Today is perhaps the most delicious holiday to be celebrated, International Bacon Day! Not much is required, other than cooking, eating and enjoying bacon. Some of us celebrate this holiday daily (or at least several times a week), but if you need an excuse to enjoy some thick-cut smoky and salty bacon, today is the day.
I know what you are thinking…that I somehow made this holiday up. However, I assure you, this is no joke. International Bacon Day, originated in Bedford, Massachusetts, created by three graduate students in the year 2000. The holiday caught on and since then, has been celebrated the Saturday before Labor Day all over the United States and even Canada.
There tends to always be some push back any time I mention bacon as being part of a healthy nutritional lifestyle. The most common concern when it comes to bacon is the saturated fat content and to a lesser extent the issue with nitrates/nitrites. Below I share some of my favorite resources that discuss these two issues as well as if there is such a thing as healthy bacon.
Bacon & Saturated Fat
In 2010, a large meta-analysis (21 studies with nearly 350,000 subjects), published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, concluded there is no association between saturated fat and heart disease.
Still not convinced? You can read these two articles found right here at Healthy Living How To…
Or this small collection from some of my favorite resources…
- 8 Reasons Saturated Fat is Good For You
- How did we come to believe saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for us?
- The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat
- The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat are Not the Enemy
- What if it’s all been a big fat lie?
Have to give a quick shout out to the newly released book by Jimmy Moore & Dr. Eric Westman, Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers. This is a must read book to learn the real culprits and causes of heart disease.
Bacon & Nitrate/Nitrites
Is There Such a Thing as Healthy Bacon?
Absolutely. When it comes to animal protein, whether that be from a cow, chicken, turkey or pig, animals raised in their natural environment, taken care of with love and fed a diet that is natural to them, results in a food that is healthy and nutrient dense. When it comes to pork, pastured is best. My friends, Stacy and Matt, from Paleo Parents and authors of the beautiful book Beyond Bacon explain it this way,
So why buy pastured pork? First and foremost, there are the ethical concerns. Industrial pig farming hurts the animal; it’s a gruesome process that pays no mind to suffering. The second biggest reason is health — the pig’s and yours. Why wouldn’t you want to optimize the nutritional value of the meat you eat? The best way to do that is to feed the animal a species appropriate diet. If a pig is raised humanely, on food it would naturally eat, you can expect a greater proportion of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, plus micronutrients you’d never find in a conventionally raised .”