Nutrition: Choose healthier sausage varieties.


Since 2015, processed meat (which includes almost all sausages) has been classified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Several research studies have shown that the consumption of processed meat causes colon cancer. According to the WHO, the risk of colorectal cancer is said to increase by 18 percent per 50 gram portion of processed meat consumed daily.

Julia Zumpano is a registered nutritionist at the renowned Cleveland Clinic in the USA. In a recent article by the clinic, the expert explains what to look out for when buying sausage and sliced meat to minimize the associated health risks.

Many children and adults like to cover their bread with sausage or meat products. Ham, salami, sausage spread, mortadella – the choice is huge. But several recent studies have linked the consumption of sliced meat and sausage to the development of cancer and heart disease. But not every product is equally harmful. In the extensive range of sausage products, there are some options that are less harmful than others. A nutritional expert provides information.

Healthier options for sausage and sliced meat

These types of meat also contain large amounts of saturated fatty acids and nitrates, which are not only associated with the development of cancer, but also with an increased risk of obesity and heart disease.

In addition, meat products that have been cut from a whole piece of meat should be preferred. Such sliced meat is less processed and usually does not contain as many carcinogenic nitrates. According to Zumpano, good options here are turkey, chicken breast, lean ham or roast beef. These meat cuts also have the highest nutritional value compared to other sausages.

Why many sausages are harmful to health

Those who still don’t want to have their sausage taken off their bread can switch to healthier meat products – because not all products can be sheared over a comb. As Zumpano reports, one should first look for sausages of “delicacy or top quality”. This term is legally protected and ensures that no broken, processed sausage or reprocessed sausage meat has been used for the sausage.

Over 90 percent of sausages and sliced meat contain carcinogenic nitrite curing salt. However, some manufacturers produce sausage without nitrite curing salt and accept a paler color of the products. Such sausages are mainly found in organic supermarkets or in farm stores of organic farms. For example, the organic farming associations Demeter, Bioland and Gäa generally work without nitrite curing salt.

“You can also buy a raw roast, ham or chicken breast and prepare it yourself and then cut it into portions,” recommends Zumpano. With this homemade cold cuts, you know for sure which ingredients were used in the preparation.

By way of comparison, the average consumption of meat in Germany in 2019 was 59.5 kilograms per capita. This corresponds to an average weekly consumption of over 1100 grams of meat. (vb)

But even with less harmful meat products, meat should not be on the menu every day. The German Society for Nutrition advises adults not to eat more than 600 grams of meat per week. Better it is to orient itself rather at 300 gram weekly.

WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.


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