Are Nitrates Bad for You?

We've all heard the rumors about nitrates - but are nitrates really bad for you?

In recent years, awareness about nitrates has increased sharply.

Many people realize that deli meats contain nitrates. And because of this concern, many grocery stores now offer nitrate-free options.

But beyond hot dogs and cold cuts, many people don’t realize that many of our nitrates actually come from a much healthy source: Vegetables. Celery, lettuce, spinach and radishes are just a few of the many veggies with high nitrate levels.

It all begs the question: Are nitrates really bad for you? Or is it another marketing ploy?

According to the American Cancer Society, the jury is still out:

Nitrites and nitrates are added to meats to preserve color and prevent spoilage. Unfortunately, these compounds can be converted to nitrosamines, which are also known causes of cancer in animals (though… the link in people is unclear).

Some studies have linked nitrates and nitrates to cancer – and others have not.

In either case, there is a very simple trick to prevent the formation of nitrosamines: Get your recommended intake of Vitamin C. In fact, as a preventative measure, the USDA requires that Vitamin C is be added to bacon to prevent the formation of nitrosamines.

So while the research linking nitrates to cancer is still inconclusive and possibly overblown, it’s yet another reason to get your daily recommendation of essential vitamins.

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  1. how about not eat bacon and such that is real bad for you? haha
    of course, i am vegan so i’m kinda steered towards that ๐Ÿ˜‰ lol

    • Typical vegan. Trying to force your beliefs on everyone else. As they say, misery loves company!

      • Florence says:

        How was he trying to force his beliefs onto you? He said cut out things that are bad for you, which include meats…
        Also – miserable? What’s miserable are the animals in the dairy industry.
        DISCLAIMER: I am not trying to enforce misery onto you, I’m just saying one can believe in what they want without forcing others to believe the same.

  2. Nitrates give me really bad migranes. Cancer or no cancer, I stay away from the meats and many of the veggies you listed. I didn’t know that about C thought! I’m going to start taking some and maybe it will help with the migranes!

  3. christopher says:

    well lets drink more OJ-then see what happens.again-everything-in moderation.

  4. when youre pigging out on pork products during baconalia at Lenny’s, er.. Denny’s, make sure you order the jumbo o.j. with extra pulp….
    or maybe a bacon doughnut at Tim Horton’s… hmmmmm.. does the orange filling count as vitamin c?

    ~ cheers…

    ps.. its bacon! bacon.bacon.bacon.bacon.bacon…