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It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs.
(2) And your own saliva has more nitrites than all of them!
So before you eliminate cured meats from your diet, you might want to address your celery intake. All humor aside, there’s no reason to fear nitrites in your food, or saliva.
Recent evidence suggests that nitrites are beneficial for immune and cardiovascular function; they are being studied as a potential treatment for hypertension, heart attacks, sickle cell and circulatory disorders.
She ate real, traditional food and could cook up fried chicken from scratch. She’d sleep out in the dark woods with hungry bears if you dared her to. Naturally, when I started to research traditional, nourishing foods, I thought of my great-grandmother.
When I say “from scratch,” I literally mean “from scratch.” As in, she would kill a chicken, dress it, coat it with flour and fry that baby up in a big ol’ frying pan of lard. I knew SHE would have supported my lifestyle, and probably could have taught me some amazing traditional cooking skills.
The belief that nitrates and nitrates cause serious health problems has been entrenched in popular consciousness and media.
Subsequently, life expectancy numbers before the year 1900 gets easily knocked down to a low life number. The increase in life expectancy numbers is due mostly to a decreasing infant mortality rate, which decreased from 9.99% in 1907 to 2.63% in 1957, and then all the way down to 0.68% in 2007.“The inclusion of infant mortality rates in calculating life expectancy creates the mistaken impression that earlier generations died at a young age; Americans were not dying en masse at the age of 46 in 1907.It’s important to understand that neither nitrate nor nitrite accumulate in body.Ingested nitrate from food is converted into nitrite when it contacts our saliva, and of the nitrate we eat, 25% is converted into salivary nitrite, 20% converted into nitrite, and the rest is excreted in the urine within 5 hours of ingestion.Beyond just being loaded with “artery-clogging saturated fat” and sodium, bacon has been long considered unhealthy due to the use of nitrates and nitrites in the curing process.Many conventional doctors, and well-meaning friends and relatives, will say you’re basically asking for a heart attack or cancer by eating the food many Paleo enthusiasts lovingly refer to as “meat candy”.When it comes to food, vegetables are the primary source of nitrites.On average, about 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables.Afterwards, the amount of nitrite left is only about 10 parts per million.And if you think you can avoid nitrates and nitrites by eating so-called “nitrite- and nitrate-free” hot dogs and bacon, don’t be fooled.Further, recent research suggests that nitrates and nitrites may not only be harmless, they may be beneficial, especially for immunity and heart health. (1) In fact, nitrites are produced by your own body in greater amounts than can be obtained from food, and salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure.In other words, your spit contains far more nitrites than anything you could ever eat.