36 comments

  1. Thang
    Do we need to be worried about nitrates/nitrites in bacon, or is this a concern that has been overblown?

    I'd really like a solid answer on this as I love bacon (especially being a LCHF'er), but there are detractors saying it's a health risk and others saying that there is actually a bigger risk of nitrates from vegetables etc.

    Reply: #7
  2. DonnaE
    Also, do we need to worry about advanced glycation end products (AGEs?. You can boil most meats--the safest preparation--but most people fry their bacon a long time. U.S. Southern style is good: cook green, leafy vegetables WITH bacon.
  3. DonnaE
    Apparently, you can reduce the AGEs in a serving of bacon from 11,905 to 1,173 by microwaving it instead of frying it.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/table/T1/

  4. Marcy
    They do have nitrate/nitrite-free bacon, even at my lousy grocery store. This is the kind that I buy. I just won't take the chance.
    Reply: #35
  5. Galina L.
    Actually, I would hate everything to taste like a bacon, such strong flavor would overwhelm more subtle taste variation in food .I would hate to mix bacon into foods like lamb, porcine mushrooms, fish. I my opinion everything tastes better with a butter, and you would never get tired of that heavenly flavor.
  6. Robbin Hayman
    Never mind the nitrates, what about the sugar content?! Usually dextrose or even glucose syrup in many average packs of bacon in my country (Denmark), unless you buy a good organic type but even they often have some form of sugar in them. I love bacon too, but I wish they'd leave the sugar out of it.
  7. Nancy
    Regarding Nitrates, read this excellent article by Chris Kresser: http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-n...

    Enjoy your bacon!

  8. Daci
    I sprinkled some atop pumpkin soufflé and it was quite good.
  9. Mark.
    Note that almost all grocery-store "uncured" meat actually has nitrates from celery and nitrites from sea salt - at least in the parts of the US I've lived in or visited since the whole "uncured" claim hit. I suppose that one could buy pork belly and salt/smoke it without nitrates or nitrites, with perhaps a higher risk of spoilage.
  10. Damocles
    Any tip for frying bacon?
    Everytime I use butter for frying it, there are little black clumps remaining.

    What is better here, olive oil, coconut oil, lard?

    Reply: #11
  11. murray
    Damocles, I like to bake the bacon in the oven, ideally at 225F for a long time. I put olive oil on the bacon to render the fat better. The less time I have (usually I take the dog for a walk while the bacon cooks), the higher temperature I cook; however, low and slow tastes better and reduces the level of advanced glycation endproducts. The bacon I get is from the butcher freshly sliced from a cured pork belly. It might not work with supermarket bacon, which seems quite different in texture.

    On the infrequent occasions I do fry (such as when we have guests who insist on overcooked bacon), I use olive oil. Again, the olive oil improves the rendering of the fat and the bacon cooks faster.

  12. Damocles
    Thanks murray for the tip.
    Will try both, oven and frying with olive oil.
  13. eddy
    I keep my bacon in the freezer as I don't use it that often. Had some last week with my scrambled cheddar cheese broccoli omelette . Didn't do much for me so have left it off the menu.
  14. murray
    For LCHF Caesar salad, we use thick lardons in place of croutons. They add good texture and a burst of flavour, and they don't get soggy from the dressing.

    Lardons also work well with most soups. People have a taste attention span of about 3 seconds these days so you need variety of textures and flavours. Sprinkling on lots of lardons, along with grated sharp cheddar, chopped chives and a dollop of nutmeg-flavoured creme fraiche gets our kids to attack their butternut squash soup. Similar variations for kale, broccoli or tomato soup--all big hits with the kids. General rule from experience--if you want kids to eat a dish they might not otherwise eat, add lardons.

  15. justmeint
    come on people can't you see bacon will be outlawed :-) too high in salt and saturated fat.... GIVE ME BACON :-)
  16. vkool
    Bacon is delicious to eat but I think it is not really good for our health. Any kind of fermented food can bring us cancer. We should not eat bacon too frequently. It is ok to eat this kind of fermented food once a week with small amount.
    Replies: #18, #19
  17. Jenny
    What doesn't go with bacon? A kosher or halal meal. :)
  18. PeteC
    "Any kind of fermented food can bring us cancer"
    That kind of broad generalisation needs backing up with facts, I'm afraid.

    I don't believe nitrates are a problem. Check out this article: http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-n...

    "When it comes to food, vegetables are the primary source of nitrites. On average, about 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables. It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs. "

  19. Paul the rat
    "...but I think it is not really good for our health…"

    Hallo new troll - think harder!

  20. DonnaE
    High dietary intake of nitrates (whether from vegetables or water or whatnot) was shown in this study to increase the risk of thyroid cancer by almost 3 times. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2879161/
    I think I may cut back on my nearly daily dose of arugula.
  21. Joe Bellantuono
    So pass on the carrot and apple because too many carbs but eat bacon??!! Worst dietary advice ever I hope he's joking! I think I am going to add this web page and user responses to the " no hope for the human race" web site :( Many people in my family ate this way lots of meat butter bacon etc not a single one of them did not develop heart disease and one of them had a stroke at 51. Although my uncle who is a doctor loves this type of eating it keeps him business so I guess it does benefit some people! I mean yes I agree refined sugar is terrible for you're health but to replace it with foods like this will not have repercussions in the long run unless you are REALLY lucky!
    Reply: #22
  22. murray
    "Although my uncle who is a doctor loves this type of eating it keeps him business so I guess it does benefit some people!"

    Yikes. Your uncle sounds like a creep. How could someone "love" this type of eating because it makes people sick and gives them business?

    However, what this website (and others) are making known is that the science is showing it is not meat, butter and bacon that is the heart disease driver. Now this presents an interesting moral puzzle. Is your uncle a moral monster for loving that people get sick from eating meat, butter and bacon when the premise is incorrect and it is in fact excess dietary sugar and starch that is the culprit? It seems to me he is culpable for loving the fact people get sick and he profits from it, regardless of whether he is right or wrong about what is making them sick.

  23. Zepp
    An articel of Kris Gunnars that proven that bacon fried in butter is the best!

    6 Charts That Show How The War On Fat Was A Gigantic Mistake

    Read more: http://authoritynutrition.com/6-graphs-the-war-on-fat-was-a-mistake/#...

  24. Emma
    I don't eat bacon because I'm too lazy to ever use frying pan :) (However I do love to eat in moderate portions the British "Mr. Porky" snack that is basically dried bacon.)

    I microwave my eggs, maybe I should try some bacon, too?

  25. eddy
    "Many people in my family ate this way lots of meat butter bacon etc not a single one of them did not develop heart disease and one of them had a stroke at 51"

    Interesting point you made , I have always wondered about the long term effects of eating butter and high fats

    From the New York Times:

    After Dr. Atkins died last April, the vegetarian group obtained his medical records and gave them to The Wall Street Journal, which reported this month that he weighed 258 pounds and had signs of congestive heart failure.

    Obesity researchers say they know the phenomenon all too well. Weight loss can be like a religious epiphany. Someone loses weight on a diet. They are ecstatic and want to share the good news. ''These people are believers,'' says Dr. Gary D. Foster, director of the weight and eating disorders program at the University of Pennsylvania. Diet books are written in the same spirit. ''Evangelism creeps in,'' he said. ''It's a way of marketing why this diet is different.''

    The arguments over diet go way back, said Dr. Rudolph L. Leibel, an obesity researcher at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. ''They are in fact an echo of the discredited scientific notion of vitalism,'' he said of the idea that living things are not governed by the laws of chemistry and physics.

    Henry James began with great enthusiasm, giving Fletcher's book ''The New Glutton'' to his neighbors and claiming it changed his life. He wrote to Edith Wharton about ''the divine Fletcher'' and to his friend Mrs. Humphrey Ward: ''Am I a convert, you ask? A fanatic.'' But after five years, he was having stomach troubles his doctor attributed to Fletcherism. James found himself ''more and more sickishly loathing food.''

    Over the next century, diet evangelism continued, with diet books and gurus extolling one program after another. Yet, notes Dr. Schwartz, ''We keep coming back to the same kinds of diets recycled under different names.'' With the emergence of each new trend, he said, ''there is a different explanation of why it is effective.''

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/22/weekinreview/ideas-trends-history-f...

    Replies: #26, #27
  26. Paul the rat
    Ooooo that's a beautiful fairy-tale !!. Very entertaining. Thanks eddy. Give us another one !!!. Please do not make us wait long.
  27. bill
    eddy:

    Because someone who ate you don't know what
    was overweight when he died of a head injury,
    and someone else disparaged a diet from the
    turn of the 20th century, you want us to
    understand just what?

    Again, I ask, why are you posting on this blog?

  28. Joseph Bellantuono
    I agree that refined carbs and sugar are terrible for our health and waistline I just don't think replacing them with things like butter or bacon is the best idea! Perhaps something like spinach with olive oil and nuts with a side of some fresh fruit would be a better meal example!
    Reply: #29
  29. bill
    Joseph:

    Apparently you haven't read this blog.

    Might want to read up before posting
    next time.

  30. Joe Bellantuono
    I agree that refined carbs and sugar are terrible for our health and waistline I just don't think replacing it with foods like butter, red meat, and bacon is a better idea! I would say a good meal example would be something like spinach with extra virgin olive oil, nuts mixed with chia or hemp seeds and some berries/fruit on the side would be a much better substitute with far more nutritional value.
    Replies: #31, #32
  31. Murray
    Joe, no one is saying don't eat spinach with olive oil, nuts and seeds and colourful ripe berries. They are good to eat. I have a tablespoon of throat scratchingly potent first pressed by feet of vestral virgins olive oil every morning to ensure plenty of blood de oxidizing poly phenols. And it is great tasting olive oil. I eat loads of leafy greens. But I am not going to get critical vitamins k2, D3 and retinol from those sources, as would from grass fed butter or other ruminant fats. Nor would I get the mitochondrial benefits of ubiquinol (co q10) from red meat, or better, organ meat, from eating a spinach, nuts and seeds.

    Bacon I don't eat for nutritional value, frankly, although it quenches appetite for a long time, so it is good for hunger management. Bacon is simply great tasting flavour. I expect much of the bad press for bacon is sour grapes by people who don't eat it for ideological reasons.

  32. Galina L.
    Many people who read that blog found out they benefit from limiting carbohydrates, often from seriously limiting carbohydrates. Protein is very important and essential for our health, but shouldn't be overconsumed, it is also hard to over-eat for most people because it provides a high satiety. Fat is also essential for one's health,also very satiating, but for the reason of high nutritional density was given a negative reputation. All you eat belongs to just three nutritional groups, if you limit one macro nutrient, the percentage of other two will be increased, if you keep the same amount of protein in your diet while limiting carbohydrates, the amount of fat would be higher. I usually have some vegetables on the side of my meat, a big side of cabbage or spinach adds surprisingly little to the nutritional value of the whole meal. You can check it out if you put the data in the fitday.com.
  33. Nan
    I love bacon so much I told my kids that when I die wrap me in bacon before my cremation ;-)

    http://www.sugaraholics.com

  34. John
    I'm a long time reader but I had to answer this one:

    > Do you know something that doesn’t go with bacon?

    I'm also Hungarian and we have a traditional dish where you cook red cabbage in oil then sprinkle with sugar and vinegar. It's pretty good if you like the sweet and sour taste.

    I decided to try cooking this with bacon fat instead of olive oil or butter. Big mistake. The two just don't go together.

  35. nix

    They do have nitrate/nitrite-free bacon, even at my lousy grocery store. This is the kind that I buy. I just won't take the chance.

    If you are in the U.S. and are buying bacon at a grocery store, the bacon likely has sodium nitrite, even though the label gives the impression that it doesn't. The sodium nitrite is formed inside the bacon by adding vegetable powder, sea salt, and bacteria cultures that produce sodium nitrite. This is done for other meats as well, such as lunch meats and hot dogs. The label says usually says 'no added nitrite/nitrates' which doesn't mean that it doesn't contain them. People are being fooled by the labels. If the meat is pink and looks and tastes like bacon, it's likely smoked and cured with nitrites, but cured in situ using the above approach.

    "For Hot Dogs, a Push for Truthful Labels" - The New York Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/02/business/02hotdog.html

  36. Nick
    Curiously, Brie, Bacon and Banana seems a marriage made in sandwich hell, but is surprisingly satisfying......

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