Reliable studies link the consumption of processed meat with an increased risk of cancer. This is because processed meats contain added chemicals like salt, fat, flavors, and preservatives that are potentially carcinogenic. So, what should we consider processed meat? The WHO defines processed meat as that whose natural state has modified through curing, drying, canning, smoking, and salting. Furthermore, the processed meat list includes lunch meats like Pastrami, and sausages. Also, it features meat that restaurants prepare, such as hamburgers.

Because this type of meat is carcinogenic, health experts suggest that one should do away with it, or minimize consumption. Below is a list of such meats. Moreover, this includes the daily intake that specialists recommend.

Processed Meat List: 8 Items with Details

1. Sausages

A sausage is a cylindrical shaped processed meat that contains ground beef, pork, or veal. These fill a synthetic or intestine casing.

  • The standard categories of sausages available out there include sausages chefs cook like hot dogs, fresh sausages like the Italian pork sausage, and dry sausages like Salami.
  • Besides minced meat, sausages also contain harmful substances like extra oils and fats, sugar, sodium nitrite a carcinogenic preservative, carmine a carcinogenic color, milk protein, and preservatives.
  • Some sausages even include a synthetic plastic material.
  • Health experts recommend a weekly intake of 70 grams only. Furthermore, this translates into a daily intake of 10 grams.

smoked bacon

2. Bacon

Next on this processed meat list is bacon, a processed meat from the side of a pig. Bacon is cured or salted before it is sold in the market.

  • According to health experts, bacon is one of the rich sources of saturated fat and nitrates that can be converted into N-nitroso, a carcinogenic substance.
  • Apart from nitrates and fat, bacon also contains sodium, calories, and a celery powder that is rich in nitrates.
  • Health experts recommend that you should not take more than 18 ounces of bacon a week. This translates to a daily intake of about 70 grams.

cured meat

3. Cured Meat

Cured meat is any meat like beef, poultry, lamb, pork, venison, goat, fish, or veal that has been preserved through various preservation methods like salting, smoking, and burning. The major categories of this type of meat include cured raw meat and cured cooked food.

  • Like other processed meat, cured meats contain harmful compounds like salt used to draw water from fresh meat and sugar that is added to thwart the salty taste.
  • Other potentially carcinogenic compounds found in the flesh include sodium nitrates and nitrites that are added to cured meat to give it the fresh looking pink color.
  • The recommended dietary intake is 70 grams.

meat jerky

4. Meat Jerky

Taking the fourth position in our processed meat list is the meat jerky. The meat jerky refers to strips of meat that have been trimmed of fat and then preserved. The jerky strips are derived from beef, crocodile, salmon, lamb, goat, buffalo, kangaroo, deer, and other animals.

Research shows that an average sized piece of jerky contains 80 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat. Also, the piece of jerky may contain 450 mg of sodium, which is 20 percent above the recommended level, MSG flavor, sodium nitrite, and other preservatives. The recommended daily intake is 50 grams.Canned tuna

5. Canned Meat

This  product is a meat that has went through processing and sealing in an airtight container. Some of the common types of canned meat sold out there include canned tuna, canned ham, canned bacon, and canned beef.

  • The first reason why meat in cans can be dangerous is that it can include BPA. Specifically, this is a chemical used to make some packaging. Furthermore, BPA links to breast cancer and other health adverse health conditions.
  • Other harmful compounds that may be present in this meat include high levels of carcinogenic substances like sodium, Butylated Hydroxyanisole, food colors, and nitrites.
  • The maximum safe daily intake is 50 grams.


6. Ham

Ham is a pork delicacy that goes through salt, smoking and curing. Yet, some of the standard categories include the dry-cured ham that has extra salt and sugar and the wet cured ham that has been preserved by soaking it in brine. Also, some types include Smithfield ham, country ham, and prosciutto.

  • Ham, more so the wet-cured ham, is among the richest sources of carcinogens in our processed meat list.
  • Some of the harmful compounds that this kind of meat has include sodium nitrate, flavors, liquid smoke, sodium phosphate, and many other preservatives.
  • The daily intake is that specialists recommend is 70 grams a day.


7. Pizza

Pizza is a favorite snack for many people especially kids and young adults. Typically, the snack is a flatbread has a topping of cheese, vegetables, and ground meat.

  • Beyond the delicacy, pizza is delicious in MSG and glutamic acid. Also, these ingredients link to many mental health issues and may expose you to the risk of cancer.
  • Other harmful ingredients found in pizza include the partially hydrogenated oils, butylated hydroxytoluene, sodium nitrite, caramel coloring, calories, salt that is three times more than the recommended daily limit, and Bisphenol A.
  • The recommended daily intake is 130 grams.

Baked chicken with potatoes

8. Baked Chicken

Last in our processed meat list is roasted chicken. This is a meat that comes from boneless chicken breasts. They go through processing, then salt, seasoning, and cooking at hot temperatures.

  • Research shows that baked chicken may contain harmful ingredients like peracetic acid used to eliminate contaminants in poultry plants. It also includes inorganic arsenic employed by some cunning farmers to boost growth.
  • Besides peracetic acid and arsenic, this chicken may also contain heterocyclic amines, a carcinogenic substance that appears when chicken animal products co through cooking at high temperatures.
  • Baked chicken may also contain artificial flavors and preservatives like sodium nitrate.
  • The recommended daily intake or chicken is 200 grams.

Final Thoughts

Most people around the world love processed meat delicacies like ham, baked chicken, meat jerky, bacon, and sausage. Even though these products taste great, reliable research shows that they contain carcinogenic substances that raise your risk of developing cancer by 18 percent. Some of the common carcinogens found in processed meat products in our processed meat list above include:

  • Sodium benzoate;
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole;
  • Sodium nitrates and sodium nitrites;
  • Monosodium glutamate;
  • Food colors.

If you have been a fan of these delicacies, you need to eliminate them or stick to the recommended daily intakes for the better of your health.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This