Previous studies have shown that deli meat may not be the healthiest choice, but now doctors are able to more specifically pinpoint the dangers, according to a study published in the journal Cancer.
Researchers have linked red meat cold cuts to a 29 percent higher risk of having bladder cancer. The nitrates added to red meats to preserve and enhance the color showed “a positive nonlinear association for red meat cold cuts" and bladder cancer, the journal Cancer study said.
Red meat tested that was not in the form of a cold cut, including beef, bacon, hamburger, sausage and steak, was not connected to bladder cancer.
"Nitrate and nitrite are precursors to N-nitroso compounds (NOCs), which induce tumors in many organs, including the bladder, in multiple animal species," the study says.
The trial included 300,000 U.S. men and women over the span of eight years. Of those studied, 854 who had a diet high in nitrates from cold cuts were diagnosed with cancer of the bladder.