The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is advising hospitals in improving patient menus by adding healthy, plant-based options and removing processed meats, which have been linked to 60,000 cardiovascular deaths annually.
The ACC Heart-Healthy Food Recommendations for Hospitals states, “At least one plant-based main dish should be offered and promoted at every meal.” ACC also urges that processed meats such as bacon, sausage, ham, hot dogs and deli meats should not be offered at all. These guidelines extend to hospital cafeterias and onsite restaurants.
The American Medical Association has also passed a resolution that calls on hospitals to provide similarly healthy meals. Processed meats are now considered carcinogenic to humans, according to the World Health Organization. A 50-gram serving a day—one hot dog or two strips of bacon—increases colorectal cancer risk by 18 percent.
“Too many heart disease patients have had their recovery undermined by bacon and hot dogs on their hospital trays,” says Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee.
This article appears in the January 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.