Bacon, Ham, Salami and Sausages
It’s no secret we love our meat in N.Z., especially processed meats—bacon, sausages, ham, salami, corned beef. Coincidentally, did you know that we have one of the highest colorectal cancer rates in the world?
Kiwi women ranked 9th in the world in a 2018 tally. Unfortunately the two are related. Yep, that delicious sausie could be your one-way ticket to cancer-town or a layover in heart disease-ville. In fact, 34,000 cancer deaths per year globally are attributed to diets high in processed meat. Why? One of the big culprits are preservatives pumped into the meats to prevent bacteria growth and extend shelf life. But these chemically-derived additives are foreign to our bodies and can wreak havoc on our systems.
If the idea of foregoing your favourite breakfast and barbecue proteins is too much to fathom, then make this easy swap:
Look at the labels and if there are preservatives, put it back.
There are preservative-free options in many grocery chains (I buy Henderson’s bacon at Pak n Save) or ask your butcher (my local has nitrate-free bacon and MSG-free sausages).
Or get your own made and ask the butcher for preservative-free.
What about ham sandwiches?
You probably won’t like the answer: Best to limit them. (I’ve swapped ham sandwiches for natural peanut butter in my household.)
The Cancer Society recommends processed meats should not be a regular or normal part of your diet.
Keep it to small amounts every once in a while.
Really want to head to the top of the DIY cooking class? Make your own bacon.
And make sure to balance it with an extra serve of broccoli if you do eat it. Eating more vegetables reduces your chance of colorectal cancer.
Image: Bacon, Courtesy of Anne Watson Photography