Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Eating Hot Dogs Might Raise Heart Disease Risk!

Previous studies have linked both processed meat and red meat to a higher risk of heart disease and cancer, which are the top 2 killers of people in most developed countries.

A study that was published online June 12, 2014 in ‘Circulation: Heart Failure’ again showed that men who ate the most processed red meat had a 28 percent higher risk of heart failure and twice the risk of dying over a 12-year period compared to men who ate the least. The highest intake in this case was equivalent to a 75-gram jumbo frank. 

Heart failure is one of the most common, costly and deadly cardiac conditions. More than 800,000 new cases will occur in the United States in 2014 and about 50 percent of those diagnosed will die within 5 years, according to the American Heart Association.

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden studied 37,035 men aged between 45 and 79 years old who had no history of heart failure, heart disease or cancer at the start. All participants were participating in the Cohort of Swedish Men study.

Questionnaires on what they ate and how often were distributed to the participants to answer. Processed meat questions dealt with consumption of sausages, cold cuts (ham/salami) and liver pate, and the unprocessed meat questions covered pork and beef/veal, including hamburger or ground-minced meat.

Processed red meats that are preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives contain salt, nitrates, phosphates and other food additives. Smoked and grilled meats also contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which could damage DNA and cause both heart disease and cancer. On the other hand, unprocessed meat is free from food additives and usually has a lower amount of salt.

Then, the men were followed from 1998 until they were diagnosed with heart failure or died, or until the study’s ended in 2010. Overall, nearly 2,900 men were diagnosed with heart failure and 266 died from the condition.

It was also found that the risk associated with heart failure seemed to rise 8 percent for every 1.7 ounces (about 50 grams) of processed red meat eaten daily, while the risk of dying from heart failure increased 38 percent for each increase. Unprocessed red meat such as steaks and burgers did not raise the risk.

While the study covered only men, the researchers expected to find similar results in a study of women.

Based on the findings, the researchers recommend not eating processed red meat at all and having only 1 to 2 servings or less of unprocessed red meat a week.

In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) both urge people to limit red meat. The United States government also advises people to eat a plant-based diet and keep meat portions small. The AHA recommends eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts, and limiting red meat and sugary foods and drinks.

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