Sadly most people assume that bacon and other tasty high-fat foods are very dangerous. But what if bacon is actually good for us? What if it actually provides many health benefits? It’s finally time to hear what the actual science and medical tests have to say on the matter of bacon’s nutritional benefits to our health.
Top Reasons why bacon is good for you
Loaded with Protein
The protein found in bacon is extremely valuable to maintaining our energy levels and a fully functioning, healthy body, with a minimum of those nasty, waist, thigh and butt expanding, fat-building carbohydrates.
If you suffer from inflammation, bacon is your best friend. Because of its high monounsaturated fat content, bacon can improve triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and keep you feeling satiated.
Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant HealthHealthy Fat
Bacon is loaded with saturated fat. Your brain, which is mostly made up of saturated fat and cholesterol, is a fatty acid powerhouse. In fact, every nerve pathway, insulin spike, and enerFat, being one of the greatest sources of concentrated energy, is the preferred fuel for the heart, and it contains substantial amounts of vitamins D, K, A, and E.
Bacon is full of a vital nutrient called “choline,” which helps increase our intelligence and memory. Studies have shown that choline improves memory, intelligence testing and reduces the speed of damage to the brain from dementia.
Loaded with Essential Vitamins & Minerals
Bacon has one of the highest amounts of essential amino acids (meaning your body needs them but can’t make them) out there, including tryptophan (important for brain health), leucine (builds muscles), and glutamic acid (essential for your nervous system). From bacon, we receive: 65% of our Recommended Daily Intake of Thiamin (Vitamin B1) as well as 47% of our Niacin (Vitamin B3), 38% of our Vitamin B12, 36% of our Zinc, 24% of our Vitamin B6, 22% of our Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), 22% of our Phosphorus, 10% of our Pantothenate, 10% of our Magnesium, 9% of our Iron and the Protein to fat balance in bacon is actually 4 to 1, which is one of the highest protein to fat balances found in any meat, fish or fowl found on Earth.
Effective Mood Elevator
Bacon is a natural mood enhancer that helps encourage positive mental states. In fact, bacon is an addictive substance that has a neurological impact on the brain.
Protects the Heart
Bacon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are the same nutrients found in fish. The health benefits of omega fatty acids are reduced cholesterol and improved overall health in the heart. In fact, several studies that show that the Omega-3 Fatty Acids and “choline” found in bacon can actually protect the heart.
Having said that, make sure your pork is pasture-raised and the pigs live in their natural setting eating pig-appropriate food. Only then pork can be a nutritious part of your diet.
Bacon is a greasy guilty pleasure for most people. However, according to a study, it could also increase your risk of developing breast cancer. The results of a 2018 meta-analysis have revealed that bacon and other types of meat are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
Data from the meta-analysis was published in September 2018 in the International Journal of Cancer Research.
For the meta-analysis, researchers examined 15 previous studies, which involved a total of over 1.2 million women, to determine a connection between breast cancer and processed meat.
Data from the study revealed that people who ate the most processed meat, or at least 0.9 ounces to one ounce (25 to 30 grams) daily, had about a nine percent higher risk of breast cancer unlike those who ate the least processed meat (about 0 to 0.07 ounces or 0.17 ounces (two to five grams) a day. (Related: Confirmed AGAIN: Sodium nitrite preservative in processed meat causes breast cancer.)
Processed meats and cancer risk
Take note that not all studies regarding processed meats and cancer have arrived at the same conclusion. For example, a 2015 World Health Organization-affiliated study showed that while processed meats aren’t linked to breast cancer, the results implied that these kinds of food may increase colorectal cancer risk.
Dr. Marji McCullough, a senior scientific director of epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society, warned that breast cancer is a common disease among women. She added that processed meats such as hot dogs are popular food choices and that together, these factors highlight the importance of considering processed meats as a potential cancer risk. In fact, an earlier meta-analysis on the topic also reached similar conclusions.
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Other processed meats that may increase your cancer risk include:
- Beef jerky and dried meat
- Canned meat
- Corned beef
- Salted and cured meat
- Smoked meat
There are limitations, however. Research that points to a link between specific kinds of foods and the risk of certain health conditions have been inconclusive. For links between cancer and processed meats, current data suggests that the researchers could only assess the impact of high- and low-processed meat consumption since there was insufficient information about the risks of consuming 0.35 ounces to 0.5 ounces (10 or 15 grams) of meat products.
According to Andrew Milkowski, a meat science researcher and an adjunct professor of animal sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who wasn’t involved with the new meta-analysis, some of the studies involved in the analysis had participants recall “what their diet had been like at certain points in the past.” Milkowski, who worked for Oscar Mayer before joining the University of Wisconsin back in 2006, advised that this research technique heavily relies on memories with a lot of room for under- and overestimation.
To address this concern, Maryam Farvid, the lead author on the latest project, and the research team only reviewed studies that surveyed women before they received any diagnosis. Farvid, who is also a researcher at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, explained that the method she and her team used ensures that the women were less likely to confuse their pre- and post-cancer diets.
Milkowski posited that to gather accurate data, researchers needed to administer controlled diets to participants before they were diagnosed with anything. Researchers must then monitor the participants closely to identify any changes in their health. However, he admitted that these conditions are “extremely difficult to pull off.”
Milkowski added that the nine percent increase in risk noted in the report may be due to a statistical error and that it is not enough to be a cause for concern. Others pointed out the same thing when the results of the 2015 WHO-associated report were released since it stated that processed meats are “likely carcinogens” and that these types of food increased colon cancer risk by 18 percent.
Meanwhile, Farvid said that other dietary factors are also linked to breast cancer risk, like the amount of fiber or fruits and vegetables in an individual’s diet. She said that while these factors can also decrease or increase the risk of the disease by similar margins, not much is heard about these findings.
Avoidable cancer risk factors
Farvid advised that while study findings on the matter sometimes contradict each other, the fact that eating less processed meat can lower cancer risk is still significant, especially since other factors like genetics are unchangeable. It can be hard to change your dietary habits, but it doesn’t mean that doing so is impossible.
Both Farvid and McCullough warn that people should start paying attention to their consumption of processed meat. McCullough added that it is also part of the American Cancer Society’s current dietary recommendations for minimizing cancer risk.
Browse other articles about the dangers of processed meats and how they can cause cancer at Cancer.news.
It’s a favorite of many, but how healthy is it and is there a healthier way?
Bacon has gotten a bad rap, partly because of the over all low quality of the bacon produced here in the United States.
We really are what we eat. Eating meat from animals that have been confined, fed hormones and antibiotics and sub par feed sometimes even including chicken feces to cut costs, they are not treated well and at worst possibly abused, does not bode well for our health or our humanity.
Global Animal Welfare Partnership rates farms on a scale of 1-5+. 5+ is the highest rating granted. It means that these animals will have lived their entire lives on one farm. They are not crated but raised outdoors with fresh air, grass and sunshine without medications, hormones or GMO feed as animals should be.
Global Animal Welfare Partnership’s 5 Step Animal Ratings explained: https://nwfarmreview.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/5-step-program-global-animal-partnership/
Thompson Farms is the first farm to attain a 5+ rating. Check out the video below.
Youtube video of Thompson’s Farms
Having recently attended a local cooking class at The Good Life, a cooking supply store here in Naples, FL, Chef Kristina San Filippo had introduced us to Thompson Farms products and demonstrated the difference between average store bacon and good quality organic non-gmo fed meat.
Most of us are used to the snap and crackle of bacon in a frying pan, oil spattering in all directions. I thought that was simply what bacon did when cooked. It turns out that most store bought bacon is injected with brine (salt and water) and the higher that water content, the more spatter there is when cooked. Because Thompson Farms does not inject their meat, there was virtually no spattering at all.
When you eat high quality bacon there actually are health benefits: Click to read: http://bacontoday.com/top-10-reasons-bacon-is-actually-healthy-for-you/
The fat cooked right off of the meat and it was delicious and far less salty than any other bacon I have ever eaten.
If you must eat meat, making conscious choices to be kinder to the animals as well as respecting your own body and health is the way to go.
9 Salads (Calorically) Worse Than A Big Mac
May 11th, 2011
The Huffington Post
By: Laura Shocker
When eating out, we tend to think were being good by ordering an entrÃ©e salad instead of a big, juicy burger. But many of those salads have an undeserved health halo, packing in more calories and saturated fat than the poster food for an unhealthy dinner: The Big Mac.
Still even with bacon bits, tortilla chips and calorie-laden dressings abounding on the salad column of the menu, its not a free pass to give into the temptation of a burger (and a side of fries). Salads, with their increased volume and satisfying crunch, have a higher satiety factor than many other foods, meaning that they tend to fill us up quicker and control appetite throughout the day, says Toby Smithson, R.D., community dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Its fine to choose a salad, just watch what youre putting in it, she says. Her tips include:
1. Start with a base of dark, leafy greens, which are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
2. Choose a salad heavy on plain vegetables. If you omit one of the higher-calorie ingredients, feel free to ask your waiter or waitress to load on more of the vegetables.
3. Be wary of add-ons like bacon, tortilla chips and even beans, which some restaurants prepare with lard (ask your server before ordering). Calorically speaking, regular nuts are better than candied ones and fresh fruit is better than dried.
4. Choose vinaigrettes over creamy dressings, which tend to have more calories and fat. Better yet, order your dressing on the side and do a fork dip: Dip your fork in the dressing before a bite instead of pouring the whole cup out onto your salad. And, even though olive oil is the better choice, it doesnt mean that you should have the whole bottle, Smithson says. Each teaspoon is 45 calories, so use sparingly.
5. Not all fat is created equal. A bit of fat — from sources such as avocado or plain nuts — is healthy. So instead of focusing on the total fat content of a salad, look at saturated fat instead.
For a much-needed reality check, we scoured the nutrition facts of nine of Americas favorite chain restaurants (according to this survey from Nations Restaurant News) to find the salads that break at least one of these rules:
The Top Five Cancer-Causing Foods
Ever wonder which foods should be strongly avoided by those at high risk for cancer? We can begin identifying cancer-causing foods once we know which ingredients in our food cause cancer. Some of those ingredients are food additives and chemicals used to enhance taste, while others are used strictly for appearance or to increase product shelf life. The key to avoiding cancer-causing foods is knowing which ingredients are carcinogens — or cancer promoters — and then reading food labels to permanently avoid consuming those ingredients.€¨€¨Cancer tumors develop, in part, by feeding on sugar in the bloodstream. If you eat lots of sugary snacks loaded with simple carbs, you’re loading your bloodstream with the chemical energy needed for cancer cells (and tumors) to proliferate. No biological system can live without fuel for its chemical processes, including cancer cells. Thus, one of the strategies to pursue for any anti-cancer diet is to eat low-glycemic diet. That means no refined sugars… ever! No refined grains (white flour, for example), no heavy use of sweeteners and the lifetime avoidance of sugary soda pop. Aside from starving tumors, eating foods low in sugar and avoiding simple carbs will also keep your weight in check while helping prevent blood sugar disorders such as type-2 diabetes.€¨€¨What to avoid on the labels: high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, sucrose, enriched bleached flour, white rice, white pastas, white breads and other “white” foods.
The dangers of hydrogenated oils
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils — another danger — are developed from otherwise harmless, natural elements. To make them hydrogenated, oils are heated in the presence of hydrogen and metal catalysts. This process helps prolong shelf life but simultaneously creates trans fats, which only have to be disclosed on the label if the food contains more than 0.5 grams per serving. To avoid listing trans fats, or to claim “trans fat free” on their label, food manufacturers simply adjust the serving size until the trans fat content falls under 0.5 grams per serving. This is how you get modern food labels with serving sizes that essentially equate to a single bite of food. Not exactly a “serving” of food, is it?€¨€¨Besides being a cancer factor, trans fats promote heart disease, interrupt metabolic processes, and cause belly fat that crowd the organs and strain the heart. The essential fatty acids that the hydrogenation process removes are responsible for a number of processes in your body. When trans fats replace these essential fatty acids, they occupy the same space without doing the same job. The “anchor” portion of the fatty acid is in place (which is how the body recognizes the fatty acid and puts it to work) but the chemically active part of the fatty acid is twisted, distorted, and missing vital parts.€¨€¨After the hydrogenation process, the fatty acid can’t biochemically function in the same way. Things like brain cell function, hormones, gland function, oxygen transport, cell wall function (keeping things in or out of your cells) and digestive tract operation (putting together nutrients and blocking allergens) are adversely affected. €¨€¨Food manufacturers don’t tell you this on the product label, of course. Your body needs essential fatty acids and you are programmed to keep eating until you get them. If you’re only eating trans fats, you’ll never feel fully satiated, because your body will never get the fatty acids it needs for essential function. Since cancer needs high blood sugar and low oxygen levels, a person with lots of belly fat who just can’t seem to put down those trans fat cookies or crackers (also loaded with flour and simple sugars) presents the ideal environment for the development of cancer.
The acrylamide factor
Since trans fats are often formed during the frying process, we should also talk about acrylamides. Acrylamides are not added into food; they are created during the frying process. When starchy foods are subjected to high heat, acrylamides form. A Swedish study found that acrylamides cause cancer in rats, and more studies are under way to confirm the understanding that acrylamides also cause cancer in humans.
Sodium nitrite (and nitrates)
Food companies add sodium nitrite into certain foods on purpose. This carcinogen is added to processed meats, hot dogs, bacon, and any other meat that needs a reddish color to look “fresh.” Decades ago when meats were preserved, it was done with salt. But in the mid 20th century, food manufacturers started using sodium nitrite in commercial preservation. This chemical is responsible for the pinkish color in meat to which consumers have grown accustomed. Although today the use of refrigeration is largely what protects consumers from botulism and bacteria, manufacturers still add sodium nitrite to make the meat look pinkish and fresh.€¨€¨The nitrites themselves are not the problem. People get more nitrites from vegetables than they do from meat, according to research by the University of Minnesota. During the digestion process, however, sodium nitrite is converted to nitrosamine, and that’s where the cancer problems begin. Nitrosamine is a carcinogen, but since it is not technically an ingredient, its presence can be easily overlooked on the packaging. Nitrosamines are also found in food items that are pickled, fried, or smoked; in things such as beer, cheese, fish byproducts, and tobacco smoke.€¨€¨Knowing about all these ingredients doesn’t mean there is simply a “short list” of foods that should be avoided. You have to vigilant and read labels constantly. Here are the five worst offenders:
- Hot dogs: The Cancer Prevention Coalition recommends that children should not eat more than 12 hot dogs per month because of the risk of cancer. If you must have your hot dog fix, look for those without sodium nitrite listed among the ingredients.
- Processed meats and bacon: These meats almost always contain the same sodium nitrite found in hot dogs. You can find some without nitrites, but you’ll have to look for them in natural grocers or health food stores. Bacon is also high in saturated fat, which contributes to the risk of cancers, including breast cancer. Limiting your consumption of processed meats and saturated fats also benefits the heart.
- Doughnuts: Doughnuts contain hydrogenated oils, white flour, sugar, and acrylamides. Essentially, they’re one of the worst cancer foods you can possibly eat. Reader’s Digest calls doughnuts “disastrous” as a breakfast food, and many experts agree it’s probably one of the worst ways to start the day.
- French fries: Fries are made with hydrogenated oil and fried at high temperatures. Some chains even add sugar to their fry recipe to make them even more irresistible. Not only do they clog your arteries with saturated fat and trans fat, they also contain acrylamides. They should be called “cancer fries,” not French fries.
- Chips / crackers / cookies: These generally contain white flour and sugar as well as trans fats, but it’s not enough to simply look for these ingredients on the label; you have to actually “decode” the ingredients list that food manufacturers use to deceive consumers. They do this by hiding ingredients (such as hiding MSG in yeast extract, or by fiddling with serving sizes so they can claim the food is trans fat free, even when it contains trans fats (the new Girl Scout cookies use this trick).
Besides avoiding these foods, what else can consumers do to reduce their risk of cancer? The main things are simple: Eat unprocessed foods and base your diet largely on plants. Consume foods that have omega-3 fats and other essential fatty acids. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables; many common ones have known cancer-fighting properties. Get regular vigorous exercise, since tumors cannot thrive in highly oxygenated environments. Keep your blood sugar stable to avoid being an all-you-can-eat buffet for cancer cells.€¨€¨Eat foods high in natural vitamin C, a nutrient that deters the conversion of nitrite into nitrosamine and promotes healthy immune function. Make sure you get adequate amounts of cancer-fighting vitamin D through exposure to sunlight — about 10 to 15 minutes each day if you have fair skin, or ten times as long if you have dark skin pigmentation. Stay well hydrated to ensure that your body rids itself of toxins. Avoid smoking and don’t use conventional fragrance, cosmetics and personal care products — virtually all of them contain cancer-causing chemicals.€¨€¨Preventing cancer is actually quite straightforward. Even the World Health Organization says that 70 percent of all cancers can be prevented with simple changes in diet and lifestyle. The truth is that most people give themselves cancer through the foods, drinks and products they choose to consume. In my opinion, over 90 percent of cancers are easily preventable.€¨€¨By the way, don’t you find it interesting that the cancer industry seems to have no interest whatsoever in urging people to avoid eating sodium nitrite, or to stop using cancer-causing skin care products, or to get more sunlight on their skin so they can prevent cancer with vitamin D? As you’ll read in many other articles I’ve written here, it is my firm belief that the cancer industry has no interest whatsoever in preventing cancer, and it primarily interested in treating cancer for profit. This view is generally agreed upon by noted cancer target=”_blank” experts such as Dr. Samuel Epstein and Dr. Ralph Moss. See www.PreventCancer.com to learn more from Dr. Epstein.