Bacon is one of the most iconic meats in America. It is part of our culture, glamorized in fast food commercials and served at breakfast tables around the nation. Who can resist that irresistible crunch and savory taste that only bacon can offer? However, in spite of its delicious reputation, bacon has long been considered harmful to our health. Critics have cited bacon’s high fat, cholesterol, sodium, and nitrite levels as health detractors, to the extent where bacon is viewed as an indulgence to avoid. 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 monounsaturatedfat, made up mainly of oleic acid, the same sort of acid found in healthy olive oil. Another kind found in bacon, palmitoleic acid, has beneficial antimicrobial properties that add to the health advantages of bacon. While the other twenty per cent of bacon fat consists of saturated fat, this saturated fat is truly healthy! It helps to keep bacon fat secure and prevents it from going rancid.
Another concern of critics is that a high cholesterol level in bacon. However, new evidence shows that dietary cholesterol is in fact crucial for us to eat and isn’t associated with increased risk of heart disease or other medical problems. Additional cholesterol is even required to regulate our hormones and physiological 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 foods, and can cause heart disease. It’s important to avoid this processed cholesterol, and provide 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 truly very important and necessary for proper bodily function. For example, it is used to make blood, sweat, tears, and mucus in our bodies. Low-salt diets can even increase the possibility of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and hypertension. Today, Americans consume half as much salt as in the times before refrigeration when meat was maintained with salting. Even animals know the significance of salt, as they search out resources for sodium, such as salt licks. There is therefore no reason to prevent bacon because of its salt content. In actuality, the extra salt may even make you healthier!
To sum up, the cholesterol, fat, and salt in bacon is nothing to be concerned with. These things are all important to out diets and must 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 often several artificial preservatives added, like nitrates. These are a problem in most processed meats and can cause health issues. To prevent these it’s best practice to purchase fresh, natural bacon.