Nitrate-Laden Processed Meats Might Disrupt Your Mental Health, Here’s Why

Nitrates in cured and processed meats such as beef jerky, bacon and hotdogs are known to be carcinogenic and have also been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. The nitrates in processed meats are turned into nitrites by bacteria in your mouth, and then into carcinogenic nitrosamines when they reach your stomach.

As explained by Gunter Kuhnle, professor of food and nutritional sciences at the University of Reading, U.K., “What makes processed meats so ideal for forming N-nitroso compounds is that they have a combination of nitrite and proteins from the meat. And the meat’s heme seems to help convert them into N-nitroso compounds.”

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