30 MAY 2023
Nitrates are naturally occurring compounds found in foods like vegetables and cured meats.
Nitrates are not inherently bad and support cardiovascular health by aiding in nitric oxide production.
Diets rich in nitrates from fruits and vegetables are linked to lower risks of heart disease stroke, and certain cancers.
Nitrates in natural foods are considered safe due to accompanying beneficial compounds like antioxidants and vitamins.
Processed meats containing added nitrites can be harmful when consumed excessively.
Nitrites can form carcinogenic nitrosamines during high-temperature cooking or digestion.
Risks associated with processed meats stem from factors beyond nitrates, like high sodium and fat content.
Limiting processed meat consumption and choosing leaner cuts can help reduce potential harm.
Cooking methods that minimize nitrosamine formation, like lower-temperature baking or grilling, are advised.