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Try-It Tuesday: Bacon

Written by Anika DeCoster, RD, CPT, CISSN – LifeTime WeightLoss

Bacon is hands-down, one of those most misguided foods of our time.   In fact, whenever I recommend adding it to one’s diet, I’m still surprised by how many people are in disbelief or respond with the silent, “Is she serious?” stare.   Scrutinized for decades, bacon has been given a bad reputation, often leading people to eliminate it completely from their diet.  But bacon is making a major comeback and it has the credentials to do so!  Whether you are a bacon lover or bacon-curious, read on below to find out the DO’s and DON’TS regarding this controversial food.  I hope it helps you decide to bring home the bacon this Tuesday!

DO purchase organic and pasture-raised.  This ensures the animal was raised in its natural environment and fed its normal diet.  Do your research around food companies and find out how they raise their animals or reach out to local farmers that practice sustainable farming to see if you can buy from them directly.

DON’T buy bacon that is cured or has synthetic nitrites and nitrates.  The industry standard is to use synthetic nitrites for curing meat, but industrial sodium nitrite is allowed to contain heavy metals, arsenic and lead.  No good!  Look for the words uncured and “no nitrates or nitrites added” on the label. 

DO consider bacon as a healthy way to boost protein!  Every ounce (about 3 ½ slices) contains nearly 10 grams.  A great add to any meal to support lean bodies and satiety throughout the day!

DON’T be scared of its fat content.  If purchased in a pasture-raised and organic form, bacon is loaded with natural saturated fat (a precursor to your sex, brain and other hormones) as well as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) that promotes fat loss and formation of lean tissue.   Besides, your body needs fat!

DO savor its flavor and try preparing it different ways!  Its crispy texture and satisfying flavor suits most taste buds, but in my opinion, it tastes the best pan fried, cooked slowly over medium-low to medium heat.  Just make sure you turn it frequently and don’t burn it! 

DON’T just eat it at breakfast!  Most Americans only indulge in bacon at breakfast time, typically found next to its other controversial friend, the egg.  But bacon can complement any meal with its taste and texture and is a great way to vary up your traditional foods.  Chop it up in bits to add to your salad or vegetables at lunch or wrap your chicken breast or steak medallions for a nice dinner change!

What is your ode to bacon?  Share below your favorite way to eat it!

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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Reader Comments (11)

Our favorite recipe with bacon is to saute it with brussel sprouts. Yum!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

figs wrapped w/bacon

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

There's nothing like cooking a few strips of bacon and then scrambling a few eggs in the leftover grease, and especially when it's pasture-raised pork and eggs. No toast, of course.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Nikkola

I`ll never eat anything better than bacon and eggs, we have some store and they sell only bacon and eggs.good.....

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhcg drops diet

It's a wonderful occasional treat. I had 2 strips this morning (Hormel Natural Choice, no nitrates) and took real pleasure in how yummy it was. Treating it like a treat and higher-points food (WW lingo) helped me slow down, savor it, and be satisfied with a lot less than I would cram down my throat previously.

January 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Chop it up and fry it with garlic, then add tomatoes (fresh or canned), hot pepper and spices for a wonderful pasta sauce.

January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

The pasta sauce sounds like it would be great mixed with ground beef over spaghetti squash (lower carbs, no gluten). I'll have to try that!

January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Nikkola

Bacon with collard greens and red onion, yum,

January 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNormandy

Love bacon, and THANK YOU for pointing out some key differences between pork that is raised naturally without artificial or grain based feeds in overcrowded feed lots that then require antibiotics etc! Too many people don't realize the fat profiles are totally different for pasture raised animals, and in fact are very desirable from an omega 3 balance perspective!

The diet program I am on talks about this as well

February 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrussell tuckerton

My favorite way to enjoy bacon is a warm spinach bacon salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Fry bacon crispy, remove from pan. Add onions and mushrooms, fry until soft. Add a bit of balsamic vinaigrette to the bacon fat in the pan and pour hot mixture over the spinach to wilt. I like to top it with an over light or sunny side fried egg. The mix of yolk, vinaigrette and bacon fat makes a wonderful dressing for the wilted spinach. Yummmmmmmmm

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary B

My wife made dark chocolate covered bacon last night and I brought it to work today. It's sugar-free and low-carb, of course. Delicious!

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Nikkola

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