Hello Everyone, today’s article is a guest post from Liz Yin – author of the Bacon Book.
Bacon…what a delicious option for cured meat! I’m personally a huge fan of pork belly, whether it’s in the form of bacon strips or a thick cut that’s slowly braised until each morsel just melts with a slight touch. But did you know that outside of the United States, bacon is usually prepared from other cuts of pork like the side and back cuts? But we’re talking about bacon, so how or why should we put bacon and healthy in the same sentence?
While it’s true that bacon does contain high levels of saturated fat, saturated fat is not actually as bad for you as many people will have you believe. In fact, saturated fat is actually essential for good health. One ounce is the amount in a typical BLT sandwich, the side that goes with eggs on a breakfast plate, or the amount used to top your baked potato. If you want more than that, then experts suggest eliminating or reducing the amount of other processed foods that you eat. Why not cut out other foods to make more room for bacon? I’m all over that!
If you follow a low carb or paleo diet, you’ll find that bacon is an acceptable form of protein. As mentioned above, bacon typically gets its bad rap because of how much saturated fat and cholesterol it contains. However, haven’t we recently seen how saturated fats in coconuts and avocados are actually good for you? Bacon provides you with a plentiful source of saturated fat which is essential for good health. Now you’re asking, so what else is healthy about bacon? For one, it contains protein and all nine amino acids that your body needs in a balanced diet. It also contains Vitamin B-12 and Iron, which are important towards keeping healthy red blood cells. Does that mean that I can just eat bacon all day long? Like they say, everything in moderation.
No matter where you are located around the world or what form of bacon you prefer, people will have to agree with me that the cured meat is incredibly addicting! Have you ever wondered why? What sets apart bacon from other meats? It’s because of umami. (Umami is the fifth taste element next top sweet, sour, bitter and salty). Derived from Japanese, this word is translated as “pleasant savory taste”. Other tasty delights that contain umami? Things that contain glutamate (i.e. mono sodium glutamate, aka MSG).
Perhaps because of its addictive elements, bacon has become such a phenomenon in the US. You can find bacon in sweet and savory recipes, in sauces, in upscale restaurants as well as in fast food chains. So many people enjoy bacon to the point where you can find vegetarian, bacon flavored hot sauces like this one.
Do you consider yourself a fan of bacon? Are you adventurous enough to try bacon in your recipes? Even if you’re not, but want to get started, you should download this Bacon Book, which has delicious recipes worth trying!