What Low Carb Dieters Should Know About Nitrates And Nitrites
Nitrates and nitrites are preservatives that are added
to certain meats to affect a desirable color and prevent
the growth of poisons and bacteria. When nitrates
and nitrites are exposed to heat and other conditions
during the curing process, they are sometimes transformed
into nitrosamines, which have been linked to cancer
in a number of studies.
In addition to this, nitrates and nitrites have been linked
to "stalling"--or unexpected stops in weight loss--even
when consumers are on low carb diets,
such as Atkins, that specifically prescribe the
consumption of meat that could potentially
contain nitrates and nitrites.
Most meats that contain nitrates and nitrites (sausage,
bacon, ham, and some types of smoked fish) also
have high amounts of fat. This could, in part, explain
for the stalling--if the fat intake far
surpasses the prescribed amount (for low carb
diets) needed to "satiate" the body and prevent
it secretion of hormones that stall weight-loss.
Cured meats are also generally high in LDL
cholesterol, which experts say is responsible
for clogging arteries, when it slowly deposits
and then mixes with other compounds to form
plaque, a hard substance that blocks
passageways, preventing the flow of blood
to the heart.
If you subscribe to a low carb weight loss plan,
you should monitor your intake of nitrates and
nitrites carefully to mitigate the accumulation
of carcinogenic nitrosamines and prevent
"stalls" or high levels of bad cholesterol
caused by over-consumption of fatty
If you do continue to consume a sizable
portion of these meats on your low carb
diet, you should try to find a source of
preservative-free, fresh meat, whether
it be a local butcher or a mail-order meat
In addition, you should specifically
choose meats and portions that keep
your cholesterol consumption below 300
mg/day--and your fat intake at a reasonable
level according to the precepts of your low
Benji Paras runs http://www.list-of-low-carb-food.com, specializing in the benefits of the low-carb lifestyle. The site contains a treasure trove of information for losing weight, and includes a list of low carb foods along with informative articles and the latest low-carb headlines.
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