While having an occasional deli sandwich for lunch isn’t likely to kill you, consistent consumption of deli and processed meats over time has been linked with many types of illness, including heart disease and cancer, explains Roger E. Adams, PhD, Houston-based dietitian and nutritionist and founder of eatrightfitness.com. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies processed meat (most deli meats, hot dogs, ham, bacon, and sausage) as a carcinogen. “Twenty-two experts from ten countries reviewed more than 800 scientific studies and concluded that consuming 50g (about 1.75 oz) of processed meat daily increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent,” says Adams. “Additionally, the high sodium content of most processed meats can lead to both acute and long-term increases in blood pressure.” Here’s what happens to your body if you stop eating red meat.
The chemical culprit found in most products containing artificial sweeteners, including the ever-popular diet sodas, is aspartame, which has been linked to brain tumors as well as some blood-related cancers, such as leukemias and lymphomas (though research has been minimally focused on rats). “Aspartate breaks down into the neurotransmitter aspartic acid, which without being bound to other amino acids is neurotoxic,” says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, health, diet, and nutrition expert. Find out exactly what happens when you quit artificial sweeteners.