Salt and Its Cousin, Nitrates

With the recent study implicating a low-salt diet as the wrong way to go for heart health (low sodium actually increased the risk of heart disease while normal levels reduced same), it is time to take another look at salt’s cousin, nitrates and nitrites. This is a topic that has interested me ever since we perfected our Hot Piggety Dogs and Farm-tastic Franks. The State requires the addition of nitrates as a preservative, though we managed to limit the dose to as little as possible (which is why our weenies are so bland in color. The deeper the red color you see in grocery store dogs, the higher the content of nitrates. Ours are mild by comparison.)

Despite the low dose found in our only product containing preservatives, I am and always have been interested in understanding why nitrates have been implicated as a possibly deleterious preservative. The only correlation I have been able to find is as a possible contributor to colon cancer. The correlation, however, is very mild and inconclusive. I suspect the danger, if there is any, comes from eating too much food containing nitrates. Please let me know if you know of research otherwise.