It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t know what salami product is – tasty and full-flavoured, cured meat made from pork or beef.
It seems that this food has been around for centuries. Salami is also popular worldwide: we eat it thinly sliced as an appetizer matching with a glass of wine, use it for sandwiches or mix with salads, and even add it to kids’ lunchboxes.
Nevertheless, it contains unhealthy amounts of salt and fat, cholesterol, and sodium, which can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. So is salami healthy at all?
We found another ten reasons you should avoid this product in your healthy nutrition or at least try to eat less.
Top 10 Reasons Why Salami Is Bad For You
1. Salami Is High In Saturated Fats
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should limit saturated fat to 10% or less of your daily calories. And a single ounce of salami can contain more than 10 grams of saturated fat and is not the only thing you will eat during the day.
Another 2017 study found that eating an additional 50-gram serving/day of salami can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Both of these conditions are not the ones you expect after tasty food.
2. Salami Contains Nitrates
Nitrates are chemicals added to many foods like meat products and processed cheese during processing to increase shelf life by slowing down the decomposition process through bacterial growth. However, when nitrates react with amines (natural compounds found in meat), it forms nitrosamines. In 2020 scientists proved that consumption of nitrosamines increases the risks of certain cancers, such as gastric cancer when consumed in large amounts over time.
The recommended daily intake of nitrates is 222 mg for a 60-kg adult. So always pay attention to the ingredients.
3. Salami Can Lead To Gout
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes inflammation in one or more joints, typically the big toe. Gout comes from the buildup of uric acid, produced by our body’s cells. When the kidneys cannot remove enough uric acid from the body, it can accumulate in the bloodstream and crystallize around tissues, causing inflammation and pain.
Salami contains high levels of purines, which break down into uric acid when processed by your body. 2020 investigation proved that eating salami, high in purines, increases the risk of gout.
4. Salami Is High In Sodium
Another useless element for our body from one side, and an essential electrolyte, plays a vital role on another one. The only difference is the amount of sodium you consume. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) for healthy adults.
The binge of sodium can increase your blood pressure and cause other health problems like heart disease and kidney problems. According to the USDA, 100g of salami contains 1740 milligrams of sodium, which is more than half (!) of the recommended daily intake for healthy adults.
5. Salami Increases Your Risk For Heart Disease
We already mentioned how salami affects the heart, but it’s definitely worth a particular point in this list. Highly processed meats such as salami itself have been linked to heart disease because they raise total cholesterol levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels more than unprocessed red meats. Cholesterol isn’t necessarily bad for you, but eating foods high in cholesterol may increase your risk for heart disease.
A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that people who ate red salami meat daily had an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. For example, the ones who eat poultry didn’t have the same effect on the cardiovascular system.
One salami slice contains approximately 10.9 mg. of cholesterol.
6. Salami Can Lead To Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
This can be the consequence of the same “bad” LDL cholesterol levels as we already told you above.
7. Salami Is Highly Processed
Processed foods are stripped of their natural nutrients and loaded with artificial ones: chemicals, preservatives, and additives that can cause serious health problems.
8. Salami May Contain Harmful Bacteria
Some salamis are made with raw ingredients containing harmful bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes or E. coli. The first ones may cause listeriosis – a severe food poisoning mainly affecting newborns and adults over 65 years. Listeriosis includes fever, muscle aches, diarrhoea, and flu-like symptoms. This condition can be fatal for these groups if untreated or undiagnosed. The most significant risk of getting listeriosis is among pregnant women. It’s prohibited for future mothers to eat salami.
9. Salami Can Cause Weight Gain
Some salamis are made with raw ingredients containing harmful bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes or E. coli. The first ones may cause listeriosis – a severe food poisoning mainly affecting newborns and adults over 65 years. Listeriosis includes fever, muscle aches, diarrhoea, and flu-like symptoms. This condition can be fatal if untreated or undiagnosed. The most significant risk of getting listeriosis is among pregnant women. It’s prohibited for future mothers to eat salami.
10. Salami Increases Your Risk Of Colorectal Cancer
According to research by the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), people who eat salami have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. This study found that each 50-gram portion of processed meat consumed daily was associated with an 18 per cent increase in colorectal cancer risk.
To Sum Up
Salami is a tasty product but, ultimately, not very healthy. So if you want a healthy lifestyle, try to avoid or cancel this food from your diet plan. You can consume salami rarely in small amounts and add it to your cheat mill list. Pregnant women are not allowed to eat salami
- Aihemaitijiang S, Zhang Y, Zhang L, Yang J, Ye C, Halimulati M, Zhang W, Zhang Z. 15 Dec 2020. The Association between Purine-Rich Food Intake and Hyperuricemia: A Cross-Sectional Study in Chinese Adult Residents. DOI: 10.3390/nu12123835
- Bronzato S, Durante A. A Contemporary Review of the Relationship between Red Meat Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk. DOI:10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_206_16
- Bronzato S, Durante A. 1 June 2017. A Contemporary Review of the Relationship between Red Meat Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk. DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_206_16
- Gout. 27 July 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/gout.html
- How much sodium should I eat per day. 1 Nov 2021. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/how-much-sodium-should-i-eat-per-day
- Karwowska M, Kononiuk A. 16 Mar 2020. Nitrates/Nitrites in Food-Risk for Nitrosative Stress and Benefits. DOI: 10.3390/antiox9030241
- Keller, Rosa M. BS; Beaver, Laura PhD, MS; Prater, M. Catherine; Hord, Norman G. PhD, MPH, RD. 9 Oct 2020. Dietary Nitrate and Nitrite Concentrations in Food Patterns and Dietary Supplements. DOI:10.1097/NT.0000000000000253
- Listeria. 30 Sep 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/listeria/index.html
- Salami. 4 Jan 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172936/nutrients
- Top 10 things you need to know about the dietary guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/resources/2020-2025-dietary-guidelines-online-materials/top-10-things-you-need-know-about-dietary
- WHO report says eating processed meat is carcinogenic: Understanding the findings. 3 Nov 2015. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/11/03/report-says-eating-processed-meat-is-carcinogenic-understanding-the-findings/