Sausage not steak, increases heart disease risk : Study

sausagesA study suggests that eating processed meat such as sausages increases the likelihood of heart disease, while red meat does not seem to be as harmful, The researchers speculated that given similar quantities of cholesterol and saturated fats, the difference may be explained by the salt and preservatives added to processed meats however there was no such risk from eating even twice as much as unprocessed meat , such as beef m lamb or pork.

The Harvard School of Public Health looked at studies involving more than one million participants from 10 countries. Lead Author Reneta Micha said “Although cause-and-effect cannot be proven by these types of long-term observational studies, all of these studies adjusted for other risk factors, Also, the lifestyle factors associated with eating unprocessed meats and processed meats were similar, but only processed meats were linked to higher risk”. While a spokesman for BPEX, which represents pork producers, insisted processed meats could form part of a balanced diet suggested further research was required before any dietary recommendations could me made. He added “Various studies indicate that high consumption of processed meat can be indicative of an overall poorly balanced diet: therefore it could be other aspects of the diet that are contributing to the increase in risk”.

It may be noted that a key risk factor to heart disease is the salt increased blood pressure in some people. The authors said , writing online in the journal circulation “Consumption of processed meats, but not red meats, is associated with higher incidence of coronary heart disease and mellitus (Type 2). This suggests that differences in salt and preservatives, rather than fats, might explain the higher risk of heart disease seen with processed meats, but not with unprocessed red meats. Processed meats contained, on average, four times more sodium and 50% more nitrate preservatives”.

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