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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 October 15, 2018

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

“Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

1. Dehydration

If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

2. Lack Of Exercise

A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

3. A Poor Diet

The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

4. Skipping Breakfast

Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

7. Depression

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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8. Hypothyroidism

If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

9. Anemia

People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

10. Cancer

While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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