.... Is to avoid processed meat.
"Nitrites are added to processed meats as preservatives to preserve their pink (....)
Frequent cured meat consumption is associated with increased risk for developing diseases like emphysema (...) ––a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Eating it like every other day appeared to triple the odds of severe COPD. (....)
Currently, we now have studies involving hundreds of thousands of people, showing that higher intakes of processed meat were associated with a 40 percent increased risk of COPD. It comes out to like an 8 percent higher risk of COPD for each hot dog you eat a week, or each weekly breakfast link sausage. (....)
The way nitrites appear to cause lung damage is by affecting connective tissue proteins like collagen and elastin. That’s what helps keep the airspaces in your lungs open, but nitrite can modify these proteins in a way that mimics age-related damage, including the fragmentation of elastin.
(...) cured meat consumption increases risk of COPD patients ending up back in the hospital, about twice the risk for those eating more than average, and it appears the more you eat, the worse it is.
Regarding lung health, processed meat intake has been associated with a likely increased risk of lung cancer, a decline in lung function, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. But, what about asthma? High processed meat consumption has been associated with higher asthma symptoms as well.
We knew about higher maternal intake of meat before pregnancy, potentially increasing the risk of wheezing in her children later on (based on a study of more than a thousand mother-child pairs). (...)
Those who ate the most cured meats were 76 percent more likely to experience worsening asthma than those who ate the least. (....) .... Put all the studies together, and processed meat intake appears to be an important target for the prevention of adult asthma in the first place.
Even if you don’t have any lung issues, processed meat consumption was negatively associated with measures of normal lung function, while fruit and vegetable consumption and dietary total antioxidant capacity was associated with better lung function.
But wait, you say. I just eat all natural, uncured hot dogs, with NO NITRATES OR NITRITES ADDED, in all caps. But if you put a magnifying glass to the small print, it says “except those naturally occurring in… cultured celery juice.” (...).... what they do is add something that has a lot of nitrates, like celery, and bacteria that convert the nitrates to nitrites. So, they are adding nitrites. They’re just straight-up duping consumers. (...) ...
Europe doesn’t allow this kind of consumer fraud, demanding manufacturers explicitly label it as containing nitrites. You can’t even call it natural.
When Consumer Reports put it to the test, they found the nitrite levels in all the products were essentially the same; so “no nitrites” doesn’t mean no nitrites. (....)"