Sausages and cold cuts in the diet of children

Sausages and cold cuts are a widely used option when it comes to snacks or quick dinners. However, cold cuts and sausages should not be put in the same bag since they are not the same.

In We will tell you what the difference between the two is and what the experts recommend regarding its consumption, especially in childhood.

- SausagesThey are meat derivatives prepared from chopped pieces of raw meat and fat that are seasoned with various species (mainly paprika, pepper and garlic) and are introduced or stuffed in natural or artificial casings for curing. Sausages include chorizo, salchichón, salami or fuet among others, and their curing period is highly variable. In general, they contain higher levels of fat and lower amounts of protein than Serrano ham and embuchado loin.

- The hams on the contrary, they are, in general, salty and cooked pieces of meat. The ham, shoulder and turkey breast are, within this group, the highest quality. However, there are other cold cuts that are made from pieces of meat and fat from different parts of the animal and to which starches, dyes, gelatins, fats from other sources and animal connective tissue, processed and cooked, can be added. These meat derivatives, such as chopped, mortadella or wild boar's head, are of lower quality and less recommended, especially due to their high levels of salt and cholesterol, as well as containing colorants and additives, for example, such as glutamate, used to enhance and homogenize the flavor or phosphates, which are used as preservatives.

Sausages and cold cuts, although they are not the same, if the recommendation not to consume them too often can be generalized, although the whole pieces (serrano or cooked ham, for example) tend to be leaner and with a higher quality fat, as it is that of the meat piece. In addition, they usually contain, in general, fewer additives and are free of colorants, being the most recommended for the snack sandwich.

And it is that, the Serrano ham is the result of curing the back and front pieces of the raw pig, in a controlled environment of temperature and humidity and covered by a certain amount of salt. It is a highly protein food, salty and with a lot of fat, but considered healthy fat, because it is rich in unsaturated acids. In a similar way, and halfway between the Serrano ham and the sausages, the embuchado loin is the spiced pork loin introduced into a casing for curing.

But you do have to consider that both cold cuts and sausages usually have nitrites and nitrates in their composition. In the gastrointestinal tract, nitrates combine with gastric juices to produce nitrosamines, potentially carcinogenic.

On the other hand, the presence of nitrites in the body alters the oxidative state of iron in hemoglobin, causing it to lose its ability to transport oxygen to the tissues. This abnormal form of hemoglobin is known as methemoglobin. Methemoglobinemia is a rare but very dangerous disease, especially in childhood, since levels of methemoglobin in the blood higher than 50% can have fatal consequences.

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