Sausages aren’t just unhealthy, but in fact, dangerous. Tejasvi Desai tells you why
You’ve probably been told to stay clear of sausages if you are watching your diet charts closely. But, did you know that apart from all the fat this juicy piece of meat has to offer, it also has carcinogenic properties that actually makes it dangerous for your consumption? If you’ve ever tried piling your hot dog up with spring onions and chopped tomatoes in hopes of making it healthier, condiments won’t really stand a chance against cancer.
The problem with sausages is that they aren’t only meat; it is a combination of ground meat mixed with fat, salt, a variety of seasonings, preservatives and sometimes other fillers. What makes the sausages really harmful are chemicals called nitrites and nitrates that are present in them, which once ingested can be converted into cancer causing compounds.
According to a spokesman for Cancer Research UK, these occur naturally in red meat but are often added during meat-processing as a preservative. Red meat also contains a red pigment called haems, which is broken down in the gut to form compounds that are known to cause cancer. Haems may even irritate or damage the cells lining the bowel, leading to a greater risk of developing cancer. The combination of these two, as well as the sausages’ relatively high fat and salt content make them some of the most dangerous foods we consume.
You might think buying better quality sausages with a high meat content could reduce the risk of cancer. But, sadly buying expensive sausages isn’t going to help much because high meat content means there will be less of other ingredients that could possibly reduce fat content such as cereals or fruits and vegetables that are often added to modern sausages for flavour. Instead of frying, grilled sausages will make a considerable difference to your cardiovascular health, but it won’t really diminish its carcinogenic properties. Some people try poking holes in them to let the fat run out, but what’s a sausage without fat?!
Cutting down on your consumption is the only healthy way out. If you still can’t control your cravings, then opt for a sausage with relatively low saturated fat and salt content. So, the next time you are about to pick up a hot dog, do think it over.