Dear Dr. Roach: Recently, a well-respected consumer organization ran an article asserting that hundreds of thousands of people die every year just from eating deli meat! The problem is supposedly that the nitrates and/or nitrites in the meat combine to make nitrosamines, which are supposedly carcinogenic.
Just what evidence is there that nitrosamines cause cancer in humans? Is the case based on enormous doses given to animals? I don’t have to worry about stuff like hot dogs, bologna and salami. I hate these meats and never eat them. But deli turkey is a great food. Low in calories, almost no fat, a great source of protein. It can be a little high in salt, but if you watch your salt intake the rest of the day, it’s OK.
Most of us don’t have time to roast a turkey breast and slice it up. Are these low-fat turkey sandwiches really life threatening? Or is this advice like everyone should drink eight glasses of water a day or everyone over 50 should take a baby aspirin — both thoroughly debunked. What is the truth please, Dr. Roach? — R.E.