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Think Twice Next Time You Want To Eat Bacon

Think Twice Next Time You Want To Eat Bacon

There is no doubt about it: bacon is awesome. You can add it to pretty much anything and make a tasty meal of it. Eggs and bacon, bacon on your burger, bacon wrapped steak, heck, even bacon ice cream is a thing nowadays.

It is fairly easy to see why we are attracted to this popular meat: it’s composed of the perfect ratio of savory, salty, and fatty flavors, making it irresistibly delicious to most people.

But, perhaps unsurprisingly, bacon has a dark side as well (and I am not just talking about that one time you made your bacon a little too crispy). Indeed, in this article I’m going to go over a bunch of the reasons why you might want to keep the stuff off your plate. Will I be able to convince you to remove bacon from your diet completely? Probably not. But at least you’ll be aware of the risks!

What’s so bad about bacon? Read on…

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1.  It’s basically just fat, and not the good kind.

Much of bacon’s delicious flavor comes from its high fat content (in fact, 68% of your average piece of bacon is made up of the stuff). Unfortunately, this fat is of the saturated variety, which is bad news. Why? Well, saturated fats tend to spike your cholesterol levels, which in turn makes you more prone to experiencing a life threatening stroke or heat attack.

The American Heart Association says that about 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats. In other words, there is room for a bit of bacon in your diet each day. Just don’t go too crazy.

2. It might be increasing your cancer risk .

While it seems like everything these days leads to one cancer or another, the evidence is more substantial when it comes to bacon. Indeed, the American Institute for Cancer Research states that no processed meats are safe to eat, and of course, bacon is a processed meat.

This mainly has to do with the way in which processed meats are preserved. And if you don’t want to take the American Institute for Cancer Research’s word for it, there’s this study done by the University of Zurich, which discovered a link between certain kinds of cancers and the consumption of processed meat.

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3. It might give you food poisoning.

Ok, so I know this one might seem a bit “general,” but stay with me. If you happen to eat bacon that came from “factory-farmed pigs,” then you are putting yourself at risk. According to nutritionists like Sara Bilbe, pigs are sensitive to the stressful conditions inherent to factory farms, leading to more instances of illness among their population.

This is not just speculation either. In one Canadian factory farm, MRSA was found to be infecting certain pigs. And as you may know, MRSA is a bacterial strain that is highly resistant to antibiotics.

I’m not saying that eating bacon will automatically lead to infection, but you are putting yourself at a slightly higher risk.

4. It’s deceptive.

And by that, I mean that it’s easy to eat an incredible amount of bacon without really feeling like you’ve eaten much of anything at all. In truth, the recommended daily intake of bacon is about one ounce (about 140 calories worth). The good news is that it’s enough to make a decent meal out of something. For example, one ounce will give you a decent amount of bacon for breakfast, or be the perfect finishing touch to a BLT sandwich.

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Of course, you could have even more bacon if you choose a leaner variety, like “Oscar Mayer’s Center Cut Smokehouse Thick Sliced,” or turkey bacon.

5. It may lead you to other unhealthy life choices.

This one’s a bit different. One study in the journal BMC found that those who ate more processed meats were more likely to die as a result of cancer or heart disease, which we’ve already gone over here. The difference is that these researchers argued that this was not only because of their dietary choices, but because those who ate lots of processed meats were more prone to making other poor decisions, such as excess drinking and smoking.

Who would have thought that bacon could be a gateway drug of sorts? Remember folks, moderation is key…

Conclusions

While you might be thinking that it’s time to completely remove bacon from your diet (and I wouldn’t blame you), I suppose it’s my responsibility to contextualize all of this for you.

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Sure, bacon is unhealthy. But there’s stuff out there that’s even worse for you, like, for instance, breakfast sausage links! So my recommendation to you would be to do your own homework. You won’t be able to dodge all of the unhealthy food-related bullets flying around everywhere, but you can limit the amount of times you get hit by taking the necessary precautions.

Any heavy bacon eaters out there now considering to limit their intake a bit? Or is bacon just too good to give up? Comment below!

Featured photo credit: Bacon/Cyclonebill via flic.kr

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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