Bacon is Served? Should I Run?!

During the age of the Atkins Diet, many people bellied up to a platter of steak, bacon and other meats in an effort to be a part of the weight-loss phenomenon. The mirage was lifted when nutritionists questioned the benefits of weight loss versus the health dangers of eating so much saturated fat every day.
So the pendulum swings the other way and health guru’s claim that eating bacon will make your butt large and your arteries clogged. I believe that MODERATION is the key to successfully managing your weight and health issues long-term.

Recently I watched a Food Network competition show where people with different culinary points of view (POV) battled to win their own Food Network show. One of the men declared he liked to cook with the 7 Deadly Sins; one of which was bacon (and chocolate of course). There are flavor profiles that bacon adds to food that cannot be replaced, and if included wisely, adds a smoky, full-flavored addition to your food experience.

Product Info: Brands that claim to be nitrate free or have no nitrites may use celery powder for curing, where they occur naturally. But all nitrates and nitrites are virtually the same, so no bacon is totally free of these preservatives (ShopSmart.com).

Different brands vary widely with their calorie, sodium and fat totals. Kirkland Signature brand has 80 calories, 300 milligrams sodium, and 7 grams of fat for 2 slices. Oscar Meyer thick cut has 60 calories, 220 milligrams sodium and 5 grams fat in one slice. Smithfield Hometown Original has 80 calories, 310 milligrams sodium and 7 grams fat in two slices. Jennie-O turkey bacon is 30 calories, 130 milligrams sodium, and 2.5 grams of fat in one slice.

Now you have picked your brand and want to implement bacon flavor in your cooking. But how can you do that without sabotaging your weight goals?
1. Crumble up 1-2 pieces of crisp-cooked bacon over vegetables.
2. Make a bacon broth or poaching liquid by simmering chopped pieces of raw bacon in low-sodium chicken or fish-broth.
3. For wrapping shrimp, melon or asparagus for appetizer, don’t use a whole piece. Partially freeze your bacon and cut into thinner strips (holds shape better). Then wrap for a bacon taste on your appetizer.
4. To lighten up your brunch fare instead of serving strips of bacon, add some cooked diced bacon to pancake batter or scrambled eggs.

It’s better to eat cured meats in moderation due to the concerns over nitrates and their connection with cancer. This excerpt came from an article by Dr. Neal Barnard published in Huffington Post: It’s the ordinary hot dog. At least 58 scientific studies have looked at the issue, and the jury has rendered its verdict, which is now beyond reasonable doubt. The more hot dogs people eat, the higher their risk of colorectal cancer. And it’s not just hot dogs. Any sort of processed meat — bacon, sausage, ham, deli slices — is in this group. And here are the numbers: Every 50 grams of processed meat you eat on a daily basis (that’s about one hot dog) increases your risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent. And just as there is no safe level of smoking, no amount of hot dogs, bacon, sausage, ham or other processed meats comes out clean in scientific studies.

Being mindful of these issues with processed meats, a moderate portion of bacon periodically adds a unique flavor profile to dishes.

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