Archive for the tag - vitamin c

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.