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Old 11-13-2005, 07:10 PM   #1
Matthew Townsend
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I left a whole lot of my food at my parents place after staying there for the weekend.

A week later my mum said "Thanks for the fruit and veges, but go easy on the sliced turkey and ham because they are full of nitrates."

Is that right? I've never heard of that before, but sliced turkey and ham is the mainstay of my lunchtime protein, so I thought I should ask.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:02 PM   #2
Ian Holmes
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I am unsure of what the word on nitrates is but it is best to avoid sliced lunch meats unless they are coming off meat that you have cooked. They just have a lot of bad things in them, though I really couldn't give you a comprehensive list off the top of my head.
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Old 11-14-2005, 12:30 AM   #3
Andy Shirley
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http://science.howstuffworks.com/framed.htm?parent=question233.htm&url=http://ww w.extension.umn.edu/distribution/nutrition/DJ0974.html

Interesting little article on the subject.
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Old 11-14-2005, 12:54 AM   #4
Kristian Palaoro
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Digging deep here, but as I recall, there are harmful side effects from high nitrate levels. However, I believe these were environmental in nature and did not directly harm humans. It was in the case of eutrophication due to increased nitrate levels in lakes, or in drinking water which encouraged the growth of harmful bacterium and destroyed native plant flora.

I think the nitrates in meat affect its color and aide in preserving it longer in lieu of sodium.

Mum's right, they're full of nitrates, but I don't recall nitrates being directly harmful to humans, only the aquatic environments. Anyone know different?
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Old 11-14-2005, 04:39 AM   #5
Matthew Townsend
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Thanks for that. I will watch it closely from now on, but I have to say that it's a damn site better than eating junk food.

Thanks again.

Matthew
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Old 11-14-2005, 07:25 AM   #6
Brad Hirakawa
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Andy... doesn't Howstuffworks.com kick ***!

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Old 11-15-2005, 11:29 PM   #7
Andy Shirley
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That it does, especially when I can't post links from work(UptoDate, MD consult, among many many others), since most won't be able to access them.

The short answer is nitrites and nitrosamines have been shown to be carcinogenic at high levels in mice. But levels aren't controlled or regulated, as they have been deemed more beneficial than harmful.
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