Why Bacon Is Healthy
Bacon is one of the most iconic meats in America. It is part of our culture, glamorized in fast food advertisements and served at breakfast tables around the country. Who can resist that irresistible crunch and savory taste that only bacon can provide? However, despite its delicious reputation, bacon has long been considered dangerous to our health. Critics have cited bacon’s high fat, cholesterol, sodium, and nitrite levels as health detractors, to the extent where bacon is seen as an indulgence to avoid. New evidence, however, shows that this long-standing belief may not be justified. Check out why bacon is actually good for you.
Bacon’s main attraction is its high fat content. Half of the fat in bacon is monounsaturated, made up mostly of oleic acid, the same kind of acid found in healthy olive oil. Another type found in bacon, palmitoleic acid, has valuable antimicrobial properties that add to the health benefits of bacon. While the other forty percent of bacon fat consists of saturated fat, this saturated fat is actually healthy! It helps to keep bacon fat stable and prevents it from going rancid. Other benefits of bacon fat include high levels of vitamin D and high antioxidant levels.
Another concern of critics is a high cholesterol level in bacon. However, new evidence shows that dietary cholesterol is actually important for us to consume and is not associated with increased risk of heart disease or other health problems. Furthermore, cholesterol is even necessary to regulate our hormones and bodily functions. Oxidized cholesterol, however, can contribute to these health risks. This type of cholesterol is often found in powdered milk and powdered egg in processed food, and can be responsible for heart disease. It is important to avoid this processed cholesterol, and supply your body with natural cholesterol like from bacon.
The high salt content of bacon has also caused fears, as nutritionists often warn of the dangers of sodium. However, salt is actually very important and necessary for correct bodily function. For example, it is used to create blood, sweat, tears, and mucus in our bodies. Low-salt diets can even increase the chance of heart disease, osteoporosis, and hypertension. Today, Americans eat half as much salt as in the times before refrigeration when meat was preserved with salting. Even animals know the importance of salt, as they seek out sources for sodium, such as salt licks. There is therefore no reason to avoid bacon because of its salt content. In fact, the extra salt might even make you healthier!
In summary, the fat, cholesterol, and salt in bacon is nothing to be concerned with. These things are all important to out diets and should be consumed regularly. However, the one thing to watch out for in bacon is preservatives added to extend the shelf life. In processed bacon there are usually several artificial preservatives added, such as nitrates. These are a problem in most processed meats and can cause health problems. To avoid these it is best practice to buy fresh, natural bacon. Then you can enjoy your delicious and nutritious breakfast, bacon and all!