Bacon. The very mention of the word is likely to make the most hardened fitness fanatic salivate uncontrollably. A major weekend pleasure and perhaps the culinary cherry on top of any meal. But, can you eat it every day?
Everything in proportion is the age old guidance. Yes A chocolate bar won’t kill you, but 250 could put you closer to a fat riddled demise. So is there a way to enjoy bacon on a regular occasion without turning into the very animal you’re eating?
We thought we’d see if we can make bacon healthy.
What is good in bacon?
Let’s start off with the good. Apart from vitamins B6 and B12 you also have iron, magnesium, and zinc. Add in pork based protein and you are well on your way to one healthy as hell meat.
Added to this is choline. What is choline you ask? Well researchers recently discovered that choline can help fetal brain development. So if you do find yourself with a bun in the oven, get some bacon down you (read below for guidance).
Anything else? You bet. Bacon contains Omega-3, is stock full of energy and makes you happy! Of course, unlike bacon, take all of this with a small pinch of salt and do some research. Don’t start eating 20 rashers a day for example.
Finally, fat. A little bit is good for you.
What is bad in bacon?
NOTHING! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BACON AT ALL! Of course, I lie. Like anything, there are drawbacks. For one, salt. Bacon is rather high in salt, and that can increase cholesterol – which in turn causes problems.
Fat; didn’t we already say about that? Yes, and we are well aware that fat is not always bad. But if you eat loads and loads of bacon, you will be topping the fat scales. And too much fat is not a good way to go about things.
Heard about nitrates? They could be a scare; but this is the theory: in all veg we eat nitrates and to a smaller extent, we take them in when we consume cured meats. Our body has microorganisms that sometimes convert nitrates into nitrites. Some of these can then turn into carcinogenic nitrosamines.
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So how do I make my bacon healthy?
1. Always cut the fat off
Yes, that’s where the awesome flavour comes from, but it’s a pretty simple step to take. As far as we are aware, there is no method of cooking that requires said fat, so get rid of it. Don’t like waste? Throw it to the birds!
2. It’s brill to grill
Get a grill tray or use a health grill and watch how the fat drips down slowly. You may be thinking, “Ohhhh that flavour is going” but it just makes it a tad healthier. Remember not to put the fat down the drain, unless you like calling plumbers and drain blockage companies.
3. If you do fry, use spray oil
A couple of squirts and you’re away. If you get a decent ceramic pan, or a cast iron skillet, then you can get away without any oil at all. Those burnt bits you get are wonderfully flavoursome. Make sure you pat your bacon with kitchen paper to remove the excess fat.
4. Leaner cuts
Always check the ingredients before you buy “reduced fat” bacon. It could be full of rubbish. Treat bacon like beer; the the smaller the ingredients list the better. Once you’ve found your lean bacon, go for it. The same principle can be had for things like beef and lamb mince.
5. Eat small bits of bacon with salad
Want a bacon hit? Chop it up nice and small before frying like above, or after grilling. Then throw it in a healthy salad or pasta dish. You get a bacon hit without too much of a good thing.
6. Get creative
Line a muffin tray with bacon (no fat) and then crack an egg in. Put it in the oven and soon you’ll have delicious bacon and egg baskets. You can also make bowls out of bacon, and if you just want the smell of bacon, then why not get a bacon car air freshener?
So we might not yet have bacon flavoured muscle growth supplements, and we might not have found salty free bacon that’s still super tasty, but there you are; don;t eat it every day and cook it right. May the bacon, be forever in your favour.