Q: "I’m aware of the health warnings associated with eating too much salted meat, such as bacon and ham. Do these same warnings apply to smoked salmon?"
Sally Monroe, via email
A: Nutritionist Bronwen King responds:
“The main problem associated with too much salted, processed meat is the risk of developing certain cancers. There is evidence that the way some meat products are preserved and/or prepared may affect cancer risk. Salted meats might increase the risk of stomach cancer and preserved meats might increase the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. The American Cancer Society says, ‘Eating large amounts of smoked foods may slightly increase the risk of certain types of cancer, so it’s best to eat these only in moderation.’ I can see no reason to worry about including smoked salmon as a protein source in a diet rich in fruit, vegies and wholegrains, and low in processed foods. The health benefits of salmon, even in its smoked form, far outweigh any risks. Remember, though, smoked salmon is high in sodium, so anyone with high blood pressure will want to watch how much they eat, and opt for fresh salmon when possible.”