The Epidemiology of Processed Food

Spring is here, and if you’re like me, that means it won’t be long before you’re firing up the charcoals and grilling some of your favorite foods.

But this year I want you to try something different — even if it’s a little painful. I want you to cut hot dogs and sausages out of your grilling routine for good. Because according to a massive new study processed meats boost your risk of early death by a whopping 44 percent!

Yes, according to Swiss researchers, that mustard-slathered hot dog doesn’t just come with a bun — it might as well come with a pine box too.

Here’s the deal — a research team led by the head of cancer epidemiology and prevention at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich studied the eating habits of 450,000 adults.

None of these adults had suffered cancer, heart disease, or strokes at the start of the study — but it sure didn’t stay that way. By the end of the study, more than 26,000 participants had died, and many of them had one thing in common — they loved their processed meat.

The research subjects who ate the most processed meat, such as hot dogs and sausages, literally shaved YEARS off their lives. Their risk of premature death was a staggering 44 percent higher than the risk of volunteers who ate the least processed meats.

And researchers say that’s no surprise. The nitrates in processed meat have been linked to a host of cancers, particularly stomach and colon cancers, and these meats are loaded with artery-clogging cholesterol and fat.

Just eating 40 grams of processed meat a day is enough to increase your risk of early death. And while that may sound like a lot, it isn’t — it’s about the equivalent of one hot dog.

These meats may taste good, but they’re anything but good for you.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love a good barbecue as much as the next guy. But join me in serving up chicken and fish at your next cookout, and give the sausage and hot dogs a rest. You’ll be doing yourself — and your guests — the favor of a lifetime.

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