Originally Posted by Tuscan Chef
If you don't eat bacon or ham, then your nitrates is 60% coming from vegetables. If you eat meat with nitrates, then your total nitrates raises and normal background from plants is reduced to a small percentage.
The problem with nitratees on meat is not nitrate, as that is hard to believe is unhealthy as part of many biochemical reactions. The problem is nitrites. That is a much powerful preservative and commonly added with nitrates as preservative for meat.
Here in europe the label always tells you which preservative is used. If I see nitrites I don't buy it.
Nitrates in water are a sign that the water does not have a long filter. Nitrate is blocked in the filtering part of a spring and good waters contain no nitrates.
Hi Tuscan Chef,
Please bear with me here....
Every study that I've read (including European studies) mention that a persons normal diet would get nitrate levels either 70% coming from vegetables, 20% from water and 6% from cured meats or 90% from vegetables and other sources then 10% from cured meats...or somewhere in between thos two.
From the reading that I've done any form of nitrate can be converted to nitrite by a few different means, such as certain microorganisms in the food (which can be promoted by improper storage of vegetables) and also the gastrointestinal tract can also convert the nitrates. Although the acidic enviroment of the adult stomach is said to reduce the chance of nitrates converting into nitrites.
The problem with cured meats doesn't seem to be nitrates or nitrites as much as nitrosamines (or when nitrosamines form). Nitrosamines have been linked to causing cancer in some lab animals (but not of yet linked to causing cancer in adults). Not all cured meats contain nitrosamines, and when they do it's in very minute amounts. Plus there seems to be other ingredients that have been being used to greatly reduce the chance of nitrites converting to nitrosamines, such as adding ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or eyrthorbic acid. These are said to be used for more than the last 20 years.
It's also mentioned that the chances formation of nitrosamines start and increase when cooking at temperatures > 350f.
The nitrosamine also increased when bacon was cooked to a well done or burnt. The bacon drippings from well done and burnt bacon also contained more nitrosamines than the bacon itself.
Nitrosamines are supposed to occur very rarely in cured meats, except in well done or burnt bacon.
The thesis also shows that the bacteria in the oral cavity are very important to the process of nitrates in food protecting the stomach's mucous membrane. This has been examined in that rats have been given nitrate-rich feed, whereby some of them have also simultaneously received an antibacterial oral spray. When these rats were then given anti inflammatory drugs, damage to the mucous membrane only occurred in the ones that had received the oral spray. In the latter the nitrates no longer had a protective effect on the mucous membrane, as the oral spray had killed the important bacteria that normally convert nitrates into nitrites.