What are the harmful effects of cured meat?

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Cured meat is the meat preserved by means of adding salt, sugar, nitrite, and nitrates. The curing process can also involve cooking the meat at a particular temperature, smoking it, or adding flavor. While the meat is cured primarily to kill the bacteria and keep the meat from spoiling, it may also contribute to some ill effects:

·        It is high in salt, which is the main ingredient used in curing. Increased salt intake can result in high blood pressure and eventually lead to heart disease.

·        Some bacteria might be tolerant to salt and may survive in spite of the curing. This might lead to food borne pathogens causing illness.

·        Research also suggests a link between cured meat and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This lung disease is believed to be caused by the nitrites used in cured meat.

So, did you know that red meat is healthy if not cured?