Are ham and pastrami healthy?
Why is cured meat considered unhealthy?
Curing salt makes meat last longer and gives it a special flavor. However, due to its high salt content, cured meat can also be hazardous to health. Consumed in large quantities, bacon, smoked ham, sausage products and the like can cause cancer. According to the German Cancer Society, excessive consumption of salt increases the risk of certain types of cancer. Too much salt also has a negative effect on blood pressure.
Adults should not consume more than six grams of salt per day. For children, the recommended amount of three grams is even much lower. Because cured meat is very rich in salt, these limit values are reached quickly, so that it is not necessary to completely avoid it, but moderate consumption is definitely recommended.
Salt meat poses a far greater health risk when cooked at high temperatures. For this reason, you shouldn't grill cured meat. If the nitrite salts used for curing are heated, carcinogenic nitrosamines can form. Wiener sausages, Krakauer and other cured meats should therefore not be cooked on the grill or in the pan, or otherwise exposed to high temperatures, in order to avoid a health risk. The heat when cooking, however, is harmless.
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