Is Bacon For Breakfast Healthy?

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bacon for breakfastBacon, a classic breakfast accompaniment, is not your quintessential fitness booster. However, as per a recent ADA (American Dietetic Association) guideline, a healthy breakfast need not always mean 100% health foods; one may at times include not so healthy foods in moderation. That said it is always helpful to know the possible health benefits and hazards of eating bacon for breakfast. If nothing else, it will help one to strike the right balance between eating too many and not having bacons at all. So read on for a detailed analysis…


 


Nutritional evaluation


Bacon by definition is a cut of pork meat that is taken from back, belly, or sides of the carcass. The fat composition of the bacon will depend upon the cut used, while the calorie value will depend upon the serving size. The cooking technique too matter, dry grilled bacon will be much lighter than the fried ones. Again, the fat used for frying will bring in more variables. The chart below shows the typical nutritional composition of 1 serving of commercially available bacon products:


 









 


Pan fried


Microwave cooked


Grilled


Calories


168 Kcal


152 Kcal


176 Kcal


Total fat


14 gm


11.2 gm


12.8 gm


Saturated fat


4 gm


4 gm


4 gm


Cholesterol


36 mg


36 mg


36 mg


Protein


12.12 gm  


11.6 gm


11.6 gm


Sodium


768 mg


620 mg


712 mg


 


Bacons, like other forms of meat, do not provide any carbohydrates. Carbs if any come in as a part of the additives added during processing. Apart from the proximate principals, they are a good source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12, niacin, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, iron, zinc, selenium, and copper.


 


Health benefits of eating bacon for breakfast:


  • Bacon is a major source of complete protein and a single serving of bacon can meet nearly 5% of total day’s protein requirement. Starting your day with a high protein breakfast prevents mid morning snacking, provides lasting satiety, and if one follows a balanced diet can help reduce weight.

  • Amino acids like serotonin and tryptophan present in most meat-based foods are known as mood enhancers. A healthy dose of these amino acids in the morning meal improves brain function.

  • Certain studies have shown that cutting down all saturated fats from diet can lead to dandruff, brittle nails, and dry skin

  • Bacons are a rich source of iron and recommended for people susceptible to or suffering from pernicious anemia.


 


Disadvantages of bacon:


Bacon is a processed meat and loaded with saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, and several other preservatives used in commercial curing process. It is known to increase risk for hypertension, CVD, COPD, asthma, and stroke. Nitrite, a chemical used in commercial curing process, is linked with DNA mutation and cancer progression. Studies at Harvard School of Public Health have linked regular bacon consumption to both age related diabetes and PCOD.  


 


Thus, bacons are not devoid of nutrients, they do provide proteins and iron. However, the ill effects outweigh the benefits of this processed meat. Hence, it is advisable to restrict this quintessential breakfast food to not more than 1 serving once a week or fortnight.


 


 Image credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacon

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