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Eating large amounts of cured meats, such as salami, chorizo and bacon, may cause a person to gain weight due to the high fat and sodium content of these foods. According to a recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal, a larger waist isn’t the only thing eating cured meats may cause. Scientists discovered that these foods may increase the risk of hospital readmission for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is a term that covers multiple diseases that make it difficult to breathe, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with these conditions often end up in the hospital, especially when they are exposed to large amounts of tobacco smoke and air pollution.
Researchers found that individuals with COPD who reported eating large amounts of cured meats were more likely to end up in the hospital than their peers who do not eat these foods. The scientists believe that this effect is the result of the nitrites used as preservatives and anti-bacterial agents in the meat, which produce nitrogen species that can damage tissue in the lungs.