Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Skip to main content

What Are Processed Foods?

Sausage, bacon, and deli meats may seem like the go-to for breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, an increased risk of cancer and numerous other chronic diseases have been linked to the overconsumption of processed, aged, and cured meats. Making smarter food substitutions can help prevent health complications down the road.


Health Risks

Eating cold cuts on a daily basis can increase your chances of high blood pressure, heart disease, COPD, and cancer. According to the World Health Organization, your risk of cancer increases by 18% per 50 grams of processed meat eaten daily. The deli sandwich you packed for lunch may contain chemicals such as nitrates, nitrites, and other compounds that are considered carcinogenic.


Smarter Alternatives

For breakfast, try spicy veggie sausages or an egg white veggie omelet. For lunch, prepare a classic PB&J, an egg salad sandwich. or veggies and hummus. Replace meats with beans and lentils in your dishes and add a variety of spices for flavor.

Find healthful, plant-based recipes from Ornish Lifestyle Medicine.