Okay, this is just depressing! According to the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, cured meats such as bacon, ham, and hot dogs contain nitrites, which are used as preservatives, and as color and anti-bacterial agents. Trouble is, nitrites are thought to cause reactive nitrogen molecules in the body, which can cause lung damage!
The results were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and point out that the incidence of COPD increases dramatically with more consumption of cured meats.
The results showed that, even after adjusting for smoking, diet, age and other factors:
-- The more cured meat they ate, the poorer the participants' lung function.
-- Those who consumed cured meat 14 times a month were 78 per cent more likely to have COPD than those who ate none or very little.