Bacon: absolutely delicious, and long demonized. While many of us have a long-held belief that from a health perspective, bacon is evil—this is not the case if you get the real thing. However, even if you do get real bacon, it CAN be made evil when combined with certain foods!
Before we get to that, let’s talk about the difference between real bacon—which can be quite healthy in moderation—and the highly processed bacon we find at most grocery stores. Real bacon has a long and rich history, dating back to around 1500 BC. It consists of a cut of meat (usually a belly, shoulder, or loin of pork) cured, and either dried or smoked.
The bacon you find at most grocery stores goes through more of a process than this. Along with curing and smoking, it goes through heavy processing, is full of refined salt and sugar, and often has artificial preservatives and other additives slapped on. On top of that, the conditions that the pigs are often raised in are nothing short of abhorrent.
If you want to enjoy real bacon the way it was historically intended, you’ll want to find a local source. Look for either unprocessed grass-fed beef bacon, or unprocessed bacon made from organic pork. When you buy from local farms, you can find out firsthand how the animals have been treated, and what ingredients have been added to the final product.
Some things to watch for are the use of unrefined sea salt instead of refined, processed table salt, and the absence of additives. If you see a label that says “nitrate free,” it’s a fallacy, as all actual bacon will contain nitrates. However, make sure they are not artificial nitrates added into the product—as these deserve no place in a healthy diet.
We’re not saying you should go and eat bacon every day, but in small amounts, the real thing can provide a great source of protein and other nutrients such as vitamin B12. If you are eating a nutritious diet of whole foods prepared with love, which is largely plant based, a few slices of real, unprocessed bacon do not make a bad addition.
However, some things people are pairing bacon with nowadays ARE nutritionally terrible. The following are seven of the most disgusting:
Bacon and the deep fryer
If you’ve got a slice of real bacon, don’t go ruining it by tossing it in the deep fryer. This extremely high-heat cooking method introduces potentially carcinogenic compounds known as acrylamides into the mix, and depending on the oil you use, you could also be dining on artery-choking trans fats.
Yes, it’s a thing… and a horrendously unhealthy one. We probably don’t need to tell you again that soda is evil—between the sugar, phosphates, and artificial colors and flavors, just stay away.
Bacon and pie
Some people enjoy pairing their bacon with pie. However, this gluten and sugar combo won’t do any favors for your waistline—and it may just increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, inflammation, and other chronic conditions if you overindulge.
There’s that sugar again. While it is possible to whip up a batch of healthy ice-cream with organic milk (or coconut milk, for that matter), and a healthy sugar substitute like organic coconut crystals or raw honey, most of the ice-cream out there is just a sugar nightmare.
Bacon and cookies
Gluten, sugar, and whatever artificial additives are in the mix, don’t ruin your perfectly good bacon by piling it on top of cookies—which seems to be an odd trend at the moment.
Now this just seems unnecessary. Unless the sausage your bacon is wrapped in is an unprocessed variety made from grass-fed meat, you can bet that it’s filled with artificial nitrates, colors, flavors, and other chemicals.
Plus, even if you are eating organic, grass-fed sausage wrapped in grass-fed beef or organic pork bacon, why would you need both? With these foods, moderation is really key.
Donut bacon cheeseburger
This one might be the winner (loser?)… Krispy Kreme donuts have come out with a bacon cheeseburger served between two donuts instead of buns. We’re having a hard time thinking of something more disgusting. Between the trans fats, gluten, and sugar in the donuts, and the likely antibiotic-laden beef patty, we’ll respectfully say no thanks.
So there you have it… what not to do with bacon! Now we’ll ask you: what’s your favorite healthy way to serve real bacon?
-The Alternative Daily