By Guy Lawrence
Is bacon healthy? This is one topic that comes with much opinion and debate to say the least (along with most nutritional topics for that matter!). It’s a great topic and one I wanted to touch on as I attended the Low Carb Down Under seminar in Sydney. This topic along with so many others were covered in the Q&A sessions with all the guest speakers.
Jimmy also mentions a great article to check out discussing nitrate/nitrite debate within bacon too: The Nitrate and Nitrite Myth: Another Reason not to Fear Bacon by Chris Kresser. It’s an excellent read and one I highly recommend. Here’s a few points I’ve taken from it:
- The study that originally connected nitrates with cancer risk and caused the scare in the first place has since been discredited after being subjected to a peer review. There have been major reviews of the scientific literature that found no link between nitrates or nitrites and human cancers, or even evidence to suggest that they may be carcinogenic. Further, recent research suggests that nitrates and nitrites may not only be harmless, they may be beneficial, especially for immunity and heart health. Confused yet?
- When it comes to food, vegetables are the primary source of nitrites. On average, about 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables.
- It’s important to understand that neither nitrate nor nitrite accumulate in body. Ingested nitrate from food is converted into nitrite when it contacts our saliva, and of the nitrate we eat, 25% is converted into salivary nitrite, 20% converted into nitrite, and the rest is excreted in the urine within 5 hours of ingestion.
These are simply just some of the points covered in the article. It’s a topic I’m looking into more, but so far my belief is this; Like David Gillespie said in the short video above, I’d be more worried about the feed and how it effects the fat makeup of the bacon. Pigs that are lot fed end up having a high omega-6 content. I feel that this is not a good thing. The same thing happens with beef which is corn fed. This why I eat grass fed beef and happily eat the fat as well. If it’s grain fed meat I simply cut the fat off to reduce the omega-6 intake.
Personally, I have a high fat diet and the quality of the fats I consume are very important to me.
So do I eat bacon? Not much, as free range bacon is hard to get my hands on and the fats worry me more than the nitrates.
So do you eat bacon? Have you read Chris Kresser’s article? Have you been to the Low Carb Down Under Tour? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…. Cheers, Guy
On a side note: I truly enjoy writing these posts, hence our frequent blog posts. At the end of the day though, these are just my thoughts and feelings around a topic I’m passionate about. I encourage everyone to do their own research and check out the facts for themselves.
If you did enjoy the post and got something from it or have something to share on the topic, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. If you feel others would benefit from this then it would be great if you could share it using one of the icons below (Facebook etc). Cheers, Guy…