Last week, Dr. Oz had a show about preventing pancreatic cancer. One of the things he mentioned is to avoid foods with nitrites in them. Other possible risk factors include obesity and family history.
Luckily, I don't seem to like the foods with nitrites in them. Many of you probably do though, as they are very common in the American diet. They include lunch meat, hot dogs, sausage and… bacon. Yes, the popular breakfast choice of many has nitrites in it.
So what are nitrites anyway? Nitrites are used as color fixatives and as food preservatives. This is why the lunch meat will not break down after several days. Dr. Oz had a demonstration on what happens when your body builds up on the nitrites. Basically, the pancreas can't handle it.
There are healthier alternatives. You should always look for food that's free of nitrites. The package should say if it's nitrite free, so read the labels. It's worth the extra effort because aside from cancer, nitrites may cause Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), DNA Mutations and Brain Tumors in children.
When I was a kid, I never seemed to care for bacon and sausage. However, I did like lunch meat a lot, so I'm sure I had my share of nitrites. As you probably guessed, I don't have any nitrites in my diet as the possible dangers of consuming them are too great.
One other thing, even with the nitrite free bacon and other foods, be careful of the saturated fat, which could lead to high cholesterol. As I said, make sure you read the labels on the food you purchase!