nitrates in cold meat?

Devon Greer member since Feb '12

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I have been hearing quite a bit lately about how you should not eat too much cold meat because of high levels of nitrates. They say to limit eating cold meats to 1-2 times a week??? Does anyone else have any insight to this? I eat at Subway a couple times a week and I also make ham or turkey sandwiches for my lunches at work so I eat quite a bit of cold meat, usually turkey and ham. Also, is the nitrate thing still true if I heat up a turkey or ham sandwich?

Thanks for the input.

posted : 3/25/2012 at 10:30 AM

member since Jun'10

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Sodium nitrite helps prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism in humans and is also used alone or in conjunction with sodium nitrate as a color fixative in cured meat and poultry products (bologna, hot dogs, bacon). During the cooking process, nitrites combine with amines naturally present in meat to form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. It is also suspected that nitrites can combine with amines in the human stomach to form N-nitroso compounds. These compounds are known carcinogens and have been associated with cancer of the oral cavity, urinary bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain.

Research in Sweden found that Swedes who ate on average three ounces of processed meat each day had a 15 percent greater chance of developing stomach cancer than those who consumed two ounces or less. Results of a study by the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and the University of Southern California reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2005;97:1458-65) of 190,000 people, ages 45 to 75, for seven years state that those who ate the most processed meat (bacon, ham, cold cuts) had a 68% higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those who ate the least. “Most” was defined as at least 0.6 ounce processed meat, one ounce beef or 0.3 ounce pork per 1,000 calories consumed.

posted : 3/25/2012 at 5:58 PM

member since Jun'10

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oh and the sodium levels of those cold meats you buy in the store is thru the roof

posted : 3/25/2012 at 5:59 PM

Devon Greer member since Feb'12

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Holy crap.......Wow. Thanks for he info. Time to mix up the lunch situation I guess....Looks like its back to good old PB&J Happy

So how do I know which meats are not "as" bad? Or do they exist? Aren't they all processed?

posted : 3/25/2012 at 6:49 PM

member since Jun'10

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well pretty much if they come in a small re-sealable bag thats a bad sign. If you really like chicken sandwiches but a roasted chciken in the supermarket, tear it all up at home and then make sandwiches with it. I heard even the Natural meat brand up here in Canada had to rebrand because they said all natural but still had nitrates in them just under a different name. Time to go back to pb&j like you said or veggie sandwiches or tunafish sandwiches or roast chicken sandwiches.

posted : 3/25/2012 at 7:14 PM

member since Jun'10

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oh and not to overwhelm you but this is just the tip of the iceburg. I wont even get its growth hormones, antibiotics, meat washed in amonia, mercury and arsenic levels, and gmo feed

posted : 3/25/2012 at 7:16 PM

Devon Greer member since Feb'12

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I am already overwhelmed....Is all the deli meat the same way?

posted : 3/25/2012 at 7:31 PM

member since Jun'10

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Unless they have a real butcher in the store then it is. Deli meats in butchers are not that way as they cut them all up to be like that but most supermarkets just buy everything premade and then display it. Def all the stuff hanging on the wall in little clear packages is. Then again so is smoked meats and bbq meats. BBQ meat makes it into a carcinogenic meat as well

posted : 3/25/2012 at 7:51 PM

Vicki Bowland member since Jun'10

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Actually, Boars Head has a line of lower sodium (or no added sodium) and Nitrite free. They don't keep as long, but they do taste good
But again, moderation is key.

posted : 3/26/2012 at 5:14 PM

member since Jun'10

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Well there ya go Devon. Im sure if they sell Boar's head meats in Smyrna, Tn then they will sell them as well in the cheese state. I have never heard of that brand but most cold meats in Canada are from Canada. Go check out your local store for boar's headHappy

Thanks for the input Vicki, those are nice looking doggies

posted : 3/26/2012 at 6:59 PM

Devon Greer member since Feb'12

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Well I dont think I can cut it all out. I love Subway and making a ham sandwich for lunch at work is just too easy and convenient but I will definitely be cutting back for sure. Maybe instead of my 6-8 sandwiches a week, I will cut back to 2-4.

Thanks again for all the advice.

posted : 3/26/2012 at 8:49 PM

Vicki Bowland member since Jun'10

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Canada and the US are a little weird about meat crossing the border-- but Boars Head is a national brand
It is available at Kroger's, Publix and Wegmans I think. Also, Whole Foods sells some packaged meats that are nitrite free a.d lower sodium.

If you really aren't sure, ask your deli counter to see the labels on the meats they sell! In the immortal words of Schoolhouse Rock " Knowledge is Power!"

And Robert-- thanks, they say "we are pretty and we are spoiled. Or is that pretty spoiled. Sometimes mom Co.fuses us!"

posted : 3/26/2012 at 8:55 PM

member since Jun'10

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Well I hope Devon is making his sandwiches at work on whole wheat or rye bread etc and not on white or nitrates is the least of his problemsHappy

posted : 3/26/2012 at 8:58 PM

Devon Greer member since Feb'12

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Definitely whole wheat bread, no butter, no mayo, just a good old fashioned meat, cheese and vegi sandwhich

posted : 3/26/2012 at 9:20 PM

member since Jun'10

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ok that sounds very sensible to me even if i camp in the veghead worldHappy

posted : 3/26/2012 at 9:40 PM

Matt Lathrop member since Jan'10

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You don't need to cut it out completely. Like anything, the toxicity is in the dose. I believe for a 150 lb male to eat a lethal does of nitrates, they'd have to consume about 20lbs of meat with the maximum allowable amount of nitrates in the meat. The FDA tightly controls how much is allowed, and I know people who plenty of veggies get more nitrates naturally that way than through cured meat.

Here is a good reference study

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/nutrition/DJ0974.html

This is an old study, but I dont know if much of the info included here has changed. Suffice it to say, nitrates are very low on my list of things to worry about.

posted : 3/26/2012 at 10:03 PM

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