Ham, eggs and heart disease

not-as-good-featuredHad a baked potato left over from last night because I cooked too much. But I thought if nothing else I could fry it up with something for supper tonight. What if I added a little bacon and some eggs with it? Plus I have a can of brown beans on hand.... Sounds a lot more like breakfast instead of supper, but when you're over fifty and alone, you can eat breakfast anytime you want to. Now I know, fried foods aren't that good for you, but I do my frying in olive oil, so it isn't quite as bad as it could be.

Well, I didn't have any bacon or eggs on hand; just that big baked potato and the brown beans that are just aching to be fried. So a trip to the supermarket was in order. No big deal! Heck, it's only 5 minutes away by car. But once I got there I was faced with a tough decision.

I had just finished off a package of bacon the week before, and last week my 80 year old mother and I had gone out to a truck stop for supper, where we both ordered a breakfast. I had sausages with mine. That trip was a little embarrassing, I'll tell you...

Our waitress at the truck stop must have been 65 years old, and she asked me if I would be ordering from the seniors menu. My mother was sitting across the table from me and grinning. Those two just irked me a bit and I sputtered, "I'm not 55 yet. I only turn 54 this year."

She put her hand on my shoulder and said, "That's all-right dear. We're not splitting hairs. You don't need to order the big meal if you don't think you can eat it all."

Well, I suppose you would like to know whether I ordered the seniors breakfast, wouldn't you? I'd like to tell you, but there are some things a man should keep private.

Since sausage and bacon have recently been on the menu, I opted for the ham at the supermarket. Couldn't stop thinking about the brown beans I had at home. Brown beans would go much better with ham than sausage or bacon. And ham is healthier, right?

ham-sodiumOf course, this didn't mean that I was going to buy a whole ham. Nothing worse (when you live alone) than buying too much of something and cooking it, and then have to wind up making 5-6 meals out of the same thing. So I bought a package containing two thick slices of ham. It was Larson's Sunrise Boneless Smoked Ham. I looked at the food label, and saw it has a rather dangerous level of sodium, but then I thought, it wasn't too bad, because most of the stuff I ate earlier on in the day didn't have a lot of salt. It wasn't until I got the package home, that I discovered the food label was detailing what you would ingest with a half slice of one of these. They are too small to cook a half slice, so if you look at the label to the right, it shows that the full slice will contain 1,740 mg of sodium and 90 mg of cholesterol.

Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here: never look at food labels on Sundays. But hang on, it gets worse....

The packaged meat also contains

  • Potassium Lactate
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Sodium Diacetate
  • Sodium Erythorbate
  • Sodium Nitrate

Potassium Lactate and Sodium Diacetate are  added to the packaged meat to help produce a longer shelf life and act as inhibitors of Listeria monocytogenes. Sodium Nitrate helps prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism in humans. But, according to an article on Rodale.com, they say that Phosphate food additives could be triggering a host of health problems. The article goes on to say:

In addition to chronic kidney disease and increased mortality rates, phosphate additives have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, they're thought to accelerate the aging process, and they interfere with the way your body activates vitamin D. Too much phosphorous can also lead to weakened bones. In much of the professional research on heart disease, Leon says, "Doctors are making comments like, Is this the next trans fat? Is this the next cholesterol?"

An article on Livestrong.com claims Sodium Erythorbate can be dangerous as well. Although it is used as a food preservative due to its antioxidant effects and has no nutritional value of its own, it can be dangerous if you're eating a lot of processed foods that contain it. They say:

Sodium erythorbate has been found to cause general side effects such as headaches, body flushing, generalized fatigue and malaise, dizziness, lightheadedness and hemolysis, a condition where red blood cells rupture leading to anemia and other complications.

If nothing else, you can always count on me to take all of the enjoyment out of a good meal. But if this one doesn't kill me, I might post something else tomorrow. In the meantime, if you're concerned about what some of the foods you're eating may contain, don't miss the article on this site titled, Our Groceries are Poisoned. It talks about Genetically Modified Organisms that are in groceries you're buying right now, and how this could affect your health, and the health of your loved ones.

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