How is Bacon Made?
Bottom Line: Bacon is usually derived from pork and goes through a curing process where it is mixed with salt, nitrates and other ingredients.
Bacon is Loaded With Fats… But They’re “Good” Fats
Bottom Line: The fatty acids in a typical batch of bacon are about 50% monounsaturated, 40% saturated and 10% polyunsaturated.
Bacon is Fairly Nutritious
- 37 grams of high quality animal protein.
- Lots of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12.
- 89% of the RDA for Selenium.
- 53% of the RDA for Phosphorus.
- Decent amounts of the minerals iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium.
Bottom Line: Cooked bacon is loaded with many nutrients. It is quite high in sodium, which may be a problem for people with elevated blood pressure.
Nitrates, Nitrites and Nitrosamines
Bottom Line: There doesn’t appear to be any reason to fear the nitrates in bacon. Nitrates are parts of the human body and found in massive amounts in other foods like vegetables.
Other Potentially Harmful Compounds
Bottom Line: All meat should be cooked well enough to kill potential pathogens, but not so much that it gets burnt.
What The Studies Say
Bottom Line: Several observational studies show a link between processed meat consumption, cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer.
How to Make The Right Choices
Bottom Line: As with other types of meat, the feed the animals ate and the conditions they were raised in can have a profound effect on the final product.