The Truth about Bacon
Much of the fat in bacon is ‘good’ fat. About 50% of the fat in bacon is healthy monounsaturated fat. The saturated fat and cholesterol in bacon was once believed to be a cause of heart disease but recent findings tell us that those beliefs are unfounded. Saturated fat is not as harmful as once believed and cholesterol in food does not translate to cholesterol in the diet. Bacon also contains a good amount of vitamins, selenium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium, all of which are important for healthy body functioning.
Roasting: The Healthiest Way to Cook Bacon
The healthiest way to cook is to roast it in the oven by placing the bacon strips on a rack over a pan. This will allow all the excess fat to drip from the bacon into the pan. Allow them to cook for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, place the bacon on paper towels to remove extra grease. Bacon made this way will be crispy, tender, and delicious. One great roasting pan that can be used to for roasting bacon is the Bacon Bonanza by Gotham
Frying: The Least Healthiest Way to Cook Bacon
Most people usually fry bacon in a pan. It may taste best that way but frying is probably the least healthy way to cook Bacon. When you fry bacon this way, the fat from the bacon stays in the pan so you are basically cooking the bacon in its own fat. Bacon cooked this way will have more calories and a higher level of fat and cholesterol.
Healthy Bacon Alternatives
Canadian bacon is made from a lean pork loin instead of the fatty pork loin traditional bacon comes from, thus making it a healthier choice. Canadian bacon is cured the same way as regular bacon and tastes very similar. Another, even healthier, option is turkey bacon. Turkey bacon is very lean and is quite delicious.
What about Nitrates?
Some people are concerned about the high level of nitrates often found in bacon products. Some studies conducted many years ago linked nitrates with cancer. Even though the results from these studies have been refuted, the nitrates in bacon still remain a concern for some people. An interesting fact about nitrates is that we eat plenty of nitrates even without bacon. Vegetables are actually loaded with nitrates.
Many health-conscious people shun this processed meat because of its high fat content and elevated level of salt and nitrates. Many experts now say that could be a mistake. Bacon is actually very nutritious. It is an excellent source of protein and, as you may know, eating protein is a great way keep you feeling fuller longer.
It is true that bacon is a fatty processed meat and it is not the healthiest meat to eat but most recent research and analysis shows that bacon is not nearly as bad as it was once believed to be. Bacon has some great qualities, such as a high amount of protein and many vitamins. Also, the nitrates in bacon are not as bad as many people believe them to be. So if you crave bacon, don’t deny yourself, especially if you cook it the healthy way.
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