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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 July 2, 2020

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

How can you get relief from neck pain?

There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

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  • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
  • How old are your mattress and pillow?
  • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
  • How do you manage stress?
  • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

Remedies for Neck Pain

Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

1. Everyday Activities

One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

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A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

4. Stress and Stress Management

Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

5. Accident or Injury

If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

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  • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
  • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
  • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
  • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

 

Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

1. Gua Sha

This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

2. Swimming

You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

3. Chiropractic Massage

Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

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I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

  • Cervical Manual Traction
  • Flexion-Distraction
  • Cervical Mobilization
  • Ultrasound
  • Cervical Drop Technique
  • Trigger Point Therapy

There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

The Bottom Line

If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

Reference

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