More reasons to limit your intake of bacon, ham, salami, and other processed red meats: A recent study in Circulation: Heart Failure linked moderate intake (at least 2½ ounces a day, on average) to a 28 percent increased risk of heart failure and more than double the risk of death from heart failure, compared to low intake, after the researchers adjusted for age, smoking, weight, physical activity, and other possible confounders.
The study included more than 37,000 Swedish men ages 45 to 79, who were followed for about 12 years.
The harm may be due to the high sodiumcontentand food additives (like nitrites and phosphates) in these meats, as well as compounds that form during processing.
In contrast, unprocessed meats were not associated with increased risks. In another recent Swedish study, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, men and women who ate the most processed meats (3½ ounces a day) had a higher mortality rate over 15 years than those who ate none.