Bacon, a smoked pork product, is often labeled by the health conscious as being one of the most unhealthy foods available. The truth is that bacon contains many healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. When eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, bacon is good for you.
Bacon contains monounsaturated fat, oliec acid, which is also found in olive oil. Nearly half of the fat found in bacon is made up of monounsaturated fat. Studies have shown that starting the day with a high fat, high protein breakfast such as bacon and eggs improves the metabolism. Eating such an energy-rich breakfast also means that the digestive system takes longer to digest the morning meal, so that snacking between lunch and breakfast isn’t necessary.
Vitamins and Minerals
Bacon contains Niacin, which is good for the skin and essential for good circulation and nervous system functioning. B vitamins, B-12 and Thiamin, improve metabolism, digestion and circulation. Phosphorous is present in bacon, assisting in heart and kidney functioning and the healthy formation of teeth and bones. Iron that is found in bacon improves the immune system and encourages the production of hemoglobin in the blood. Selenium is good for the immune system and is an antioxidant, preventing the oxidation of fats in the body. Bacon contains omega-3 fatty acids which improve circulation, lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Healthy Bacon Choices
Bacon has a high sodium content, and should be served with foods that have a low salt content, to balance the amount of sodium being absorbed into the body. A breakfast of boiled or poached eggs, bacon and fresh fruit is healthier than a breakfast of fried eggs, bacon and fried bread.
Bacon contains nitrites and nitrates. These alone aren’t bad for your health, when eaten in moderation, but the by-products of nitrites, nitrosamines, are bad for you. Luckily, nitrosamines are only found in overcooked bacon, so avoid cooking your bacon until it is crisp.
Moderate the amount of bacon that you eat. A few slices with breakfast every other day is a healthier way to enjoy bacon than scoffing down a pack of bacon each day. Although bacon is good for you in many ways, it still has a high sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol content. These are only good for you if you eat bacon in moderation.
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