Advertising
Advertising

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…

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

5 Life Lessons I Learned From Dean Winchester 10 Best Online Shopping Sites I Wish I Knew Earlier 10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend 30 Incredible Things Your iPhone Can Do 10 Things Only Detail-Oriented People Do

Trending in Health

1 12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health 2 17 Healthy Late Night Snacks for When Midnight Cravings Hit 3 10 Ways Helping Others Will Improve Your Life 4 Having Trouble Sleeping? 9 Quick Fixes to Help You Sleep Tonight 5 9 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Calm Your Mind

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

Advertising

2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

Advertising

Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Advertising

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

Advertising

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

Read Next