If you follow the craze of food trends these days, you’ll see bacon at the top. Be it pizza or burger or even a flavored packet of crisps, bacon seems to be everywhere. As much as it has its reputation for its rich and classy taste, Is bacon healthy?
Let’s dig into some pros and cons to see whether bacon is as bad as the nutritionists suggest or are bacon healthy.
What Is Bacon Made of?
Let’s start with what bacon is made of. Usually, we know it’s made of pork slices, but what else does it include? Bacon is not made of any part of the pork meat. Chefs or professionals usually take the pork belly meat, which has less fat in it, and cut it into very thin slices.
Then the meat is soaked in brine with dry salt, and it is left to dry for weeks or months. They even smoke it for better flavor.
Sometimes nitrates are added to the bacon slices to speed up the drying or curing process and stabilize the meat color. After the curing or drying process is done, the bacon is ready to serve or get cooked. Bacon tastes salty and rich in flavor. Its smoky texture adds up to the flavor. People love bacon for its smoky and rich flavor.
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What Are the Nutrients of Bacon?
Although nutritionists often tell us to avoid bacon due to a large number of unsaturated fats, it is packed with a lot of nutrients. Let us talk about the other healthy nutrients present in bacon.
Firstly, let’s talk about protein. Bacon is a source of a huge amount of protein. For three regular slices of bacon, you get to have 12g of protein. The protein that comes from bacon provides energy to all of your cells and strengthens your muscles.
As a whole, the protein which comes from bacon would help you build your body.
Then comes another must-have nutrient that bacon provides us – B-vitamins. B vitamins help your body resist any kind of heart and kidney disease. Many B vitamins help to break the fats inside your body. It also helps in the digestion process of your body.
Positive Aspects of Bacon
Here are the positive impacts of bacon on your body –
Bacon contains unsaturated fats and oleic acid as well. These two nutrients are known to cure heart diseases. Although it contains saturated fats, which are bad for your health, unsaturated fats are beneficial for health if you eat bacon in a balanced way and not too much.
Usually, weight loss diets contain a bit of bacon to balance the amount of fat and protein along with other nutrients.
Another beneficial fatty acid inside bacon is Omega 3. Omega 3 is usually known as fish oils, but it is also found in a large amount inside bacon. This fatty acid also helps in reducing the risks of heart-related diseases like heart attack, stroke, etc.
Bacon has comparatively low carbs than other processed meats. Bacon contains almost no carbs in it or a small amount of it. You would take in approximately 1.4g carbs in 100 grams of bacon. So, it is well suited for weight loss and low carb diets but in a small amount of course.
The combination of a high amount of protein and low carb inside bacon gives a good boost to the metabolism inside your body. The protein inside your body burns calories because of a lot of thermic effects and other factors, which create a high metabolism inside your body.
That is why bacon is a great source of increasing the metabolism inside your body.
Is Bacon Healthy and Should It Be Included in Healthy Diets?
Although bacon has some good nutrients, it is still a lump of red meat and processed food. These kinds of foods are best to not include in your diet. But you can also include it for a little change in the protein intake in your diet.
You can eat bacon and still try to lose weight. But the amount you intake must be very little. Bacon might cause an increase in your weight if you keep eating it, and it would be difficult for you to regain your fitness that easily.
What Are the Downsides of Bacon?
Now that we are done defending the useful sides of bacon being a healthy food let us discuss some of its negative sides as well. Red meats and processed meats are always suggested to be taken in a small amount to avoid any type of casualties related to our health.
So, let’s find out what type of health risk factors are associated with people’s most wanted and craved food, bacon.
Causes Different Diseases:
Bacon is prone to many diseases, which can also be deadly. Firstly let us talk about skin diseases. There are kinds of nitrates found in bacon that causes carcinogen in the human body.
These carcinogens produce deadly skin diseases like colon cancer. It is also responsible for many heart diseases and also diabetes. The high level of unsaturated fats inside the bacon leads to bad cholesterol inside your body, which is very harmful to your health.
Anything containing protein can trigger allergic reactions to your body, pork being one of the most common ones as an example.
Bacon contains sodium and nitrates, and many people are allergic to these minerals. The allergy caused by bacon is usually called ‘Pork Allergy.’ A runny nose, itching around your eyes, headache, hives, etc., are the symptoms of this allergy.
Sodium and nitrates are mostly used while curing pork meat to bacon. That is why many doctors would ask you not to take in processed foods like bacon to avoid allergies of such kinds.
Speeds Up Weight Gain:
Bacon contains a lot of calories. 100 grams of bacon would contain approximately 540 calories in it. That is why bacon lets your body absorb all the fats to increase the rate of weight gain.
Usually, an adult body needs 1600-2000 calories each day to function. If you intake more than this amount of calories each day, the excess fat would accumulate and increase your weight. The excess weight in your body would make you suffer from obesity and overweight problems.
Being obese or overweight doesn’t stop your worries right there. These two come with severe diseases. Health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, etc., life-threatening diseases might attack you if you are obese or overweight.
That’s the reason doctors and nutritionists always warn you to avoid eating more calories than your body needs.
Threat to Reproductive Health:
Many of you might not know about this but intaking a large amount of bacon leads to male infertility. Any processed food, including bacon, might lead to a low sperm count. This was found in a research conducted by The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and they found that intake of red meat and processed meat would lead you to poor quality sperm.
This causes a lot of problems while conceiving a child.
Studies also found that men who eat bacon regularly have 30% lesser sperm counts than any normal or regular man’s sperm count.
Intake of processed meats is lowered when men face problems with fertility as prevention is always better than cure; it’s best for you to avoid the situation by being a bit cautious about eating any kind of processed meat, especially bacon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it OK to eat bacon every day?
No, it isn’t. You’re gonna gain weight rapidly, and it would have an adverse effect on your health.
Are bacon and eggs healthy?
Though each one has its own nutritional benefits, both of them together can pose a problem for digestion.
Is uncured bacon healthy?
It’s certainly better than cured bacon, but it still contains a high amount of saturated fat and sodium.
So, is bacon healthy? The answer to this would be both yes and no.
Yes, when you take in a balanced amount of it regularly, and no when you just keep eating it in a large amount without thinking about its bad effects on your health.
As we listed a few of bacon’s good sides, we can’t say bacon is inherently a bad food to consume. All we can do is be cautious about the amount we take in.
Have a baconlicious day!