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Should You Stop Eating Any Processed Meats?

Eating even small amounts of processed meats can raise your risk of dying or having a major heart disease-related event like a heart attack, a recent study finds. The research — published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition — concludes that eating as little as 150 grams (about 5 ounces) of foods such as hot dogs, cold cuts and bacon per week is enough to increase both health risks. The study, which analyzed data on more than 100,000 people from 21 nations, also found that eating moderate amounts of unprocessed red meat and poultry is not associated with an increased risk of death or major heart disease-related event. In fact, you can safely eat around 250 grams (just under 9 ounces) per week of unprocessed meat — including red meat — without increasing those risks. The study defined processed meat as meats that have been modified to improve taste or extend shelf life. Examples of such processes include salting, curing and treating meat with preservatives or additives.
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