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Healthy Bacon Debate

By on January 18, 2014

Most of us know intuitively that bacon is not a health food. And you probably won’t be surprised to learn that more than 60% of bacon’s calories come from fat, much of it  saturated fat. Each ounce of bacon contributes 30 milligrams of cholesterol.

Eating foods high in saturated fats raise cholesterol levels, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. And if those saturated fat-rich foods are also high in dietary cholesterol, cholesterol levels are even higher.

But bacon has merit.

Did you know that bacon provides us with important, necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function?

No one is proposing a diet heavy in bacon but from bacon, we receive: 65% of our Recommended Daily Intake of Thiamin (Vitamin B1) as well as 47% of our Niacin (Vitamin B3), 38% of our Vitamin B12, 36% of our Zinc, 24% of our Vitamin B6, 22% of our Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), 22% of our Phosphorus, 10% of our Pantothenate, and 10% of our Magnesium.  The protein to fat balance in bacon is actually the highest protein to fat balances found in any meat or fish.

bacon-500x510Bacon is chock full of a very important nutrient called “choline,” which helps increase our intelligence and memory, from conception to Senior Status, and has been shown in University studies to help fight off the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease and other chronic mental impairments.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to less than 7% of your total calories (that’s less than 16 daily grams of saturated fat for someone eating 2,000 calories a day). So under those guidelines, it might seem sensible to occasionally enjoy a small amount of bacon, or switch to turkey bacon, which is lower in fat and cholesterol.

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