSG) aren't in the ingredients list. And, if you do eat red meat, buy it organic. Pay the extra money - it will save you money in medical (and emotional) expenses down the line.