Ahh, the smell of crisp bacon frying in the skillet.
What could be better to get you out of bed in the morning?
According to Lisa Cimmperman, registered dietitian, although all foods may be acceptable in moderation, bacon is not a food that you should have every day, no matter how you slice it.
"The bottom line on bacon is that it is about 68% fat, and about half of that is saturated fat, which is the kind of fat (which if not in moderation) can raise cholesterol levels, clog your arteries and contribute to heart disease."
In addition to the high fat content, bacon is a processed meat, which has been classified as a carcinogen by the Agency of Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization. Your chance of developing colon cancer increases by 18% when you eat 50 grams of processed meat each day. Basically, that is equal to four strips of bacon. A safe moderate amount of bacon each week should be no more than two slices should you choose to eat it at all.
If you do choose to eat bacon, here are some tips to help limit the saturated fat:
- Microwave it and remove excess fat with a paper towel.
- Cook bacon in the oven on a rack and let the fat drip off.
- Use a substitution, such as turkey bacon or Canadian bacon.
- Remember that turkey bacon is processed and contains a great deal of sodium. You still want to have a small portion. In fact, two real bacon strips may be healthier than a large portion of turkey bacon.
Keeping things in moderation is still the key to a nutritious diet and a healthy life.
This is Sheila Harrell with Church Health.
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