Posting in Food
The authors said salt and nitrate preservatives are the most likely cause of the difference.
A team under epidemiologist fellow Renata Mischa looked at 20 studies from 10 countries with over 1.2 million participants.
What they found was as little as two slices of bacon a day could raise patients' risk of heart disease by 42%, and raise diabetes risk by 19%.
The report in Circulation controlled for lifestyle, and found that the fat contents in both unprocessed and processed meat is roughly the same.
The authors said salt and nitrate preservatives are the most likely cause of the difference.
One solution offered by Englishman Tim Heyward is that you make your own bacon. That may control the nitrates, but you can't make bacon without a whole boatload of salt. When I have made country sausage at home, I also know to load it with salt or it will taste awful. (Worse, like offal.)
Sounds tasty, but Dariush Mozaffarian, who worked on the Mischa study, says replacing saturated fats like pork fat with polyunsaturated fats like olive oil can cut heart disease events (heart attack, stroke etc.) 19%. So it may be the type of fat has something to do with it.
The Mischa study also seems to buttress something the U.S. government is proposing to do already, namely lower the amount of salt in processed foods.
Fact is this is not the first study linking processed meat to bad health -- a 2007 study linked it to COPD, a gradual lessening of lung function that strangles its elderly victims more effectively than a greedy relative with a pillow.
But there's another unanswered question. Could it be the smoke? The Harvard report only looked at processed or unprocessed meat (they excluded poultry, so enjoy that smoked turkey sandwich for now).
I've found you can make a nice barbecue pork shoulder with just a spice rub and a half-cup of Liquid Smoke, in the oven low and slow. Is that better or worse for me than Oscar Meyer bacon, which was probably just injected with a brine solution and may not have been smoked at all?
And, just to pile more confusion on you, a University of Alabama-Birmingham study recently showed that a big breakfast of bacon and eggs, with a modest lunch and a small dinner, may be the best diet for everyone.
So is it the salt, is it the type of fat, is it the smoke, or is it when you eat it all that matters?
We don't know, but we're getting closer to the answers as to both why and how that delicious bacon is killing us so softly with its song.
May 18, 2010
I'm simply reporting what scientists are finding, as are most of our other reporters here at SmartPlanet. As to your not being dead yet, as they say, just wait. The question in this case is one of populations, not anecdotes. When a correlation is found across a large group it doesn't mean that it's true in every case. What we have in this case is clear evidence that something (probably nitrates, the authors say) is causing people to live shorter lives. And if you make it to 65 in this country, you're supposed to have a 50-50 chance of hitting 8 years. So hold off the victory dance until then. One more point. I love bacon.
You know... I just can't remember the last time I died because of eating bacon. Is something wrong with me, or what? I've been eating bacon for 75 years, and I just can't remember when it killed me the first time... I guess I'm dead and just don't know it... But I do know that something needs to be done with the quality of smart planet articles. These shallow articles are killing me, because they are wasting my precious time reading them. FYI, eating anything to excess will kill you eventually. Fat folks don't live as long as skinny folks, generally speaking. If you love bacon, eat it. You only live life once, so why not enjoy it while you have it.
You presently pay for the dribbling away of life, and lost productivity, caused by preventable causes of death. You pay for it through your insurance, because the uninsured are cared for, whether you like it or not. If that's OK with you, enjoy your bacon. But I'm also reminded of something Larry King said when turned 80, soon after he gave up smoking. "When you're 80 what you want most is 81." My mom, who is 86, agrees. She says if she knew she would live so long she would have taken better care of herself. In other words what you say may not be what you say later. But that won't count.
I think you're looking for what we call Canadian bacon, which is made with the loin. American bacon is made with the belly. And it seems to be the nitrates and salt, not the fat, that's the biggest problem. Salami, all processed meats. My bologna has a second name it's d-e-a-t-h.
I love meat but no longer eat it .All factory farmed meat uses up huge amounts of land that can be more efficiently used for raising other kinds of food with a smaller environmental impact. Also as a side note next time you cut yourself shaving imagine how the hamburger felt when it was an animal being killed for junk food
dixon757@ Hello,dixon? Didn't you know? ALL salt is "sea salt". How do you think that salt got into the salt mines? From a sea that dried up anywhere from 10,000 to 1 million years ago. Getting "sea salt" from our current oceans? Ugh. Would you drink ocean water? Full of plastic estrogen crap,etc Gimme ORGANIC salt, that was evaporated out of the ocean, back before humans polluted the oceans! LOL! Good luck with your "sea salt" And http://fibe.tk puts fiber in your diet!
Salt may not be the bogeyman advertised. Sea salt (unrefined) has a mineral balance close to that of the body. There is some evidence that salt in common use that doesnt have the balancing minerals creates an imbalance leading to some of the problems mentioned. Nitrates on the other hand may be more of a problem for us since it promotes arterial inflammation which is one of the early stages of plaque buildup.
jsgordon420 I so agree with you lets don't kill animals for food or profit.. that way in 30 years the animals can eat the humans and end the over crowded problem on this planet... Oh ! I love my meats....
Lot has been said about 'Justification' of Junk Food. Couldn't Disagree More And I support the fact of living a Healthy Life & Less of McDonalds
Avoid the Concealed Dangers in High-Fat Luncheon Meat.. ..Bacon, perhaps the most popular pork product in the average grocery store, is loaded with sodium nitrite. This is the same preservative that appears in most high-fat luncheon meat. I am a biochemist, and thinking about what happens to sodium nitrite when it reacts with your stomach acids makes my very, very concerned. Do you know why? Sodium nitrite reacts with the powerful acids in your stomach to form nitrosamines?one of the most potent cancer-causing agents known to man.. http://www.healthmasters.com/blog/avoid-concealed-dangers-high-fat-luncheon-meat
You don't even mention cancer: http://www.aicr.org/site/PageServer? pagename=recommendations_05_red_meat
Nor is it particularly newsworthy. The bottom line is that too much saturated fat and salt are bad for you. The problem is that some foods (like industrial bacon) are so high is salt, nitrites and saturated fat that a fairly small amount is still too much. General rule of thumb: if the ingredients list includes a lot of stuff that doesn't look like food, don't eat it. There are no guarantees in life but there are things you can do to increase your chances of living longer and, more to the point, feeling better while you do. Eating a healthy diet is one of those things. Less stress and more exercise are good as well. Always has been true, always will be.
Some articles are a pure waste of time. Eat whatever you want. Die when you want. It's your life, not this idiot journalist's to control.
Olive oil, is not predominately a polyunsaturated fat: it is almost entirely monounsaturated fat, which is even better for your cholesterol. That said, saturated fat still seems to be better for you than trans-fats, i.e. hydrogenated polyunsaturated fat, like margarine or Crisco. That said, I've long wondered why we can't get lean bacon like I had in England in this country, instead of the seven eighths (or more) fat stuff we get here.
Agreed, 1 - Stress is a bigger killer than most singled out "bad" foods. Had a friend .. was told by doctor to avoid eggs because of HLD/LDL readings were high.... Tried everything to reduce the readings. Nothing was working.. Then , while on vacation , went crazy on all the wrong foods. Visited doc after vacation.. the numbers had dropped dramatically... For my friend , the relationship between stress and healthy report from his doc was all it took to convince him. 2- healthy report from doc.. just helps you look good - statistically ...nothing more. 3- I question the Harvard study's value... reviewing 1600 other reports to find specific correlations ? Reminds me of a tech asking the engineer - what are the results you looking for in the requested test of experimental circuit? The engineer was puzzled with the question and asked for an explanation. The tech explained " how am I going to produce the desired results - without knowing what the desired results are? look for a correlation.. you will find a correlation.
Ok. Do we really care? It tastes good. Life is too short to worry about this stuff; I am saying enjoy life. Extending your life for another couple of years to have your diaper changed does not appeal to me. I will eat my bacon, eggs and other "not good for you stuff" and worry about the rest later. Oh, I had a one of those heart attack a few years ago, caused by "STRESS" of worry about eating bacon. Work, driving a car surround by idiots, fighting the rat race. So my choice as been to do as I want, not worry about work or what I eat. If I am late to work so be it if I am early be happy. I leave work early and not worry. When I worked 80 hours, no one seemed to mind. Just for the record, I had a physical before the heart attack, no problem, bp good, blood work excellent, and weight under control and in a health range. Exercised, was eating salads and all the healthy stuff staying away from all the unhealthy food. So now, I?ve changed my approach. Because the healthy crap almost killed me. So, give me my bottle of Cab Franc, some cheese, a few bacon wrapped pieces of processed food maybe ham, some raw fish and I'll see you the flip. I disagree with most findings anymore there is always a hidden process going on. So my thoughts are let?s reduce STRESS. No more than 25 hours of work a week at the same salary we make now, minimum of 6 weeks of pay vacation that you must take, those that can telecommute must at least 50% of the time (FEDERAL LAW), and no one can be fired or laid off. That will reduce stress which in the end will lower health care cost and promote a healthy life for all
When I read the title, I thought this was going to be another article slamming Kevin Bacon. Leave that man alone! But then, I read it, and its about something else entirely...OK, then, carry on.
It was a UAB study that identified a big breakfast as healthy. The Harvard work supports polyunsaturated fat and condemns all the food I love.
I'd like to see the scientific (umm... Economic?) argument that goes behind declaring Saturated, Salt laden diet as Healthy (Healthiest???) Amusing... I can assume why most people wanted to go to Harvard :)