If loving bacon is wrong I don’t want to be right!
I am the type of person that bacon makes everything better. A salad, sandwich, bacon wrapped meat, bacon burger and sooo much more.
As you may or may not have heard, there has been a lot of talk on the T.V. and internet about nitrates and how they cause cancer.
After seeing this I did put on the bacon breaks.
The problem with us humans is that we scare too easily. We accept most of what is shown to us without any research or even asking the simple question, why?
Everyone told me, and many still do that Keto is bad for me. But here I am at 40, lost over 30 pounds, feeling great and just got a blood test done with a perfect result. So yes, I am what you call a hard-head and I like to questions everything.
On keto, bacon is really popular and so I thought let’s see what the fuss is all about this cancer causing bacon.
How is bacon made?
It’s starts with pork.
A big section of pork belly will go through a set of processes to get the skin off . From here the pork belly will get trimmed into a rectangular shape.
A brine consistent of salts and other flavors will then be injected into the pork belly.
From here they will be hung on a rack to dry. The can leave these between 1 and 7 days.
From here they will be go into the oven, this allows the flavors to permeate into the meat. After this the meat is cooled and sliced.
These are then sometimes cooked and packaged. I prefer to fry them myself.
Is bacon a processed meat?
Processed meat is considered to be any meat which has been modified in order either to improve it’s taste or to extend its shelf life.
Even though bacon is processed, it is minimally processed compared to let’s say hot dogs, salami, ham and other cold cuts.
You should watch for added sugars like dextrose (another word for sugar), especially on the keto diet.
Does the nitrate in bacon cause cancer?
People have cured meats with nitrates or nitrites dating back to 3000 years. They had to cure the meat to preserve it from spoiling because they did not have refrigerators back then.
Back then they use much more salt and nitrates to cure their meats, and there are no records of people getting cancer from these cured meats.
Would you believe that we as human beings make nitrates in our own saliva? When we eat a source of nitrogen our bodies turn it into nitrates that comes out in our saliva (spit).
Now if nitrate is a poison I would not think that the body would make it? You make more nitrate in a day than you would get from eating a pound of bacon.
Also, vegetables like lettuce, celery and beets contain huge amount of nitrates. So how come those are very healthy to eat. It is believed that 80% of our daily nitrate intake is coming from our vegetables.
Vegetarians are not dying everyday from cancer are they?
Since the 70s the federal government has limited the amounts of nitrates or nitrites that can occur in processed meats. There is now way less nitrates being added due to these regulations.
So as you can see, nitrates are not dangerous as many percieve them to be.
Bacon is high in fat, isn’t that dangerous for clogging arteries?
Bacon is made out of:
- 50% Monounsaturated fat (much coming from oleic acid, similar found in olive oil)
- 40% Saturated fat
- 10% Polyunsaturated fat
We used to see a high fat as the enemy of our diets. Be we now know that this is not the case. A high fat, low carb diet is now one of the healthiest diet to follow.
The high fat is not the problem, what the problem is combining high fat diets with high sugar and carb diets.
Eating fat does not make you fat, eating carbs does.
When eating carbs and fats, the body will prioritize using the carbs as it’s energy source and leaving the fats to be stored.
Many people who eat only fat and meats have clean and healthy arteries. Dr. Eric Berg, Dr. Ken Berry and other keto promoting doctors have shared their blood work in the past and there C.A.C. test results were 0. The CAC (Coronary Arterie Calcium) test that will take a look at the clogging of the coronary arteries (the one that when it’s blocked causes a massive hearth attack).
Clogging arteries is not caused by only cholesterol, it is a mixture of certain proteins, calcium and other things.
High insulin from a long span during a persons’ life, due to eating to many sugars and carbs will lead to damaged arteries walls, this is where the clog will form and become greater over time until it will get glogged.
You can have perfects score of blood sugar, cholesterol and other blood results and still have clogged arteries. You can have no symptoms at all and get a hearth attack due to this clogging of the arteries.
So get your C.A.C test done to prevent yourself of having a hearth attack or even stroke.
Eating high salt is bad right?
When you are following a keto diet, your body will release more and more water from your system.
This is because the decrease of inflammation in your body.
When your body is fed high sugar and carbs, inflammation goes up to help protect your body, but this is not a good thing in the long run. Constant Inflammation in the body will ultimately lead to high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. But ultimatley high inflammation will cause damage to your body over the long run.
On a keto diet salt is more than welcome.
Do nitrates have any benefits?
Some studies are finding out that there are benefits to nitrates and are even maybe trying to make a nitrite pill to help with dilating of the blood vessels to help lower high blood pressure.
It also helps with erectile dysfunction. No need for Viagra any more boys :).
There are now studies being conducted to use nitrates therapeutically.
Don’t eat bacon that uses sugar to cure, or that have sugary flavors.
There are some brands of bacon that you should avoid.
These are the ones that are injected with sugary brine and flavors (brown sugar).
You should read the nutritional facts and make better choices about your bacon selection. There are even some that are labeled as uncured, even though they use celery nitrates to cure the meat.
So even the ones that says uncurred have nitrates in them.
Helpful tool for cooking bacon in microwave.
If you are in a hurry but still want freshly cooked bacon try this microwave bacon tray.
It is fast and has a lid that won’t make your microwave all greasy.
I would encourage everyone to eat their bacon in moderation of course.
I do eat bacon every week, the only thing I really do not like about bacon is the odor it leaves in the living room.
I have 2 solution for this. Open all the windows and I fry 1 or 2 packs of bacon a week, so that I do not have to cook every time I want a slice of bacon in my salad, sandwich or other foods.
Store them in a large Ziploc bag and store for up to a week or more in the fridge.
I hope that I have explained it enough for you not to be afraid of bacon anymore.
If you still have questions or concerns be sure to leave them in the comment section.
My recommend keto cookbook: