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  • Writer's pictureAlos Infotech

Processed meat and type 2 diabetes are related !


An important study has been led by French scientists over 7 years and been published in Jan this year -(https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1004149

showing that there is a strong correlation between the nitrites (particularly those found in processed meat) and a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.



Why such a study ?

For a few years now, nitrites and nitrates have been questioned in several countries for their innocuousness. They have finally been incriminated in the rise of colorectal cancer risk.

In these countries, industrials have started offering "with no nitrites" alternatives to the classical processed meat in the supermarket.



But not ALL countries. Here, in SA, I never saw one mention of no nitrites :(


What are nitrites/nitrates and why are they so bad ?

Nitrates are naturally found in vegetal products (water, soil, or veg), but these are not so harmful.

Nitrites come from natural oxidization of azote by plant microorganisms.

The dangerous substances are the ones that are used as food preservatives. Their role is there to protect the meat


against bacterial growth as well as to improve the pink colour or the texture.

Nitrates are found on the labels (when there is one :() as E251 or E252

Nitrites are E249 or E250



In which products exactly ?

In absolutely any processed meat - pork or chicken ham, bacon, biltong, sausage, corn beef... The ones you buy at the butcher's do have nitrites and nitrates too. Yet, there is a maximum dose the providers are recommended not to pass - 200mg/kg of meat. But this is pure recommandation.


What should we do then ?

- Definitely limit your consumption of any processed meat to 1 or 2 times a week (150g). Meaning 1 or 2 portions. For instance, 1 portion is a slice of ham OR 6-7 slices of biltong.

- If you consume much processed meat to get your proteins, please find alternatives like

(each is 1 portion) 2 eggs, a bowl of cottage cheese, a greek yoghurt, a medium chicken breast...

Last thing, in case you are trying to lose weight, these mentioned above are better allies than processed meat ;) - less saturated fat, fewer chemicals and faster fullness feeling.


Careful with red meat - to be limited to 500g/week as its high consumption rises cancer risk by 30%.

Apart from that, it brings much saturated fat that is bad for your triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels.


Personally any thing I am asked to limit to get more chances to escape nasty chronic disease like diabetes, or deadly cancer, I will limit, won't you ? So, you know what to do :)



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