Many people don't know whether to love or hate bacon.
They like this crisp taste and hardness, but still worry that all processed meat and fat can be harmful.
Yes, there are many rumors in the history of nutrition that don't pass the test of time.
Is the concept of harmful bacon one of them? Let's find out.
How is bacon made?
Have a lot of type And the final product may vary depending on the manufacturer.
Bacon is usually made from pork, although you can also find "bacon" made from meat of other animals like turkey.
Bacon is usually processed for long-term storage, where the meat is soaked in saline, nitrate, spices and sometimes sugar. In some cases, bacon is smoked afterwards.
To keep long done to preserve meat. High salt makes the meat an unfriendly environment for bacteria to live on, nitrates also fight bacteria and help bacon keep red.
Bacon is a type of meat Processing , but the amount of processing and ingredients used varies between manufacturers.
Summary: Bacon is usually made from pork and through the process of processing to keep it long, including mixing meat with salt, nitrates and other ingredients.
Bacon is high in fat ... But they are "good" fats.
Fat in bacon is about 50% of monounsaturated fat and mostly oleic acid.
It is also the type of fatty acid that olive oil is praised for and is often considered "heart-healthy" .
Then about 40% is saturated fat, accompanied by a large amount of good cholesterol.
But we know that harmless saturated fats and dietary cholesterol don't affect blood cholesterol. So nothing scary .
Depending on what animals eat, about 10% are polyunsaturated fatty acids (mostly Omega-6). This is "bad" fat in bacon, because most people eat too much .
However, if you choose bacon from a wild grazing pig fed a natural diet, this will not have many problems.
If pigs are fed commercially, high in soybeans and corn (like most pigs), bacon can contain enough Omega-6 to cause problems.
I personally won't worry about it much, especially if you've avoided vegetable oil, that's the biggest source of Omega-6 in the diet.
Summary: Fatty acids in a typical batch of bacon are about 50% monounsaturated, 40% saturated and 10% polyunsaturated.
Bacon is quite nutritious
Meat tends to be very nutritious and bacon is no exception. A part of 100g typical cooked bacon contains :
- 37 grams of high quality animal protein.
- Lots of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12.
- 89% selenium RDA.
- 53% phosphorus RDA.
- Moderate intake of iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium minerals.
Bacon also contains quite a high amount of sodium, which is easy to understand through the way of long-time sodium treatment during processing.
I personally think the risks of sodium are suffering blow up . Some studies show that excess sodium can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease, while other studies show that too little sodium leads to the opposite result .
If you have avoided the largest sources of sodium in the diet (processed and packaged foods) then I don't think you need to worry about the amount of sodium in bacon.
For healthy people without high blood pressure, There is no evidence shows that eating a little sodium is harmful .
Summary: Cooked bacon contains lots of nutrients. The amount of sodium is quite high, which can be a problem for people with high blood pressure.
Nitrate, nitrite and Nitrosamine
Now that we know that saturated fat, cholesterol and normal sodium are not worrisome, the other problem is nitrate.
It seems that some research done by some scientists in the past has linked nitrate to cancer. However, these studies have been rejected .
Nitrates are not some artificial compounds especially for bacon. Our body contains nitrates, and the largest food source is vegetables.
Right, vegetables contains lots of nitrates.
Even our saliva contains a large amount of nitrates. These are compounds that play a natural role in human body development processes.
There are some concerns that during cooking at high temperatures, nitrates may form compounds called nitrosamines, known to be carcinogens .
However, currently vitamin C is added to the treatment process to keep it long, significantly reducing nitrosamine content .
The damaging effects of nitrosamines are overwhelmed by potential benefits, but dietary nitrates can also be converted into Nitric Oxide, which is associated with improved immune function and cardiovascular health .
Summary: There may be no reason to fear nitrates in bacon. Nitrate is a component of the human body and is found in large quantities in other foods like vegetables.
Other potentially hazardous compounds
When it comes to cooking meat, we need to balance. Too much bad, too little even worse.
If we use too much heat and heat the meat, it will produce harmful compounds such as multi-round and Amylic Heterocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - linked to cancer .
On the other hand, some meats may contain like bacteria, viruses and parasites.
For this reason, we need to cook meat well enough to kill bacteria. So, cook your bacon properly. It should be brittle but not burnt.
Summary: All meat should be cooked enough to kill potential pathogens, but should not be too fire to avoid burning.
What do the studies say
There are some concern when discussing bacon and other processed meats.
Many studies have observed an association between meat consumption, cancer and heart disease.
Especially processed meat is linked to colon cancer, breast cancer, liver, lung and other organs .
There is also a link between processed meat and cardiovascular disease.
A large meta-analysis of later studies in meat consumption shows that while ordinary meat has no effect, processed meat is significantly associated with both heart disease and diabetes .
Of course, processed meat eaters are also more likely to smoke, exercise less and look at living in an unhealthy way than those who don't.
Processed meat eaters in these studies can eat them with pancakes, soft drinks or beer and maybe even ice cream in later desserts.
Therefore, we cannot draw many conclusions from these findings. Being correlated does not mean having a causal relationship. However, I do NOT think these studies should be skip , because these relationships are consistent and fairly tight
I don't know if this is a problem in the case of real foods with a low-carb diet.
Summary: Some observational studies show a link between consumption of processed meat, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.
How to choose right
Like most other meats, the quality of the final product depends on a lot of things, including what food and animal products are processed.
The best bacon is from natural grazing pigs that are fed according to a suitable regime.
If possible, buy bacon from local farmers using traditional processing methods.
If you cannot buy bacon directly from farmers, eat bacon at the supermarket and take risks. In general, the fewer artificial ingredients in the product, the better for you.
If you want to make your own bacon, you can buy pork belly and then make your own bacon.
Summary: Just like other meats, the feed consumed and their feeding conditions can have a strong effect on the final product.
There are some studies that show that bacon is linked to cancer and heart disease, but all of them are called studies. cannot prove the result.
In general, I do not believe that bacon is harmful. But I don't believe it's completely healthy. The key is a kind of meat Processing .
Finally, you have to choose yourself. Consider the problem objectively.
Do you think adding this great food to your life is worth the risk? The decision is in you.
In my opinion, bacon can be consumed as part of a healthy diet, a healthy diet. It is also the perfect food for those who follow Low carb diet .
There are some potential concerns, but I personally do not lose sleep because I know that I am avoiding food really terrible, such as sugar, refined carb and vegetable oil.
I personally chose to continue eating bacon several times a week, as I sometimes do now.
In my opinion, a life with bacon certainly defeats a life without it.