Eating processed meats like salami, sausages and hot dogs is likely to up heart disease and diabetes risk, says a new study.
Processed meat is defined as any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or with the addition of chemical preservatives; examples include bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs or processed deli or luncheon meats.
Eating processed meat was associated with a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 19 higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Conversely, researchers did not find any higher risk of heart disease or diabetes among individuals eating unprocessed red meat.
???Although most dietary guidelines recommend reducing meat consumption, prior individual studies have shown mixed results for relationships between meat consumption and cardiovascular diseases and diabetes,??? said Renata Micha, who led the study.
Micha, research fellow in epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) said: ???Most prior studies also did not separately consider the health effects of eating unprocessed red versus processed meats.???
Researchers, led by Micha and HSPH colleagues Dariush Mozaffarian, assistant professor in epidemiology and Sarah Wallace, junior research fellow, systematically reviewed nearly 1,600 studies.
Twenty relevant studies were identified, which included more than 1.2 million individuals from 10 countries on four continents (US, Europe, Australia, and Asia).
The researchers defined unprocessed red meat as any unprocessed meat from mutton, beef, lamb or pork, excluding poultry, said a Harvard release.
These findings were published online in Circulation.