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Cured Meats and Digestive Trouble?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 22, 2011 at 10:03 PM

I searched for this and couldn't find a thread on it (but if there is one, please let me know).

I find that eating cured meat tends to upset my stomach a good amount. I love charcuterie plates, so if I could identify which meats are the problem and just avoid those, I'd be thrilled.

But so far, experimentation has basically just shown that I do fine with bacon, but not so well with other cured meat.

I think I have some gluten issues, but they aren't usually bad enough that I have to do anything other than avoid the obvious sources, and I even usually do OK with breaded/fried things if it's not too much and I don't do it too often.

Could it be the weird sugar substitutes that are sometimes used to cure meats? Is there really enough in there to cause this kind of reaction? Does anyone else experience this?

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on December 16, 2011
at 01:40 AM

You are welcome! BTW, all of the sausages at Whole Foods' butcher counter are made without nitrates; the hot dogs and such have nitrate in the form of celery juice, but it's anybody's guess whether it will be enough to give you grief.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on December 15, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Ok, I just got this (at my local co-op) and it's, um, AWESOME. No tummy troubles! And I ate the whole thing in like 3 days! You rock!

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on November 23, 2011
at 03:21 PM

If that's the case, go to Trader Joe's and get one of their soppressati without nitrates. The wine-cured ones are especially lovely. If they don't upset your stomach, you can be reasonably certain that "Prague Powder" (nitrate curing salt) is your problem.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on November 22, 2011
at 11:53 PM

You are brilliant. Because, of course, I did mean nitrate-free bacon, since everything I buy is froofy and healthy, and I only eat bacon at home, whereas I eat other cured meats out, where I have no idea what's in it. Cool! Except, you know, not, because I still can't eat charcuterie plates...

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C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

on November 22, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Let's assume that you mean cured bacon with nitrates; in doing so we can eliminate that as the source of the problem. Pork, nitrate, erythorbate, salt content, all seem unlikely to be the problem.

So that leaves everything that's in other types of cured meat. I would first look at two things: spices, and garlic. Garlic upsets my stomach often, and it's almost universally added to sausages. Chili powder, paprika, fennel, black pepper, and mace are also very common. Do you know if they upset your stomach other times?

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on November 22, 2011
at 11:53 PM

You are brilliant. Because, of course, I did mean nitrate-free bacon, since everything I buy is froofy and healthy, and I only eat bacon at home, whereas I eat other cured meats out, where I have no idea what's in it. Cool! Except, you know, not, because I still can't eat charcuterie plates...

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on November 23, 2011
at 03:21 PM

If that's the case, go to Trader Joe's and get one of their soppressati without nitrates. The wine-cured ones are especially lovely. If they don't upset your stomach, you can be reasonably certain that "Prague Powder" (nitrate curing salt) is your problem.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on December 15, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Ok, I just got this (at my local co-op) and it's, um, AWESOME. No tummy troubles! And I ate the whole thing in like 3 days! You rock!

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on December 16, 2011
at 01:40 AM

You are welcome! BTW, all of the sausages at Whole Foods' butcher counter are made without nitrates; the hot dogs and such have nitrate in the form of celery juice, but it's anybody's guess whether it will be enough to give you grief.

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