Is Smoked Meat Bad for You? [Here’s the Honest Answer]

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Is there any person who said no to smoked meat in the history of humankind? Most probably not. You can’t deny this question never pop up in your mind – is smoked meat bad for you?

Obviously, because you may have heard a lot of things about red meat, which is sometimes harmful for the people with some health issues. But what about the smoked meat? We will gonna tell you everything of that in this article below.

What Is The Purpose Of Smoking Food?

The main purpose of smoked food is to preserve it. Preserving food by smoking is one of the oldest methods of food preservation.

Smoking is a method of drying food items, especially meats. It helps by removing moisture from food and prevent bacterial and fungal growth into it. Those bacteria and fungus can ruin food pretty fast. Smoking also adds up that extra flavor to the meat and its texture and color, so many of you die for.

But now as we have so many other food preservation methods, why smoked meats are still so hyped? The answer is simple – it’s delicious. Smoke does change the way it tastes and makes it far better than it used to be.

Many think that it is linked to your ancestors as they first tried this method for their survival, and it is still flowing into our genes. The smell and taste of smoked food trigger the memories of the past, and we still fall for it.

Is Smoked Meat Bad for You?

Is Smoked Meat Bad for You

If you ask how much-smoked meat is safe to eat? The answer depends on the way of how it is smoked. Depending on the cooking methods smoking food can be healthy and unhealthy both.

However, to be honest, it cannot be completely healthy, but the usage of a certain type of wood, heating technique can be less carcinogenic. Yet it can increase the risk of so many diseases.

If you have any history of colon cancer and low physical activity in your family, then smoked food can increase the chance of developing colon cancer. A recent study has shown that cooking food directly over the flame is linked to cancer.

There are different ways to smoke meat, but unfortunately, none of them 100% healthy. But eating smoke food occasionally, won’t be much of an issue. Chill.

Anyway, here are a few answers to your question – is smoked meat bad for you?

Carcinogenic Substances as By-Product: “Is smoking meat carcinogenic” is a question many want the answer. Smoked meat increases the risk of cancer, and it is now a proven fact. When meat came into the direct contact of fire, there are many chemical reactions involved. We consume all of that with the smoked meat and metabolize it in our body. In this process, some by-products are created, which can increase the risk of cancer.

Infecting the Stomach: Eating smoked meat increases the chances of stomach infection due to bacterial cohesion. Many bacteria can develop in smoked meat like E.coli and Listeria monocytogenes. E.coli can cause you diarrhea and stomach pain. You can also suffer from fever, headache, and stomach pains as a symptom of Listeriosis caused by Listeria monocytogenes.

Increasing the Sodium Level: Smoked meat and fish can increases sodium in blood as it has added salt in it. Sodium is an essential mineral for our body, which is needed for water balance. But an increased amount of sodium can cause cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and overhydration.

Increase the Risk of Stroke and Diabetes: Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health have shown that smoked of any kind of processed food can increases the chances of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases.

Does Smoked Meat Cause Cancer?

It is hard, imagining a summer without BBQ parties in the backyard with friends and family. But in recent times, health-conscious people are concern about the cancer risk caused by smoked meat. Because studies have shown that smoked meat can actually increase the risk of cancer.

A study done by Vanderbilt University in 2010 has shown that a high intake of smoked meat and high exposure to meat carcinogens, may increase the risk of human cancer. Particularly Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), also known as heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) are formed in red smoked meat and cause cancer.

Well-done cuts of meat contain heterocyclic amines, and smoke contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Both of these components can be found in well-done meats, or you can say smoked meat, which is more likely carcinogenic.

After consumption of the meat, the enzyme of our body metabolizes HAAs and PAHs. The process derives some by-products which damage the DNA and lead to cancer.

Is Smoked Fish Bad for You?

Just like smoked meat, smoked fish have the same cancer issues. It also might increase the risk of cancer.

Smoked fish has all the vitamins and numerals like cooked fish. But it contains a high amount of sodium, which is not good for your body. Three ounces of smoked salmon have 666-milligram sodium, where the same amount of cooked salmon delivers 50 milligrams.

Most of the salmon are cold smoked. That means it is smoked at a temperature in which the fish do not cook properly. For the same reason, it does not kill the bacteria in it.  Listeria monocytogenes are bacterial, which can cause serious poisoning to the people who have a weak immune system such as the elderly and the pregnant women.

Overall, as we can see, smoked fish is also not a good option to go for a healthier life.

Why Does Smoked Meat Upset My Stomach

If you are having stomach pain after eating smoked meat, that’s probably for the smoke. Poor smoke may upset your stomach even cause diarrhea. Here, by poor smoke, we are indicating to too much smoke or bad smoke

To prevent bad smoke, you can use good quality charcoal but do not put the wood chips the entire time. Put one or two wood chips on top of the charcoal until it catches fire. After that, take the woods and put it beside the charcoal. This way, you can get white or steady grey smoke.

Keep the lid on for 30-40 minutes. You can repeat the process until you are done smoking all the meat. 

Our Verdict: What’re The Alternatives You Can Do?

At the end of the day, you may think what’s the purpose of having summer vacation without smoked and grilled meat? The sizzling sound, the mesmerizing smell before taking the first bite all worth it, you might think. But unfortunately, no. The health problem it causes, in the long run, is totally not worth it.

So, what’s our conclusion on this question – is smoked meat bad for you? In a word, the answer is – yes. But luckily, not all types of smoked meat are bad for you. There are a few techniques you can use to smoke your meat in a healthy way. Or else you can always go for baking or roasting. These are also a delicious way of cooking meat and can be a great alternative to smoked meat.

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