The debate on whether or not Bacon is good for you is ongoing. In this post, I will tell you what you should know about bacon. This will help you can make an informed conclusion and decide whether or not you should drop it.
What Is Bacon?
Bacon is salt-cured meat cut from a pig’s belly or back. It is served on its own, incorporated into meals (such as eggs, or used as an ingredient in dishes like sandwiches, soups, salads, and even sweets like maple bacon ice cream.
How is Bacon Made?
The meat is cured—soaked in a solution of salt, nitrates, and sometimes sugar—and often smoked.
This helps in preservation and increases shelf life.
The fat in the bacon provides most of the flavour and allows it to cook up crispy, yet tender. A hefty ratio of fat to meat—usually one-half to two-thirds fat to meat—is essential to good bacon. Since it must be cooked before being consumed, much of the fat is rendered out and can be poured off if need be.
The nutritional content of bacon
Nutritional Content: Per serving contains a total of 233 calories, this is usually about 4-5 strips.
15 g protein, 11 grams of carbohydrate, 776 milligrams of sodium, 14.5 grams of fat, 3.3 grams of saturated fat, 4 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 6.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 4 grams fibre, 130 milligrams of cholesterol.
Should you drop the bacon?
You might want to consider the following points before making your decision.
It is filled with saturated fats
High Sodium Content
A serving of Bacon contains over 700 mg of sodium, which amounts to half of the ideal 1500 milligrams daily recommended limit. An increase in high blood pressure and other heart related and kidney diseases have been credited and linked to a high intake of sodium.
Stroke has also been linked back to high sodium intake, excess sodium is generally bad for your health.
Its high salt content can make you dehydrated and thirsty.
You may Add Weight
Bacon is filled with fat which is what makes it crunch when fried. It contains monosaturated fat, Including the Oleic acid that makes olive oil heart-healthy.
This is a calorie-dense food and continuous consumption can lead to added pounds and the demise of a perfect waistline.
Type 2 diabetes and heart disease
Bacon is highly processed meat. Processed meat is any meat that has been modified to improve its shelf life and also improve its taste.
It undergoes the curing process which involves adding salt, sugar and smoking, and it qualifies it as processed meat.
Processed meat is linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bowel and stomach cancer.
Greater risk of cancer
Bacon contains nitrite and nitrates that turns to nitrosamines when the bacon is exposed to high heat above 266°F or 130°C when frying or grilling.
This compound is known to contain carcinogens—an agent with the capacity to cause cancer—and is dangerous for anyone.
Bacon also contains other potentially harmful compounds
Bacon is a very delicious breakfast option, it can also give us the extra kick when it is added to our burgers and sandwiches. However, it has numerous negative effects that can pose serious health concerns over time.
After reading this article the decision to drop bacon and protect your health or continue to enjoy your favourite breakfast is totally up to you.
If you decide to continue eating bacon I would recommend you do the following to at least ensure you’re eating the healthiest option and giving yourself better odds.
Firstly, when shopping for your bacon, look for products with labels that read “Uncured Bacon, no Nitrates or Nitrites added” keep in mind that studies have shown that some products which contain these in their labels still contain nitrates and nitrites but in trace amounts. In essence, you cannot be certain since you did not manufacture the product.
You only have the information provided to you on the labels.
Secondly, You should definitely eat it from time to time and in moderation. Regardless of how much you love it, you should reduce the frequency of your consumption. This will reduce your chances of suffering any of the diseases associated with people who consume bacon and other processed meats.
Thirdly, since it is high in cholesterol due to its high saturated fat content, something has got to give.
You can swap out the bacon with other high cholesterol meals that you’d ordinarily take.
Finally, making changes in your diet by limiting or reducing salt intake in other meals is a great strategy in making sure that you do not exceed the recommended daily sodium intake.
If you have any comment or questions on this topic, don’t hesitate to ask. Remember, you can always talk to me.