The Bacon Post

Posted by on Mar 19, 2013 in Blog, Food | 0 comments

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Bacon

 

20 years ago my mother appalled me by chewing on the crispy, fatty rinds of bacon on her Sunday brunch plate. If that wasn’t bad enough, she then suggested it was the best bit!

THE BEST BIT!!??! Are you CRAZY?!??

Humble apologies mother. It seems you were right after all.

Yep. Back then I was a carb loading, low fat food 5 times a day munching athlete and bacon (if eaten at all) should be grilled and trimmed of fat. The food pyramid was at the peak of its authority and cereals were the only way to start the day.

Right?

I love bacon for a lot of reasons. It offends on so many levels you just can’t ignore it! Turns out it’s also a great place to start a pretty weighty conversation about dietary fat.

Throw out the “bacon is good for you” line next time you’re at a dinner party and watch that grenade explode. Every non vegan dude at the table will be secretly praying you can prove you’re right while the female guests will turn up their noses, snort and advocate wholegrain this or low fat that. That’s just how it is.

Within 30 seconds someone will have challenged you about Atkins dying of a heart attack (he didn’t – he died from a fall), the killer that is red meat (more on that right here) or the classic “it just can’t be” put down.

Do it.

Let it kick off and when someone mentions a trigger word – take your pick from Atkins, cholesterol or heart attack – just raise your hands calmly to request a hearing.

And then do this.

OK guys. If we’re gonna discuss this objectively we need facts.

 Agreed?

It’s a valid contribution so you’ll eventually get the consensus you need.

 OK. So who here – apart from myself – is familiar with the precise nutritional composition of bacon?

Come in to my parlour said the spider to the fly…..

Let’s face it. How many folks do you know who have studied the nutritional make up of bacon?

 OK.

 Now, does anyone know the associated health benefits or otherwise of monounsaturated, saturated and polyunsaturated fats respectively?

Your ball.

Now. Let’s bring home the bacon shall we…

Despite an unwarranted bad boy image, bacon makes a compelling case for itself –  with considerably more monounsaturated fat (MUFA) than saturated fat in any given slice, hell there’s even something for everyone here! Alongside ditching sugar, MUFA is that very rare animal in the nutrition jungle about which dietary and medical experts speak no evil. The big news is that it’s anti inflammatory and inflammation is a sleeping giant in the Business of Serious Illness. Watch that space.

Of course, some folks never lie down and to credibly sing the praises of bacon you’ll have to put the saturated fat myth to bed as well. OK it’s a bit more work but fortunately we already know how to slay that dragon.

So what’s left?

Sodium?

The fact is anyone eating a diet consisting of real food has already eradicated the biggest source of sodium anyway – processed foods and bread.  During the making of Cereal Killers it was put to me that I might consider actually increasing my salt intake due to the unprocessed nature of my food plan.  In the grander scheme of a real food approach, it’s a non issue folks.

Now you might think the case is closed, but at this point you should expect someone to tap their wine glass with a teaspoon, request some calm, smile politely and then drop the ultimate anti bacon nuke.

So what about processed meats and cancer then?

Not bad. Not bad at all. Good effort. Plenty of evidence to support this one, right?

This is the good old nitrates/nitrites debate. Cured meat will kill you and all that.

Here’s the thing. We actually get > 90% of our ingested nitrites from vegetables and our body produces more nitrates than we could ever consume anyway.  Ingested nitrates don’t even hang around for peat’s (couldn’t resist) sake, there is no accumulation in the body and your spit contains more of this bacon bogey man than a cured pig.

Oh, and just by the way, the original study has since been discredited by peer review.

QED methinks.

 

 

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