Is it OK for Swimmers to Eat Sub Sandwiches?


By Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, RDN  | Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Is it OK for Swimmers to Eat Sub Sandwiches?

Jaden’s mom writes, “My son’s coach takes the kids to Subway after swim meets, and I worry because I’ve heard that processed meat used in sub sandwiches causes cancer.”

From Subway to Firehouse Subs to Jimmy John’s, subs are a popular choice for athletes. While there are many choices at sub shops, many do include processed meats. Let’s talk about what that means and if the health risk is as great as you might think.

Processed meats, including bacon, ham, hot dogs, corned beef, bologna, deli meats, and beef jerky, are preserved or “processed” to enhance flavor and preserve foods by smoking, curing, salting, or adding preservatives.  The American Institute for Cancer research says there is an increase risk of colon cancer from consuming processed meats, and they also suggest limiting red meat to 18 ounces per week, also to reduce colon cancer risk.

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