Processed meat is highly popular in the U.S. and around the world, with some estimates showing that ¼ of meat products consumed are processed; those products include bacon, hot dogs, sausage, ham, salami, and canned meat, to name a few. I know these are emotionally charged foods, ripe with tradition and habits, not to mention taste.
But processed meats are high in sodium, saturated fat, and chemical preservatives. They contribute to weight gain and increase risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. More here and here.
Yes, many countries and cultures enjoy red meat and even processed meat, but it tends to be fresher and eaten in smaller quantities than in the U.S. (Samin Nosrat demonstrates the beauty of real food in her books and documentary Salt Fat Acid Heat).
Just One Thing to do:
Choose fish, poultry and beans for your protein source this week instead of red and processed meat.
Bonus: How? Cook extra chicken, turkey or fish on Sunday to eat for lunch throughout the week, then top leafy greens with grilled chicken, add roasted turkey breast to leftover grains, slice baked salmon onto a heap of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, or drain and rinse a can of beans to mix with your favorite vegetables.