Hot dogs better than chicken?

Many people when shopping for a convenient ready to eat meat at the grocery store would choose rotisserie chicken over hot dogs or pepperoni, but as it turns out in a new study, they’d be wrong. Surprisingly, according to a new study, hot dogs and similar meats like pepperoni and deli meats are relatively free from carcinogenic compounds, and rotisserie chicken would be the riskier option.

The carcinogens in question are heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are compounds found in meat that has been fried, grilled or cooked at high temperatures. Diets high in HCAs from meat increase people’s risk of stomach, breast and colon cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers from Kansas State University tested the HCA levels of eight popular ready-to-eat meat products: beef hot dogs, beef-pork-turkey hot dogs, deli roast beef, deli ham, deli turkey, fully cooked bacon, pepperoni and rotisserie chicken.

Pepperoni had the lowest levels of HCAs; hot dogs and deli meat came in second. Overall, these products were low in HCAs, researchers said, while cooked bacon and rotisserie chicken meat had the highest levels. However, rotisserie chicken skin had the highest levels of HCAs overall.

But, before you go purchase pepperoni, consider that its low HCA levels may have to do with processing, which is in itself a health hazard. According to a KSU statement.

Remember, You cannot judge the danger of a food by its HCA content alone, which is based on the manner in which its been cooked. You also have to evaluate all those added ingredients, such as preservatives, flavoring, and food colors. Hot dogs, deli meats and bacon are notorious for their nitrite content, so even though they might be low in HCA’s, they are far from healthful.

  

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