Meat is an extremely popular type of food in the world. Two of the most common types of meat are processed meat as well as lean meat.
Some meats will fall into the lean meat category, while others will fall into the processed meat category. This time we are going to focus on processed meat rather than lean meat.
In this article, we will discuss what is considered processed meat, the benefits and risks, and finally, how much you should eat.
By the end, you will know everything you need to know about processed meat. We promise you that!
What Counts as Processed Meat?
Processed meat is a type of meat that has gone through curing, salting, smoking, or had preservatives added to it.
This helps the meat last longer than, say, a lean piece of meat would. It still can go bad, but it has a longer shelf life.
The foods that count as processed meat are canned meat, deli meat, sausages, bacon, and ham, to name a few.
In the next section, we will go into the benefits of eating processed meat as well as the risks of eating it. This is because where there are benefits, there are risks.
Benefits of Eating Processed Meat
You always hear how bad processed meat is because of the high amount of preservatives in it, but there are benefits to eating it.
- Even if it is processed meat is processed, it still has a lot of benefits, such as vitamins and minerals like zinc, thiamin, iron, and B vitamins. The type of benefit these vitamins and minerals have depended on the specific one in question. However, they all have general health benefits for people, which is always a good thing. If someone is getting this through processed meat, then so be it. At least they are getting it somewhere.
- Another benefit that is not exactly a health benefit is how easy and convenient processed meat is. It is a cheap alternative to buying meat at the deli and does not require a lot of time and effort to make. For people who are short on time and/or money, this can be a godsend.
Despite all the benefits, there still are risks that you should be aware of before eating or purchasing processed meat.
Risks of Eating Processed Meat
Processed meat comes with a lot of risks, sadly. They include the following:
- Eating processed meat can cause you to be at high risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The studies done so far seem to show that this can be a huge problem. Only time will tell if future studies will continue to say the same thing.
- Another issue with eating processed meat is that it can give you a higher risk of general mortality and chronic diseases. There are a lot of different chronic diseases out there, but all of them affect your life. They force you to have a complete and total lifestyle change if you want to be able to keep going.
So while processed meats do have some benefits and are convenient for people, they do come with a lot of risks.
The best way to avoid these risks is to just eat a certain amount of processed meat every week or so and not go over that limit.
How Much Processed Meat Should You Consume?
The thing about processed meat is that it is very convenient for people to eat. However, because it is high in salt, among other things, it should not be eaten all the time.
If you are going to eat any meat in moderation and not indulge, then it should be processed meat.
It is recommended that people only eat about 1 serving of processed meat a week which is about 3 ounces.
This is the amount that will not cause you many issues with your health. You can eat more than that now and then, but remember, it needs to be done in moderation.
And there you go, all you lean processed lovers out there! Now you know what counts as processed meat, what the benefits and risks there are, and finally, how much you should eat.
Keep in mind there are a lot of types of processed meat out there, so if one does not appeal to you, then you can always go with another.
Just always make sure to use safe food practices!
You might also be interested in the following:
- Is Egg Considered Meat?
- Is Shrimp Considered Red Meat?
- Is Seafood Considered Red Meat?
- Is Pork Considered Red Meat?
- Is Lamb Considered Red Meat?
- Is Ham Considered Red Meat?
- Is Fish Considered Red Meat?
- Is Chicken Considered Red Meat?
- What Is Considered White Meat?
- What Is Considered Lean Meat?
- What Is Considered Red Meat?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.