Cardiologists Say We Must Stop Buying This Meat Immediately

By: Lauren Wurth | Last updated: Nov 15, 2023

Heart health is a leading topic in our world today. Research has established that heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States.

In response, cardiologists have found ways we can avoid losing our lives to these heart defects. Staying away from a certain meat product ranks high on their list. Let’s see why. 

How Serious Is the Heart Health Crisis?

There is a good reason why cardiovascular disease or diseases affecting the heart have been one of the hottest health topics for decades now. That’s because its threat to human life has become more concerning. 


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Presently, cardiovascular disease still ranks number one on the list of life-threatening diseases. In 2020, at least 928,741 people lost their lives to heart-related ailments. To date, the trend hasn’t changed. 


The Various Contributions of Heart Diseases to Mortality

Among the people who lost their lives to heart diseases in 2020, research showed that coronary heart disease caused 41.2% of fatalities, stroke caused 17.3%, and other cardiovascular diseases caused 16.8%. 


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Also on the list was high blood pressure which was responsible for 12.9%, heart failure, 9.2%, and diseases affecting the arteries, 2.6%. The next question is, how do we avoid falling victim to these ailments? 

Red Meat Has Dominated the Heart Discourse

We can hardly talk about the dangers of heart disease without a mention of its major contributor, which is red meat. Experts have long established that the high saturated fat in red meat is dangerous to the heart. 


Source: Taste of Home

Also, research has shown that some nutrients in red meat, when broken down in the body, contain another dangerous substance called trimethylamine N-oxide. This substance has been found to raise the risk of stroke, hardened arteries, and heart attacks. 

Are We Focusing Too Much on Red Meat?

The focus on red meat could be pretty misleading. As harmful as red meat is to heart health, focusing on red meat alone is helping an equally harmful heart threat to hide in plain sight. 


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Recently, scientists have begun to raise the alarm over this formidable enemy of human health which has gained easy access to our dinner tables. 

The Dangers of Processed Meats Have Been Largely Ignored

Most people who have run away from fresh red meats are heavy on the processed version. Scientists have found that these processed foods are also contributing to heart problems, even more than fresh red meats.

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Processed meats are meats that have been transformed by smoking, curing, sweetening, salting, and the addition of chemical preservatives. While these processes have been carried out with good intentions, which include improving their tastes and durability, they are a danger to human health. 


Why Are Processed Meats so Dangerous?

The processing of these meats dangerously increases their salt and sugar content, and that’s in addition to their high composition of saturated fat. 

Source: Virtual Health Partners

These twin hazards are responsible for the surge in blood pressure and increase in weight, which are two body conditions that lead to cardiovascular disease. These processed beef and ham feature prominently on our grocery shelves. Let’s not forget our much-loved bacon. 


Avoid Deli Meats

Cardiologists have placed Deli Meats at the top of the lists of products you must beware of if you want your heart to maintain its health. 

Source: University of Oxford

Dr. Raed Bargout, a highly experienced cardiologist, said, “Processed deli meat…can increase the risk of cardiovascular events including heart attacks and stroke.” He further advised that you should reduce, if not eliminate, your consumption of deli meat. 


Do Processed Meats Cause Cancer Too?

Yes, they do. Studies have established a link between processed meat and vulnerability to cancer. The International Agency on Research for Cancer (IARC) has declared processed meats to be cancer-causing. 

Source: Moffitt Cancer Center

According to the agency, processed meats have been largely responsible for breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer. Aside from cancer, consumption of processed meats also has a link to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 


Is This a Goodbye to Deli Meats?

You don’t have to forgo these dangerous meats to beat heart disease. You can limit your consumption of deli meats and other processed meats and maintain good health. 

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Cardiologists advise using fresh fish, turkey, and chicken for your sandwiches instead. You can also opt for alternative protein sources such as eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, and hummus. There are also delicious vegetarian sausages you can try in place of bacon, chorizo, and the like. 


How Much Processed Meat Is Too Much?

Experts have announced that anything more than 150 grams (about 5.3 ounces) of processed meat per week will increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 46%. It also increases the risk of death by 50%. 

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All it takes to consume 150 grams of processed meat a week is by eating 5 slices of deli meat of one-eighth inch thickness, 5 slices of bacon, and a little less than two hotdogs. 


Final Verdict: Avoid Processed Meats if You Can

If you can restrict your consumption of processed meats within the healthy limit, that’s great. But you can decide to take no chances by eliminating processed foods from your grocery list. 

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With the mounting evidence against the consumption of these products, cardiologists aren’t ruling out the possibility of newer and stricter discoveries about the dangers of these modified meats. It’s better to be safe than sorry!