Processed Meat and its Effect on Bone Health | Fragile Bones

Nutritional Advice

Processed meat

How much is too much?

Image of processed meat and red meat items
Have you ever thought about how your processed and red meat consumption adds up each day?

Good to know about processed meat:

Sliced cold cuts of meat

Cold cuts

Sliced cold cuts are often preserved with salt, sugar, seasonings and other chemical preservatives. Take the (slightly) healthier route and choose natural sliced meats without nitrates and preservatives.

Alternatives to processed meat items

Alternatives to processed meat

Consider eating more meatless meals, cut back on the amount of processed meat you eat and increase your intake of fruit and vegetables to become healthier.1,2

Consumption of processed meat and its relation to health problems

Link to diseases

Studies have found strong links between processed meat consumption and health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and bowel and stomach cancer.2,3

In more detail

First of all, what is processed meat? It’s meat that has been preserved by curing, salting, smoking, drying or canning. Processed meat can also be found in ready meals. Meat that has been frozen or undergone mechanical processing (e.g. cutting or slicing) is considered unprocessed. Processed meat is generally considered unhealthy, and has been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer and heart disease. Studies have also shown that people with unhealthy lifestyles eat more processed meats than people who have a healthy diet. This makes it difficult to be one hundred percent certain that processed meat is responsible for the increased risk of osteoporosis. But, it is suspected that it is the combination of processed meat with other unhealthy lifestyle factor(s), such as smoking or a low intake of fruit and vegetables, that causes the increased risk.3