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Recommendations for processed meat intake

What’s the skinny on processed meats you ask? Well, like most things in nutrition and oncology - it’s complicated! I know on the #ketodiet - bacon, deli meats and other processed meats are abundant in most peoples low carb diet. However, those who are following Keto for cancer, I would encourage you to decrease and limit your consumption of processed red meats like deli meats, hot dogs, bacon and salami. The American Institute for Cancer Research and The World Health Organization has identified many ways in which processed red meats can be carcinogens. Processing could include salting, curing, fermenting and smoking red meats that include beef, pork, lamb and goat. Many of these red meats are processed with nitrates that react to the heme iron (iron coming from animals) that act as carcinogens in our body. These can create compounds when cooked at high heat called heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Research shows that eating regular amounts of processed red meats increase one’s risk especially for colorectal cancer and stomach cancer. .
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This doesn’t mean that you CAN’T have these foods! Our current recommendations are to avoid if possible, but if you do choose to eat these foods, I would stick to 3 servings per week, or avoid more than 12-16 ounces eaten per week. My personal recommendation is always to eat mindfully. Every bite you take can either enhance or deteriorate your health!