Dangers of Processed Foods

CLEVELAND CLINIC, OH-- Fourth of July cookouts and hot dogs pretty much go hand in hand, so chances are you may have had more than one this weekend! While nobody is going to mistake a hot dog for health food, you might not realize how bad processed meat can be for our health.

A new study found middle-aged men who eat high amounts of processed red meats may have a higher risk of heart failure. Dr. Kate Patton said, "that just means they're getting a lot of extra sodium, a lot of extra animal fat, and that's what put them at higher risk for heart failure." Warsaw University Researchers studied more than 37,000 men with no history of heart problems.

After nearly 12 years, they found men who ate at least 75 grams of processed red meat every day were 28% more likely to develop heart failure than men who ate less than 25 grams of processed red meat per day. In fact, the biggest processed meat eaters more than doubled their chances of dying from heart failure. Processed meats include things like sausages, ham, salami, and hot dogs. They're typically higher in sodium and other chemicals, which help increase shelf-life, but can also, be harmful to our health.

"If you're eating sausage for breakfast, and salami for lunch, and having some type of processed meat for dinner, then right, maybe try and cut that back to only once or twice a day," said Dr. Patton.

Complete findings for the study, "Processed and Unprocessed Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure: A prospective study of men" can be found in the journal "Circulation: Heart failure."

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