Okay . . . so yesterday I spoke briefly about being aware of the "nitrates" in any meat from a pig.
Well . . . today let's dig a little deeper because "nitrates" have a lot to do with our lack of optimal health and weight issues.
So what are "Nitrates"? Well . . . Nitrate are natural chemicals that are found in the soil, air and water. Sounds simple enough . . . . right?
Well . . . "Nitrates" are also used as a "food additive" (preservative) to stop the growth of bacteria and to enhance the flavor and/or color of food.
And we find these elements in cured meats, bacon, ham, salami, corned beef, hot dogs, pickled pig's feet, smoked salmon, dried fish, jerky, lunch meats and canned meat like vienna sausages and deviled ham to mention just a few.
So the only "good" part about nitrates are they fight harmful bacteria in ham, salami, and other processed and cured meats . . . so at least we know we're not going to get sick from a bacteria or parasite in that meat.
But . . . the "bad" news is . . . nitrates when processed and used for preservatives . . . have been found to increase our risk for heart disease and cancer. Sodium nitrates have been shown to damage our blood vessels, making our arteries more likely to harden and narrow leading to heart disease.
And under certain conditions in the human body . . . "nitrates" can damage cells and morph into molecules that cause "cancer"!
The key to this problem is this . . . Nitrates are relatively "inert" in soil, air and water, which means they're stable and unlikely to change and cause harm.
However . . . this is the important part . . . so listen up!
But then these "nitrates" are processed for a preservative . . . bacteria in the mouth or enzymes in the body can "convert" them into an element that "can" be "harmful" to our health. Studies have shown that "high nitrate" intake can "increase" the risk of developing "cancer".
And remember we spoke about "H. pylori" a few weeks ago . . . well, we all have a certain amount of this bacteria in our stomach on any normal given day . . . and this bacteria can "convert nitrates" into a compound that can cause "stomach" cancer.
You see . . . nitrates can form "nitrosamines" in the body which can increase the risk of developing "thyroid" cancer, "ovarian" cancer and some studies even suggest "brain" cancer.
So how do we fix this problem of "nitrates"? Well, first . . . stop eating the food I mentioned above.
Next . . . remember nitrates are in our soil naturally, so we "can't" eliminate natural "nitrate" all together because they're found in beet, celery, lettuce, radishes, spinach . . . the list goes on and on . . .
But . . . this is important . . . eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables actually lowers the risk of cancer. Cooking, boiling, steaming, broiling, baking and blanching all destroy the natural nitrates necessary for N-O production (we'll talk about Nitric Oxide on another day).
Eating a diet high in antioxidants, vitamin C and certain other vitamins can reduce the conversion of "nitrates" into "nitrosamines". Nitrosamines being a main "carcinogen" in tobacco smoke, bacon, hot dogs, processed meats, etc.
And as for how nitrates affect our weight . . .
Well . . . "nitrates" can affect the way the body uses "sugar" . . . making the body more likely to develop diabetes and have weight issues.
So eat your veggies people and stop eating food with preservatives!
As always, feel free to contact me here