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What Low Carb Dieters Should Know About Nitrates And Nitrites
Nitrates and nitrites are preservatives that are added to certain meats to affect a desirable color and preventthe growth of poisons and bacteria. When nitratesand nitrites are exposed to heat and other conditionsduring the curing process, they are sometimes transformedinto nitrosamines, which have been linked to cancerin a number of studies.
In addition to this, nitrates and nitrites have been linkedto "stalling"--or unexpected stops in weight loss--even when consumers are on low carb diets, such as Atkins, that specifically prescribe the consumption of meat that could potentiallycontain nitrates and nitrites.
Most meats that contain nitrates and nitrites (sausage, bacon, ham, and some types of smoked fish) alsohave high amounts of fat. This could, in part, explain for the stalling--if the fat intake farsurpasses the prescribed amount (for low carb diets) needed to "satiate" the body and preventit secretion of hormones that stall weight-loss.
Cured meats are also generally high in LDLcholesterol, which experts say is responsiblefor clogging arteries, when it slowly depositsand then mixes with other compounds to formplaque, a hard substance that blocks passageways, preventing the flow of bloodto the heart.
If you subscribe to a low carb weight loss plan,you should monitor your intake of nitrates andnitrites carefully to mitigate the accumulationof carcinogenic nitrosamines and prevent"stalls" or high levels of bad cholesterolcaused by over-consumption of fattycured meats.
If you do continue to consume a sizable portion of these meats on your low carbdiet, you should try to find a source of preservative-free, fresh meat, whether it be a local butcher or a mail-order meat source.
In addition, you should specificallychoose meats and portions that keepyour cholesterol consumption below 300mg/day--and your fat intake at a reasonablelevel according to the precepts of your lowcarb diet.
Benji Paras runs http://www.list-of-low-carb-food.com, specializing in the benefits of the low-carb lifestyle. The site contains a treasure trove of information for losing weight, and includes a list of low carb foods along with informative articles and the latest low-carb headlines.
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