Forget everything you’ve been told about bacon… well, almost. While buying a package of processed, conventionally produced bacon won’t do your health any favors (and comes with a bunch of drawbacks), real bacon, enjoyed in moderation, offers a bunch of health benefits!
One thing that hasn’t changed: processed bacon is disgusting. It starts with pigs that are often raised in terrible conditions, and fed antibiotics and GMO feeds. Then, it is cured with refined salt, refined sugar, and an array of artificial ingredients, such as preservatives and other additives to “enhance flavor.” Yuck.
Healthy bacon, on the other hand, starts with organic pork, or organic, grass-fed beef in some cases. Your best bet is to find a local source, so you know how the animals have been fed and treated. It is naturally cured with unrefined sea salt, and does not contain additives.
While it does need to be consumed in moderation, if you find real, healthy bacon, you will enjoy a range of benefits. The following are seven reasons that real bacon can be good for you!
Bacon is a good source of complete protein—about 100 grams of bacon contains 37 grams of protein. Protein is not only the building material of muscle tissue, it is also imperative for energy, and for the function of all of the body’s systems.
Important vitamins and minerals
Bacon contains an array of B-vitamins, namely vitamins B1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 12. It also contains the minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.
Nourishing saturated fats
Don’t fear the cholesterol content: saturated fat from natural sources is good for you. It has been linked to potentially LOWERING the risk of heart disease, and aiding in weight loss—quite contrary to long-held beliefs.
Heart-healthy oleic acid
Along with saturated fat, bacon boasts a monounsaturated fatty acid known as oleic acid, also found in avocados and olive oil. Oleic acid has been linked with an array of cardiovascular benefits.
Some nitrates may be beneficial
While nitrates in large quantities have been linked by some research to harmful qualities, other research has found that some dietary nitrates may be converted by the body into nitric oxide. This compound has been linked to potentially improving heart health, and benefiting the immune system.
May reduce cravings for less healthy salty snacks
If you’re craving something salty, eating some healthy bacon is a way better choice than reaching for a bag of chips or some other snack loaded with refined salt. Refined salt is highly processed and often filled with additives, while bacon cured with unrefined sea salt can give you that flavor you’re looking for, without the junk mixed in.
It just tastes great!
This is an important benefit, because when we eat something great-tasting that is also good for us, we amplify our enjoyment of life, while also taking care of our bodies. What could be better than that? Happiness and health are intertwined!
-The Alternative Daily