Over the last few years, studies have shown that processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and cold cuts can cause an array of illnesses from heart disease to cancer. For deli and meat lovers, this is super sad; no matter how delicious of a sandwich you might make from cold cuts, the risks outweigh the benefits.
One reason deli meat is carcinogenic is because of what happens to the nitrites and nitrates during the cooking process. On their own, these compounds are totally safe, and they’re added to meat because they help preserve the meat and keep bacteria away. But, they’re thought to produce carcinogenic compounds during the cooking process, which becomes dangerous.
The scientific community generally recommends to cut out as much processed meat from your diet as possible. The less you eat, the less of a risk you’ll get sick from these products. However, eating them occasionally is probably ok but it’s also recommended that you try to buy deli meats and other processed meats that have not been treated with nitrates or nitrites.