The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a report saying that processed meats can greatly increase the risk of developing cancer. They also went as far to say that red meat is “probably carcinogenic”, although it’s the bacon, sausages, and hot dogs that show the highest risk of causing cancer. The WHO believes that the issues lie within the chemicals used during processing.
I know that this is breaking bacon lovers hearts around the world, but this data doesn’t mean that you need to cut out all processed meats from your diet. This article stresses the importance of moderation, not complete elimination—so go ahead and have a cheat day when you’re out to brunch on Saturday afternoon. However, during the other 6 days of the week, here are some healthy alternatives to processed meats:
Try veggies instead! Although it might be your natural desire to reach for deli meat like salami or bologna when making lunch, there are ways to make it tasty AND good for you. Replace some of those processed meats with vegetables like peppers, onions, or avocados. All of these can give flavor to an otherwise bland sandwich. You could also get creative with different sauces to add an extra punch of flavor.
What about chicken? It’s hard to tell people to eat meat only in moderation. Chicken is great way to get the protein that you’re looking for without the guilt of eating meat that might be detrimental to your long-term health. It’s a versatile food that can be cooked in many different ways, so you could eat it for a majority of your meals throughout the week and you’ll (probably) not get sick of it.
Substitute with seafood! Another great way to break up the meals that you’re eating throughout the week is to mix in some seafood. You could put some shrimp in your salad or some scallops in your pasta to spice up an otherwise plain dish.
Remember, it’s all about moderation! Making healthy choices during your weekly meals definitely earns you that bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on the weekend.
By Courtney Rosser