Bacon A Superfood?

A few days ago a facebook friend posted this “article” on how wonderful bacon is for you: http://cheeseslave.com/bacon-good-for-you/

I refuted the claims in comments and she responded with a long speech about how she eats as much meat, butter and cheese as she wants along with lots of fruits & veggies and she feels amazing and GMOs are the reason everyone else is fat and unhealthy and she does a lot of research. A few days earlier this same woman posted that she didn’t understand why she was tired all the time, but it couldn’t possibly be because of her diet.

If she counts a website called “Cheese Slave” that doesn’t site any sources as research, then I’m obviously not going to be able to convince her of anything. I could get Masters degrees in Biology or Nutrition and it would probably make her LESS trustful of my opinions.

So instead of arguing on social networking sites I’ll just refute them in this blog post. (Disclaimer: Although I always try to provide accurate information, I am not a doctor. Please consult the appropriate medical professional regarding any health concerns you have. Thank you for using common sense)

Claim 1 Bacon is good because it contains saturated fat. The author of this article claims the fat in bacon raises your hdl cholesterol According to a Wikihow article on raising the “good” cholesterol, a healthy amount of fat is between 25 and 35 percent of the calories you take in and LESS THAN SEVEN PERCENT should be saturated. Over HALF the fat in bacon is saturated. The recommended sources of good fats were nuts, avocados and olive oil. And you can get all of these grown organically and GMO free if you choose to.

Claim 2 Bacon is good because Bacon contains Vitamin D. I have found conflicting information on the amount of Vitamin D in bacon. The easiest and probably best way to get Vitamin is moderate sun exposure. Other sources are fortified dairy and nondairy milk, fortified foods, certain mushrooms, fortified orange juice or supplements. More info can be found at http://vrg.org/journal/vj2009issue2/2009_issue_vitamine_d.php

Claim 3 Bacon contains Protein. This is true, but like Vitamin D there are much better protein sources than bacon. I looked at a package of “Natural Uncured” bacon at the grocery store that had 2 grams of protein per serving, compared to 7 grams per serving of soymilk and 10 grams per serving of a bag of dry lentils I purchased. I plan to do a future blog post specifically on protein so right now I will just say that plant sources tend to be lower in fat than meat sources and high in fiber while bacon and other meats have essentially no fiber in it. Protein deficiencies are very rare in the United States.

Claim 4 Bacon is good because Bacon contains CLA. There may be some benefit to this fat but it may have a negative effect on Insulin Sensitivity as well as negatively interact with Omega 3 fats in the body. If you do want to consume CLA, the best animal source appears to be Kangaroo meat according to Wikipedia. http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugated_linoleic_acid#Diet_and_health

Claim 5 Bacon is good because Bacon contains B vitamins This is true, like almost all foods, bacon contains b vitamins, but that still doesn’t make bacon healthy compared to any other food that contains B vitamins. Plant sources of B Vitamins include beans, lentils and other legumes, avocados, nuts and nut oils, whole grains, beets, leafy greens and other vegetables. B12 is the only B vitamin not directly available in plant form but can easily be supplemented by fortified foods or vitamin supplements. Nutritional yeast and fermented products such as Kombucha contain B12, but may not be bio available.
I just take a B Complex supplement. You can find almost anything fortified with B12 from soy and almond milk to energy drinks. I’ve even seen herbal tea fortified with it. It’s very importand whether you are vegan or not to make sure you get enough B vitamins.

Claim 6 Bacon is good because bacon contains monounsaturated fats. The article talks about how almost 50% of the fat in bacon is monounsaturated and how good they are for you. Well over 50% of the fat is still saturated, which is not good for you. And the good nonounsaturated fats are easily found in plant foods. Here’s a link on dietary fats: http://mayoclinic.com/health/fats/NU00262

Also I just want to mention I noticed a paid endorsement disclaimer on the cheese slave website saying the site owner may receive financial compensation for endorsements on her blog. I want to say that even though I may not technically be any more qualified to talk about nutrition than she is, I do this blog out of a concern for the health of people and animals. I do have an interest in convincing people to go vegan because I believe it’s the right thing to do. I make no money off of this blog. I don’t get compensation of any kind for what I post here. I just want to make that clear.

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2 Responses to Bacon A Superfood?

  1. Vinny Grette says:

    The reason I like bacon is because it has great flavor. Just a little bit can make a bland salad taste delicious. Just a few tablespoons can make a boring quiche sparkle with life. And just a small chunk in a pot of beans makes them taste oh so good. I must say I do like your points that refute the health claims of the previous blogger. And if you’re a vegan, the taste thing won’t mean a thing to you. But if you like bacon, I say a little bit doesn’t hurt. It’s the idea of eating great amounts of it that turns me off!

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