A lot of people think that any smoked food has been actually exposed to smoke! But this is not true! Rather, a chemical called liquid smoke is used to enhance the flavour (the meat for example).
Liquid smoke contains lots of dangerous chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens.
The process of curing meat (bacon, hot dog, ham, sausage) involves not only smoking it, but also treating it with a variety of additives and preservatives, which are the main reason for cancer development, and high blood pressure development because of its high sodium content.
Pregnant women should avoid smoked foods as they contain preservatives and might be contaminated with other bacterias, so they can be harmful for the baby.
Smoked and processed foods could be contaminated with dangerous bacteria, so avoid them. Some of the bacteria, especially Listeria and E. coli, can cross the placenta and seriously harm your baby.
But! Are smoked fish healthy?
In fact smoked fish are healthy and non-healthy at the same time.
They contain high amount of oily fish which is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. But on the other hand, smoked fish are converted to substances called Nitrosamines. Diets high in Nitrosamines have been linked to an increased risk of gastric, colon and esophageal cancer ( world Cancer Research Fund Report, 2007).
So eat smoked fish in moderation, as high consumption showed unhealthy results.
If you love smoked foods and meat specifically, keep it to once or twice per week at most. You also can enjoy fresh, non-processed meat, such as fish, chicken, or lean beef more than 3 times per week.
Any type of meat can be part of a healthy diet, as long as you are eating a well balanced diet including vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans.