Don’t we all LOVE BACON? ( unless you’re pregnant- I recall the smell absolutely nauseated me). Anyway, bacon or pig fat, has long been touted as an unhealthy food because of nitrites/nitrates and how high in saturated fat it is. The fat in bacon is actually 40% saturated- the rest being monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like those found in vegetable oils. By the way, COCONUT oil, which most of the world agrees is a beneficial healthy food , is 92% saturated fat. This doesn’t make it “bad”.
You may already know the scientific community has pretty much fully agreed in recent years that saturated fat is actually not bad for you at all… and has been a huge part of our ancestral diets since the beginning of time .
What scientists have been discovering in recent years is the damaging effects of highly processed polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils like corn and soy. These are the REAL killers (along with too much sugar and starch, both of which also cause arterial stress if blood sugar levels are too high, too frequently).
What makes a difference in the bacon you choose however, is how the pigs we get fat from are raised. Are they raised in factory farms or free to pasture and consume acorns and non – GMO feed?
According to Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, “Pork fat also contains a novel form of phosphatidylcholine that possesses antioxidant activity superior to Vitamin E. This may be one reason why lard and bacon fat are relatively stable and not prone to rancidity from free radicals. ”
This is yet another reason why our grandparents were actually smarter than we give them credit for… they used bacon fat or butter to cook with most times, instead of today’s inflammatory vegetable oils. Yes, inflammatory. More on that in another blog.
What about Nitrates/Nitrites?
Nitrites from processing bacon are not altogether as damaging as we have thought according to Nicholas Pineaut, health researcher:
“The fear of nitrites and nitrates is overblown. There are a ton of other things you should worry about more when it comes to food, like GMOs, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup.
The problem with nitrites and nitrates is that some of them can transform into NITROSAMINES while cooking. Nitrosamines are potentially carcinogenic, so that’s definitely a legit concern. But that’s exactly why manufacturers use vitamin C (ascorbic acid) when curing their meats.
It turns out that vitamin C or even vitamin E , offers a protective antioxidant effect when consumed with the bacon.“
Eating foods rich in antioxidants WITH your bacon , such as avocado, veggies, eggs, , coffee/tea is a good idea and you probably do that anyway.
I make sure to buy bacon from a local source I trust. YOU can too. Go to FarmMatch.com to find a farmer near your zip code.
ENJOY THAT BACON!
The Great Cholesterol Myth, Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Dr Kareem Sanhouri