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Processed Red Meat Increases Risk of Heart Failure

Processed Red Meat Increases Risk of Heart Failure

Unfortunately processed red meats are an integral part of the Standard American Diet. The United States is among the top meat-eating nations in the world. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average American consumed more than 71.2 pounds of red meat (beef, veal, pork, and lamb) in 2012. About 22% of the red meats consumed in the United States are processed. It is not uncommon to see the average American munching a few ounces of sausage or bacon for breakfast, chomp down a quarter pound hamburger for lunch, and an eight-ounce steak for dinner. But do you know that eating lots of processed meat products may increase the risk of suffering and dying from heart failure? I thought so...

Processed Meats Elevate the Risk of Heart Failure

The findings of a 2014 study conducted by a team of researchers from the Department of Nutritional Epidemiology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet in Stokolm, Sweden and the Department of Human Nutrition, Warsaw University of Life Sciences reveal that high dietary intake of processed meats raises the risk of heart failure. Using validated food frequency questionnaires, researchers collated and analyzed data on the diets of 37,035 cancer- and cardiovascular-disease-free Swedish men who were between the ages 45-79 years for a period of 12 years.

The team of researchers discovered that high intake of processed meat products doubled the risk of heart failure. In addition, subjects who regularly consumed 75 grams of processed meats per day had 28% higher chances of suffering from heart failure than low- and non-consumers of processed meat products. Heart failure morbidity and mortality risks were also found to increase by 8% and 38% respectively for every additional 50 grams of processed meat consumed per day. The researchers, therefore, concluded that heart failure and its accompanying adverse effects, including death, are more likely to occur in individuals who enjoy eating diets rich in processed meats than in persons who hardly ever consume or completely avoid these products.

Processed Meats Do Not Protect Your Heart

Meats processed by different methods, including salting, curing, smoking, and additives, such as nitrates, have been fingered as the cause of many health problems, including colon cancer and heart failure. So next time you are tempted to devour an enticing piece of bacon, steak, hot dog, or hamburger, take a moment to consider the damage that sumptuous processed meat product could do to your heart.

Additional Information: 

(1) Who has Heart Disease? Everyone?

(2) Red Meat, Gut Bacteria and Heart Disease

(3) Nitrites in Processed Meats Cause Cancer

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