Nutritionist Lucy Hyland

Reducing Processed Meats

March 13, 2024
Posted by Lucy

A recent article in the Irish Times talked about the link between processed meats and mortality:

Processed meats are generally considered meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives.Ham, bacon, pastrami, sausages, hot dogs and luncheon meats are all considered processed meat.

Eaten in excess they can be damaging to your health, and may increase rick of cancer and heart disease.

If you regularly eat these products, i.e. every day or several times a week, you might consider switching these for other meats/fish or protein options (eggs, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds).

Some examples include:

If you enjoy bacon or sausage at breakfast, reduce down to once a week and other the other days try an egg or some fish (kippers, sardines, salmon).

If you use luncheon meat for your sandwich during the week, use leftover meats from the night before. If you are making a fish dish, add another fillet of fish OR if you are having a roast of chicken of beef, save a few slices for your sandwich the next day. Other options are hummus or cheese.

Switch your roast ham or bacon to a lean meat such as chicken, turkey or a lean piece of beef or lamb. Limit your intake of red meat to about twice a week.

Remember that you should limit your portion of protein with each meal to the size of the palm of your hand. If you are still feeling hungry after a meal, then increase the vegetables with the meal to help you feel fuller for longer. Pack half your plate with vegetables or stuff your sandwich with vegetables.

It is easy enough to reduce these processed meats when you switch them for a meat that is less processed or another type of protein based foods.

processed meats

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