If the nitrates in vegetables such as greens are health-promoting because they can be turned into nitrites, and then nitric oxide, inside our bodies, what about the nitrites added to cured meats—such as bacon, ham, and hot dogs?
In response to a CDC study linking Spam consumption with diabetes, the president of the American Meat Institute recently defended processed meat, stating that “93 percent of human nitrite intake comes from vegetables and human saliva–not from cured meats. If nitrite were the issue, then one would think the vegetables would be the cause of the diabetes, yet no one is suggesting that association.”
This is the first of the eight videos on figuring out this apparent conundrum that will close out my three-week series on the cardioprotective (see Hearts Shouldn’t Skip A Beet) and athletic performance-enhancing benefits (see Doping With Beet Juice) of nitrate-rich vegetables.
For a review of the relationship between nitrates and nitrites, see Priming the Proton Pump. So far, there have been only a few precautionary notes (see Asparagus Pee). What about this nitrite issue? As I say at the end of the video, stay tuned! In the meantime, see my other videos on processed meat.
For more context, check out my associated blog post: Using Greens to Improve Athletic Performance.
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