Do you love bacon but you are afraid to eat it, or feel guilty when you do? Here’s permission to indulge yourself!
Bacon, as well as other pork products, is not only delicious, but it’s a great, nutritious way to start the day.
Yes, you read me right.
Not only is bacon something that most of us like to eat, but as long as it is coming from healthy, pastured pigs, preferably from your local farmer, bacon is also good for you. Here’s why.
1. Bacon Contains Saturated Fats
It’s a common myth that bacon is bad for your heart. The truth is that bacon can actually be good for your heart, especially when it reduces low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and increases high density lipoprotein HDL which helps cholesterol to function appropriately in the body.
Saturated fats provide a number of beneficial functions. They help cells to maintain integrity and structure. Saturated fats are also necessary for the health of the bones and work to incorporate calcium into the skeletal structure.
Just as important, saturated fats strengthen the immune system and the heart. The muscle around the heart is highly saturated and helps to sustain the heart cells.
So when you have bacon and eggs for breakfast, maybe with a side of sausage, as part of a healthy real food diet, you are actually doing your heart a favor. Saturated fats also provide improved liver function, increased immune function, improves the health of the liver and lungs and benefits brain function as well. (Source)
2. There’s Vitamin D in Bacon
There is an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency because many people, especially children do not get enough.
Vitamin D is necessary for proper mineral absorption and metabolism. Insufficient levels of vitamin D have been linked to osteoporosis, cavities and tooth decay, bone loss and bone fracture, heart disease, autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and other diseases.
The U.S. RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin D is 600 IU per day. In contrast, both the Weston A. Price Foundation and Dr. Mercola recommend around 5,000 IU per day.
3. Bacon Contains Protein
We need protein in order to maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.
You probably already know that protein is comprised of chains of amino acids that are the basic structures, or the building blocks of important hormones and endorphins, as well as serotonin in the brain. Julia Ross, author of [easyazon-link asin=”0143120859″ locale=”us”]The Diet Cure: The 8-Step Program to Rebalance Your Body Chemistry and End Food Cravings, Weight Gain, and Mood Swings–Naturally[/easyazon-link] as well as [easyazon-link asin=”0142003646″ locale=”us”]The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions–Today[/easyazon-link], writes about the necessity of protein for mental health:
Restoring depleted brain chemistry sounds like a big job – but it isn’t. Three of the four neurotransmitters that color all your moods are made from just a single amino acid each! Because biochemists have isolated the key amino acids, you can easily add the specific ones that may be deficient. These “free form” amino acids are instantly bioavailable (in other words they are predigested), unlike protein powders from soy or milk, which can be hard to absorb. Hundreds of research studies at Harvard, MIT, and elsewhere (some of which date back to the early part of this century) have confirmed the effectiveness of using just a few targeted amino acid “precursors” to increase the key neurotransmitters, thereby eliminating depression, anxiety, and cravings for food, alcohol and drugs.
Protein energy also helps to reset metabolism.
4. Bacon Contains CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a type of fat found in bacon that has been shown to protect the body’s cells against developing cancer.
It is also essential in assisting the building of muscle (which is why some bodybuilders seek to extract it and use it as part of their body-sculpting strategy).
CLA benefits the body due to its sensitivity to insulin, as well as by encouraging the building of muscles rather than fat storage. So eating bacon for breakfast from pastured pigs as part of a healthy, non-toxic real food diet is probably not going to make you fat, despite the common stereotypes.
5. Bacon, Like All Pork, Contains B-Vitamins
Bacon and pork in general is a source of B-vitamins, particularly an antioxidant called choline.
Studies have shown that choline helps to boost memory function, and is important to overall brain health. Choline is cited as a prevention of the development of Alzheimer’s. Choline is also important for its function in the structural integrity of the cell membrane, cell signaling, nerve impulse transmission, lipid transport and metabolism, and creates methyls which in the blood decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease.
Bacon can also provide the body with vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate), zinc, iron and magnesium.
6. Bacon is composed of monounsaturated fats
These are the fats that have lots of healthy fat soluble vitamins and minerals. Almost 50% of the fat in bacon is comprised of monounsaturated fats.
There are many benefits in the fatty acids found in bacon, including a wide range of health effects, such as reducing inflammation of joints, reducing clogging and hardening of arteries, improving glucose maintenance, improving the heart and circulatory system, and much more.
Not only is bacon from pastured pigs good for you, but it is also delicious. There is nothing quite like the smell of bacon filling your morning breakfast along with nutritious eggs to start the day.
The good news is that you can ignore all the negative hype. Because it contains saturated fats, protein, vitamin D and B vitamins, monounsaturated fats, choline and more, you don’t have to feel guilty about eating bacon. It’s actually good for you.
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Photo credit: Perfect Bacon Slices, and ryan.dowd