There is nothing more “American” than the traditional hot dog served at ball parks, picnics and family events. Now a national medical group, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, A Washington D.C. group that promotes preventive medicine and a vegan diet, unveiled a billboard Monday near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the advisory: “Warning: Hot dogs can wreck your health” all done to increase awareness of a link between colorectal cancer and hot dogs.
“A hot dog a day could send you to an early grave,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Processed meats like hot dogs can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and various types of cancer. Like cigarettes, hot dogs should come with a warning label that helps racing fans and other consumers understand the health risk.”
So what is in the hot dog that would cause such concern? According to Dr. Edward F. Group III, founder of Global Healing Center, “Hot dogs contain nitrites which are used as preservatives, primarily to combat botulism. During the cooking process, nitrites combine with amines naturally present in meat to form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. It is also suspected that nitrites can combine with amines in the human stomach to form N-nitroso compounds. These compounds are known carcinogens and have been associated with cancer of the oral cavity, urinary bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain.”
Another report, found at www.dietandcancerreport.org states that no amount of processed meat is considered completely safe and found that there is more evidence than ever that a person who weighs too much is more likely to develop cancer. Excess body fat increases the risk of cancer of the colon, kidney, pancreas, esophagus and uterus as well as postmenopausal breast cancer. Karen Collins, a cancer institute nutrition advisor, stated that the body fat we carry around on the waistline and thighs is a metabolically active tissue that produces substances in the body that promote the development of cancer. This can be a scary thought considering our post about obesity growing in America.
The American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund gives us the following recommendations on how to cut cancer risks:
- Maintain a healthy body mass index of 18.5 to 14.9
- Limit consumption of red meat to no more than 18 ounces (cooked) a week
- Eliminate processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausage and lunchmeat
- Eat 5 servings or more of fruit and vegetables a day
- Limit consumption of alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day for mean and one for women
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day
- Limit consumption of salt
- Limit processed foods high in added sugar and fat
I would add to that list adding more fiber to our diets daily (fiber from plant foods act as a bulking agent to reduce carcinogenic concentration) ~ recommended intake for women is 25 gr per day and men 38 gr per day ~ as well as including antioxidants (Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene).
The World Health Organization has stated that 85% of cancers are down to lifestyle with 50% being due to dietary choices. Something to think about.