Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Which meat is good meat?

"Study suggests processed meat a real health risk" by Julie Steenhuysen

I've struggled with the issue of meat for a while now, mostly for ethical reasons regarding the treatment of animals, but also to take my measures of cholesterol prevention to the extra step.  I've never really thought about the whole lunchmeat situation, especially since it is the choice for many lunches.  When I used to buy lunchmeat, there was always a large number of people waiting to get their weekly deli choices.  Here's an interesting article forwarded to me by a diabetic friend (Thank you Larry!).

I think that the most important pieces of information to take from this article are:
"'To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should consider which types of meats they are eating,' said Renata Micha of the Harvard School of Public Health, whose study appears in the journal Circulation." 

"'Processed meats such as bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs and processed deli meats may be the most important to avoid,'" Micha said in a statement. 

Clearly, the Atkins Diet that so many people embarked on promoting the neverending eating of bacon (protein, protein, protein--no carbs, not even fruit!) cannot be the healthy answer... and avoiding super processed meats just seems like a more healthy alternative for those who are looking toward a more healthy lifestyle.  Isn't that why pregnant women typically avoid lunch meats and hot dogs as well?  I can just feel my feet swelling up thinking about all the sodium.  :)  (I just picture flying for a long flight and barely being able to walk because I haven't moved in so long, and my feet are swollen like sausage!  YIKES!)

If you get to read the article, you'll see that the "Meat People" (of course!) object to the information provided, because even though it has the potential to positively effect people's health and the always rising issue of obesity, the concern of the possible impact to their business causes panic.  There are always things that you could change to eat something better.  Choose wisely.  Even the new Food Pyramid that was changed by the Government (  is much less specific then it used to be with the opportunity for people to choose more wisely, simply saying (regarding meat) to "choose a lean or low-fat" meat, also endorsing choices of various nuts and beans.  Will you think about this the next time you're in line to get a lunch sandwich (i.e., a cold cut smothered with all those lunchmeats)?  Will you consider a more low-fat choice, like less processed turkey??  I've actually taken a different road for my husband by baking turkey breast and slicing it up for his lunches. :) 

The specific point here is the processing of meats:  "They defined processed meat as any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or with the addition of chemical preservatives. Meats in this category included bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs or processed deli or luncheon meats."  Just think of the chemicals and sodium used to process the meat..... is that something that you still would choose to put into your body?

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