4

votes

Bursting the Bacon Loving Bubble!

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

A recent question on how paleo interprets the consumption of processed meat like bacon,

( see How is bacon paleo?)

generated an unusual opinion trend - it appears that most bacon consumers in this online community seem to take leave of their senses when it comes to discussing bacon even in the face of health risks associated with nitrite-based preservation where there is a real possibility of carcinogenicity due to the presence of, or conversion to, nitrosamines.

Bacon is a greasy, salty, processed meat that is often burned during cooking and contains negligible micronutrients. It has a very poor omega 6:3 and sodium:potassium ratio.

The preservation and coloring of meats with nitrites had no place in ancestral times - this is definitely very modern food processing. So why does bacon get a free pass?

And more importantly,

Why is there such an emotional, knee-jerk response to any criticism against the health benefits of bacon?

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on November 16, 2012
at 07:42 AM

what a vindictive little manboy he must be.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on November 15, 2012
at 12:25 PM

Yeah LLM, seemingly so. This seems to be a constant action. Let it go Harry...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 13, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Michael - Yes. He's obsessed and now that this has been closed, along with the other FOUR posts of this sort, he's moving on to "deep" discussions about why we shouldn't close questions like this, or his current obsession is, literally, swallowing semen.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 24, 2012
at 07:29 AM

Harry why are you editing this everyday? So it gets bumped?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 24, 2012
at 01:12 AM

Dude, let it die.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 17, 2012
at 07:04 AM

Leg work does not constitute evidence to the contrary..

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 17, 2012
at 07:03 AM

Plenty of evidence if you care to open your eyes.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 07, 2012
at 04:32 PM

I hardly think that those defending bacon are emotional or knee-jerk responses. Rather, we're pointing to the lack of evidence that bacon is indeed harmful.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 07, 2012
at 02:39 AM

Interestingly it was bacon fat that gave rise to my handle. Baconaise. Lard...bacon-fat....it's all good. :D Kisses? Wow. I dig it.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on October 06, 2012
at 11:23 PM

KISSES FOR MAYO. Though you'd be even hotter if your name was LikesBaconFatinMayo.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2012
at 02:15 PM

Life is about choices. Adults know that. Nothing is ideal, it is about picking your poison. Chocolate, coffee, booze, sugary-fruit, all have risks, hell griills have risks. Bacon doesn't have any greater risk than any of these....

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2012
at 02:27 AM

LLM, I'm not making any suggestions as to whether you, _personally_, should or shouldn't be eating bacon. This discussion is about the paleo label on bacon in the context of the health promoting benefits of paleo. If bacon is labelled as paleo, then it follows - for most people - that bacon is health promoting. In other words, bacon is a health promoting food.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 02:16 PM

As mentioned before, for ethical reasons sometimes all we have is epidemiological evidence. I think you may agree, however, that this discussion has transcended the pros and cons of bacon in that it has revealed an ideological undercurrent with a tendency for bias and of becoming highly resistant at exercising the scientific method.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 02:04 PM

LLM, clearly you are not hypertensive. But a great many people are or are pre-hypertensive. Do you know how most antihypertensives work? By depleting the body of its sodium stores.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 02:01 PM

LLM, I have neither hate nor love for bacon. I am not threatened by bacon in the way that you and others coming to its defence seem to be. In fact from time to time I eat it just like I may eat some chocolate ice cream. This discussion is not about bacon. It's about why there is an emotional, knee-jerk response by people here at PH when it comes to discussing the health benefits - or rather lack of health benefits - of this food. The question is not why I am dumping cortisol, the question is why you are.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:51 AM

I've voted to reopen, but if all you've got is an epidemiological axe to grind, then I doubt you'll get 5 reopen votes.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:50 AM

Harry, I'd be more than happy to see this discussion continue and evolve, but we've hit an impasse. While we recognise the epidemiological link between cured meats and disease, there's a decisive dearth of experimental studies that back up the popular theory behind that link (and if fact more than a handful of studies have been pointed out that show no link whatsoever.)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Mscott already did the leg work on that, Harry, and I've already pointed that out to you before. http://paleohacks.com/questions/139951/do-nitrosamines-produced-in-food-actually-cause-cancer

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:39 AM

Harry - Then DON'T F---ING EAT IT? Seriously, I don't deal with fructose so YOU can't eat fruit. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Harry - Yeah, he does. Go listen to Chris Kresser's and Robb Wolf's AHS12 wrap up podcasts. Go listen to almost ANY interview with LaLonde. The guy tells a hilarious story about trying to get a pound of bacon at Denny's (or some place like that).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Harry - Sub optimal for salt content? Even at 277lbs and 28% BF my blood pressure is 112/59...why would I avoid my one and ONLY source of salt? Sheesh. Yeah, let me go buy salt and added to things instead of eating bacon, that is smart.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:23 AM

Harry - The cortisol you are dumping into your own system hating on bacon is shortening your life by more years than bacon ever would have. Orthorexia...look it up.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:21 AM

Mscott - You can only provide reference, like Harry, if they are rat studies or show that lettuce and spinach cause more dietary intake of carcinogens then bacon. But you have to leave out that part because only bacon is un-paleo and you are all about the pureness.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:15 AM

What you should be asking is how much nitrosamine is formed in cooking it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Mscott, you're providing references that are over 30 years old (1981, 1979, 1970). Newer, more powered studies contradict those findings.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:10 AM

.. Rather than having a robust discussion, it seems that some participants feel so personally threatened by the notion of having an idea challenged, i.e. the health benefits of bacon, that they would rather rush to see the topic closed. I leave it to you to consider what the ongoing effects of such censorship would be to the paleo community, to those observing the paleo community and to the very future of PH.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:53 AM

It's a free world and people can eat whatever they choose, Karen. However, when it comes to labelling foods as 'paleo' with the implication that paleo foods are inherently more healthy then that opens them to critique as well as the ongoing conversation of what is paleo and what is healthy. The tone of my critique has increasingly intensified to compensate for some of the more ignorant commentators but I've confined myself to what can be substantiated by scientific evidence. Unfortunately my learned friends seem to have an entirely different understanding of what constitutes evidence.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Perhaps "attack" was too strong a word, but you're certainly on the offensive and your question is intended to provoke. Let me ask you this, do you eat olives? Coconut milk? Tomatoes? Broccoli? Pretty much anything widely available in a grocery store? These have all been adulterated and changed, and are therefore, not Paleo. Unless you're eating everything hunted and gathered, you ain't actually Paleo. And then the rest of us live our lives and continue to use the name of a diet for simplicity's sake.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 02, 2012
at 03:31 PM

But again, studying nutrition epidemiology is sort of a good way to start thinking everything you eat is going to kill you.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 02, 2012
at 03:30 PM

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198103123041102 http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/64/4/701.short http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2008583/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 02, 2012
at 12:58 PM

MScott, using a pubmed search I've been unable to locate any epidemiological studies linking coffee to an increase in cancer risk. But I was able to find a few linking a decrease in cancer risk. On the other hand there a number of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies linking dietary nitrate/nitrite and cured meat to cancer.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 02, 2012
at 12:50 PM

Karen, I'm not aware of having attacked anyone. If you can show me where I have done so I will wholeheartedly apologize.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 02, 2012
at 06:35 AM

Mayo- Ok, just curious if there was something unique about pineapple. I don't like it myself, it gives me battery mouth. @Harry- roasted coffee, interestingly enough, does contains several known carcinogens. So comparing coffee and bacon isn't really an "inept" comparison at all. They're both foods with compounds that have been shown to cause cancer when isolated and fed to animals in dosages far above the amount found in said foods.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 02, 2012
at 04:08 AM

"extraordinarily inept and irresponsible"...please expand your vocabulary. Get inventive! Your go to insult here is getting boring. Repeat questions AND repeat insults? OMFG get some variance in your life man!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 02, 2012
at 04:06 AM

"inept and irresponsible"....please develop a larger vocabulary. Your go to insult here is just getting old man.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:30 PM

I'm lucky if I eat bacon more than once a month, don't force feed coconut oil and certainly am not low-carb. *hands in paleo membership card*

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Reminds me that I need to find some foie gras.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:25 PM

Jayjay are you in fact the reincarnation of BAMBAM?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:22 PM

Now getting down to the real quandary...is the paleo diet paleo? Lockstep adherence to the daily bacon, coconut oil and low carb eating is paleo but certainly not ancestral.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:56 PM

How much nitrosamine is actually in bacon?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:54 PM

Are all non-ruminents now suboptimal and to be avoided for that reason?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:54 PM

@Harry, it's pretty much the same ratio as any other non-ruminant fat.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:32 PM

I guess, if you're into the whole re-enactment thing. But why bother attacking others? Why ask questions when you already know the answers?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:22 PM

on reopening this question: seeks to explore irrational bias towards this food and consequences of inappropriate endorsement of the health benefits of foods.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:21 PM

on reopening this question: seeks to explore irrational bias towards this food

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:14 PM

@Harry re salt and hypertension: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/opinion/sunday/we-only-think-we-know-the-truth-about-salt.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:45 PM

LLM, are you seeking to make a comparison between fruit, chocolate and coffee consumption with that of a known carcinogen - nitrosamine? That is extraordinarily inept and irresponsible.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:42 PM

LLM, are you comparing fruit, chocolate and coffee consumption with that of a known carcinogen - nitrosamine?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:35 PM

Does Lalonde condone nitrosamine consumption?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:22 PM

Keep on conducting your research then, JayJay. Your conclusions are - unsurprisingly - consistent.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:19 PM

Karen, I have no "vendetta" against any food. My interest is in exploring an increasingly apparent bias for bacon - it could be any food - that runs contrary to paleo ethos - which itself seems to morph with extraordinary vigor. What I find disconcerting is the rationalization against clear evidence on this topic that stands to discredit conclusions and information on other topics. I do not consider it to be a vendetta to make a stand against ignorance and the promulgation of information that runs contrary to dietary health - on the contrary, it's an obligation.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:07 PM

@ Matt - The omega 3:6 ratio as stated above. @ JayJay - there is unequivocal evidence in both animal and human studies on the association between salt intake and hypertension

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:44 PM

@Math - It is entertaining but it is also just a little nuts. Who the heck cares about what OTHER PEOPLE eat to the point making multiple posts, that are closed as duplicates, and posting crazy, fear-mongering responses to people who say they love bacon.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:43 PM

Mscott - You weren't ever over 400lbs. I don't cope with high fructose loads well. Starch is A-OK as are berries but Dates, Pineapple etc... do some weird stuff to me. I suppose it isn't a universal list.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:18 PM

Harry, what is "chemically modified" about uncured bacon? Sure, we can get into a semantic argument here, but the real deal isn't all that adulterated. It's pork belly with some seasoning on it. I mean it's cool to have your own vendetta against it, and you and your bacon-hating friends can shake your fingers at the rest of us, but it comes down to a personal choice and just because you don't agree with it doesn't make it wrong.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 01, 2012
at 11:01 AM

Why wouldn't sausage fit into this category? Ground meat with seasonings. Since I'm not having to cut chunks off a carcass myself and my meat is processed by someone else, why is it a problem if it has been run through a grinder?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 01, 2012
at 11:00 AM

I like the hostility!

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 01, 2012
at 06:11 AM

Pineapple isn't good for you? I'm not sure I see its connection to other vice foods.

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:21 AM

god, kale tastes like shit

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:46 AM

Most studies show quite a weak relationship between salt and blood pressure.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:40 AM

^ lol, I guess you can view people having opinions that differ from your own in that perspective if it helps you sleep at night. It just MUST be an emotional response if they don't argree with me!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:36 AM

But as Matt says, suppose its not optimal....does that mean we should never eat green leaf lettuce because kale is better? Can we not have sweet potato's since white potatoes have more minerals? What else should we arbitrarily ban due to there being an incrementally better option?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:34 AM

I haven't analyzed the data myself yet but if this is true...."Mat LaLonde broke a bunch of foods down by their nutrient density, and bacon came out on top." That tends to actually take care of number 1 also.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:31 AM

Considering bacon is just seasoned pork belly, sausage is seasoned ground pork....I could make those two as a hunter/gatherer. The rest, I actually must admit I do not know how to produce though.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:28 AM

Way better...I got the research studies to prove it.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:21 AM

I believe salt as a negative health factor has also been fairly well debunked as of late.....so IMO it is a nonfactor and in some instances quite essential.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:07 AM

What exactly is so suboptimal about the fatty acid profile?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 01:57 AM

More or less paleo depends on a lot. Most of those items could be considered more or less paleo.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 01:52 AM

1) Not everything needs to be optimal. 2) We don't know what's paleolithic, but it's a pretty safe bet there was no bacon tree. 3) Paleo is about making an informed decision about the food. Pork is allowed. Curing is allowed. Why wouldn't bacon be allowed?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:57 AM

Better than chocolate cake?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:56 AM

The profile of fatty acids in bacon is suboptimal and the salt content is artificially high. Certainly contraindicated for hypertensives.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:54 AM

Exploration of the inanity of bacon obsession is a first. Additionally, I've always considered paleo practitioners to have an above-average knowledge of nutrition and ability to research independently (hence their inevitable gravitation towards paleo). I believe it's valid to explore the sharp contrast between the normally rational discussion on most other food types versus the limbic response associated with discussions on the pros/cons of bacon.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:46 AM

Isn't it against the paleo ethos to be compensating for the poor nutritional quality of some foods - such as bacon - by supplementing/fortifying with omega3/fish oil? Why not discard such foods altogether and instead eat fish rather than bacon?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Apologies, but this smells like radical antiestablishment antiscience. If there's anything that will drive people away from paleo credibility it's whooping and hollering about a chemically modified rotting meat with practically no nutrition. Also, for some people salt is a major health concern Karen. Please dont dimiss it so lightly.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 09:59 PM

Hahaha Karen P, your post is inspiring, it sounds like a political uprising.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 09:56 PM

And if you regularly fortify your o3 with fish oil supplements, then you have even less reason to worry.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on September 30, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Now THAT is a flag I would pledge allegiance to! We have to make this happen.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on September 30, 2012
at 06:21 PM

Lol, I can picture the official flag of the United States of Bacon so clearly!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 30, 2012
at 06:04 PM

Correct, the absence of evidence is not proof of a negative. You can never prove a negative, only disprove it, but the absence of evidence strongly suggests that a negative be true. You're making an assumption that GI issues and high oxidative stress will make them even more problematic, but I don't think you have the data to support that.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on September 30, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Better in terms of health or better in terms of taste? I don't know too many slices of meat that taste better than bacon except maybe veal liver. And bacon is definitely nutritious.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on September 30, 2012
at 04:37 PM

You can't really say that nitrates won't give you cancer in small amounts, because there's too many variables to consider in human physiology. If you're someone who does not do well with oxidative stress or has GI issues, you can bet your ass that the "negligible amount" of nitrosamines will do damage.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:37 PM

^ and in the form of an animal. I'm just not concerned about 6:3 ration in any natural meat, nut, fruit, seed.....ect. item. Avoiding processed vegetable oils and eating some seafood a couple times a week is quite good enough far as I'm concerned.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Repeat question much? I think a good deal of the scientific evidence is in that thread you link to....so just let people make their decisions based on that IMO.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:29 PM

The Omega 6:3 is technically true, but probably not in the context of a varied diet. If most of your meat is coming from ruminants, some bacon now and again isn't going to dent your 6:3 ratio (or poison you with nitrates).

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:20 PM

Good point, but he does mention the poor omega 6:3 ratio.

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10 Answers

24
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Yeah, this is a bit strawman.

I buy uncured bacon from local, organic, pastured pigs that forage on acorns. I can't afford to get the meat broken down and analyzed for me, but I'm willing to bet the O3:O6 ratio is better than industrialized pork.

Salt is not a health concern. This "grease" you mention is actually satiating fat.

Its flavor is unlike anything else, it is irreplaceable. There's a reason it brings vegetarians back from the brink.

At AHS this year, Mat LaLonde broke a bunch of foods down by their nutrient density, and bacon came out on top. The whole room whooped and hollered. I think the enthusiasm comes from the fact that bacon was so forbidden before in all of our SAD days. I can think of no better symbol of our freedom from that oppression. Bacon would be on our flag if Paleo people seceded.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on September 30, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Now THAT is a flag I would pledge allegiance to! We have to make this happen.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 09:59 PM

Hahaha Karen P, your post is inspiring, it sounds like a political uprising.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:21 AM

I believe salt as a negative health factor has also been fairly well debunked as of late.....so IMO it is a nonfactor and in some instances quite essential.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 02, 2012
at 12:50 PM

Karen, I'm not aware of having attacked anyone. If you can show me where I have done so I will wholeheartedly apologize.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on September 30, 2012
at 06:21 PM

Lol, I can picture the official flag of the United States of Bacon so clearly!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Apologies, but this smells like radical antiestablishment antiscience. If there's anything that will drive people away from paleo credibility it's whooping and hollering about a chemically modified rotting meat with practically no nutrition. Also, for some people salt is a major health concern Karen. Please dont dimiss it so lightly.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:18 PM

Harry, what is "chemically modified" about uncured bacon? Sure, we can get into a semantic argument here, but the real deal isn't all that adulterated. It's pork belly with some seasoning on it. I mean it's cool to have your own vendetta against it, and you and your bacon-hating friends can shake your fingers at the rest of us, but it comes down to a personal choice and just because you don't agree with it doesn't make it wrong.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:32 PM

I guess, if you're into the whole re-enactment thing. But why bother attacking others? Why ask questions when you already know the answers?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:19 PM

Karen, I have no "vendetta" against any food. My interest is in exploring an increasingly apparent bias for bacon - it could be any food - that runs contrary to paleo ethos - which itself seems to morph with extraordinary vigor. What I find disconcerting is the rationalization against clear evidence on this topic that stands to discredit conclusions and information on other topics. I do not consider it to be a vendetta to make a stand against ignorance and the promulgation of information that runs contrary to dietary health - on the contrary, it's an obligation.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:53 AM

It's a free world and people can eat whatever they choose, Karen. However, when it comes to labelling foods as 'paleo' with the implication that paleo foods are inherently more healthy then that opens them to critique as well as the ongoing conversation of what is paleo and what is healthy. The tone of my critique has increasingly intensified to compensate for some of the more ignorant commentators but I've confined myself to what can be substantiated by scientific evidence. Unfortunately my learned friends seem to have an entirely different understanding of what constitutes evidence.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Perhaps "attack" was too strong a word, but you're certainly on the offensive and your question is intended to provoke. Let me ask you this, do you eat olives? Coconut milk? Tomatoes? Broccoli? Pretty much anything widely available in a grocery store? These have all been adulterated and changed, and are therefore, not Paleo. Unless you're eating everything hunted and gathered, you ain't actually Paleo. And then the rest of us live our lives and continue to use the name of a diet for simplicity's sake.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:10 AM

.. Rather than having a robust discussion, it seems that some participants feel so personally threatened by the notion of having an idea challenged, i.e. the health benefits of bacon, that they would rather rush to see the topic closed. I leave it to you to consider what the ongoing effects of such censorship would be to the paleo community, to those observing the paleo community and to the very future of PH.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:50 AM

Harry, I'd be more than happy to see this discussion continue and evolve, but we've hit an impasse. While we recognise the epidemiological link between cured meats and disease, there's a decisive dearth of experimental studies that back up the popular theory behind that link (and if fact more than a handful of studies have been pointed out that show no link whatsoever.)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:51 AM

I've voted to reopen, but if all you've got is an epidemiological axe to grind, then I doubt you'll get 5 reopen votes.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 02:16 PM

As mentioned before, for ethical reasons sometimes all we have is epidemiological evidence. I think you may agree, however, that this discussion has transcended the pros and cons of bacon in that it has revealed an ideological undercurrent with a tendency for bias and of becoming highly resistant at exercising the scientific method.

16
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on September 30, 2012
at 02:57 PM

Why do you say "greasy" and "salty" like it's a bad thing?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:54 PM

Are all non-ruminents now suboptimal and to be avoided for that reason?

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on September 30, 2012
at 09:56 PM

And if you regularly fortify your o3 with fish oil supplements, then you have even less reason to worry.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:07 AM

What exactly is so suboptimal about the fatty acid profile?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:56 AM

The profile of fatty acids in bacon is suboptimal and the salt content is artificially high. Certainly contraindicated for hypertensives.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:46 AM

Isn't it against the paleo ethos to be compensating for the poor nutritional quality of some foods - such as bacon - by supplementing/fortifying with omega3/fish oil? Why not discard such foods altogether and instead eat fish rather than bacon?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:29 PM

The Omega 6:3 is technically true, but probably not in the context of a varied diet. If most of your meat is coming from ruminants, some bacon now and again isn't going to dent your 6:3 ratio (or poison you with nitrates).

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:46 AM

Most studies show quite a weak relationship between salt and blood pressure.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:07 PM

@ Matt - The omega 3:6 ratio as stated above. @ JayJay - there is unequivocal evidence in both animal and human studies on the association between salt intake and hypertension

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:20 PM

Good point, but he does mention the poor omega 6:3 ratio.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 02:04 PM

LLM, clearly you are not hypertensive. But a great many people are or are pre-hypertensive. Do you know how most antihypertensives work? By depleting the body of its sodium stores.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:37 PM

^ and in the form of an animal. I'm just not concerned about 6:3 ration in any natural meat, nut, fruit, seed.....ect. item. Avoiding processed vegetable oils and eating some seafood a couple times a week is quite good enough far as I'm concerned.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:14 PM

@Harry re salt and hypertension: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/opinion/sunday/we-only-think-we-know-the-truth-about-salt.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:54 PM

@Harry, it's pretty much the same ratio as any other non-ruminant fat.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Harry - Sub optimal for salt content? Even at 277lbs and 28% BF my blood pressure is 112/59...why would I avoid my one and ONLY source of salt? Sheesh. Yeah, let me go buy salt and added to things instead of eating bacon, that is smart.

8
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:44 PM

The only evidence of there being a problem with bacon is a vague cured-meat/cancer link found in observational studies. After a ton of answers and even more comments in that question, there's a noticeable dearth of experimental data on the carcinogenicity of cured meats & nitrates in animals.

Even given the level of nitrosamines found in cured meats, it's well below what induces cancer in animal models. Mscott and I pondered this a while back: http://paleohacks.com/questions/139951/do-nitrosamines-produced-in-food-actually-cause-cancer

If you're going to continue to rail on nitrates/nitrites, you need to put up or shut up: let's see the damning experimental studies, not vague, nebulous observational studies.

The PUFA ratio is a bit of a non-starter. We're talking just 10% of fat calories being omega-6, and even then, these aren't isolated/extracted/oxidized/abused fats as cooking oils are.

Is bacon optimal? Not really, nobody argues it is. Is it paleolithic? Nope. Is it paleo? More or less.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on September 30, 2012
at 04:37 PM

You can't really say that nitrates won't give you cancer in small amounts, because there's too many variables to consider in human physiology. If you're someone who does not do well with oxidative stress or has GI issues, you can bet your ass that the "negligible amount" of nitrosamines will do damage.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 30, 2012
at 06:04 PM

Correct, the absence of evidence is not proof of a negative. You can never prove a negative, only disprove it, but the absence of evidence strongly suggests that a negative be true. You're making an assumption that GI issues and high oxidative stress will make them even more problematic, but I don't think you have the data to support that.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:22 PM

Now getting down to the real quandary...is the paleo diet paleo? Lockstep adherence to the daily bacon, coconut oil and low carb eating is paleo but certainly not ancestral.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:30 PM

I'm lucky if I eat bacon more than once a month, don't force feed coconut oil and certainly am not low-carb. *hands in paleo membership card*

6
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 04:04 AM

Dude, you need to f-ing relax. Who the hell cares? Guess what? Bacon makes me happy, happiness lowers my cortisol, low cortisol is good.

You could single-handedly give Paleo the Orthorexic label, and that is saying something from me.

Guess what? Coffee isn't that great for you. Neither is chocolate. Pinneapple? Not really. Vodka? Nooooo.

Guess what? Most of us indulge in fruit, most love chocolate, seems like many of us love our caffeine and a lot of us like to get our drink on every now and again.

(For anyone responding other than the OP, please feel free to look at his links. Dude's been trolling on this, and on me for days. Not usually QUITE this hostile)

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 01, 2012
at 06:11 AM

Pineapple isn't good for you? I'm not sure I see its connection to other vice foods.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 02, 2012
at 03:31 PM

But again, studying nutrition epidemiology is sort of a good way to start thinking everything you eat is going to kill you.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:43 PM

Mscott - You weren't ever over 400lbs. I don't cope with high fructose loads well. Starch is A-OK as are berries but Dates, Pineapple etc... do some weird stuff to me. I suppose it isn't a universal list.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 01, 2012
at 11:00 AM

I like the hostility!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 02, 2012
at 04:06 AM

"inept and irresponsible"....please develop a larger vocabulary. Your go to insult here is just getting old man.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 02, 2012
at 12:58 PM

MScott, using a pubmed search I've been unable to locate any epidemiological studies linking coffee to an increase in cancer risk. But I was able to find a few linking a decrease in cancer risk. On the other hand there a number of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies linking dietary nitrate/nitrite and cured meat to cancer.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:21 AM

Mscott - You can only provide reference, like Harry, if they are rat studies or show that lettuce and spinach cause more dietary intake of carcinogens then bacon. But you have to leave out that part because only bacon is un-paleo and you are all about the pureness.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:42 PM

LLM, are you comparing fruit, chocolate and coffee consumption with that of a known carcinogen - nitrosamine?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2012
at 02:27 AM

LLM, I'm not making any suggestions as to whether you, _personally_, should or shouldn't be eating bacon. This discussion is about the paleo label on bacon in the context of the health promoting benefits of paleo. If bacon is labelled as paleo, then it follows - for most people - that bacon is health promoting. In other words, bacon is a health promoting food.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 02, 2012
at 04:08 AM

"extraordinarily inept and irresponsible"...please expand your vocabulary. Get inventive! Your go to insult here is getting boring. Repeat questions AND repeat insults? OMFG get some variance in your life man!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Mscott, you're providing references that are over 30 years old (1981, 1979, 1970). Newer, more powered studies contradict those findings.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:44 PM

@Math - It is entertaining but it is also just a little nuts. Who the heck cares about what OTHER PEOPLE eat to the point making multiple posts, that are closed as duplicates, and posting crazy, fear-mongering responses to people who say they love bacon.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 02, 2012
at 03:30 PM

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198103123041102 http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/64/4/701.short http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2008583/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:45 PM

LLM, are you seeking to make a comparison between fruit, chocolate and coffee consumption with that of a known carcinogen - nitrosamine? That is extraordinarily inept and irresponsible.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 02, 2012
at 06:35 AM

Mayo- Ok, just curious if there was something unique about pineapple. I don't like it myself, it gives me battery mouth. @Harry- roasted coffee, interestingly enough, does contains several known carcinogens. So comparing coffee and bacon isn't really an "inept" comparison at all. They're both foods with compounds that have been shown to cause cancer when isolated and fed to animals in dosages far above the amount found in said foods.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:39 AM

Harry - Then DON'T F---ING EAT IT? Seriously, I don't deal with fructose so YOU can't eat fruit. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2012
at 02:15 PM

Life is about choices. Adults know that. Nothing is ideal, it is about picking your poison. Chocolate, coffee, booze, sugary-fruit, all have risks, hell griills have risks. Bacon doesn't have any greater risk than any of these....

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 07, 2012
at 02:39 AM

Interestingly it was bacon fat that gave rise to my handle. Baconaise. Lard...bacon-fat....it's all good. :D Kisses? Wow. I dig it.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on October 06, 2012
at 11:23 PM

KISSES FOR MAYO. Though you'd be even hotter if your name was LikesBaconFatinMayo.

6
2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on September 30, 2012
at 04:31 PM

it tastes awesome

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:57 AM

Better than chocolate cake?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:28 AM

Way better...I got the research studies to prove it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:22 PM

Keep on conducting your research then, JayJay. Your conclusions are - unsurprisingly - consistent.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:25 PM

Jayjay are you in fact the reincarnation of BAMBAM?

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 30, 2012
at 04:11 PM

Like some others here, I am also buying my bacon now at the local whole foods coop, bacon that is unprocessed, does not have carcinogenic nitrates/nitrites, is from free range hogs. Not the nitrate laden processed bacon most people buy in the store and that likely is the basis for links between bacon and processed meats and cancer in epidemiological studies. Same for streak, ground bison-- free range fed animals, buy the meat at the local whole foods coop.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 01:05 AM

Matt, one of many bacon advocates, ironically summed it all up when he said,

"Is bacon optimal? Not really, nobody argues it is. Is it paleolithic? Nope. Is it paleo? More or less."

In other words,

  1. It's not an optimal food
  2. it's not paleolithic

But for some reason it is more or less paleo.

Having stumbled head on into a teeming frenzy of bacon lovers who are ready to defend bacon's honor with their last breath one cannot help but me reminded of religious zealotry. And in such circumstances, where reason takes flight and something else entirely gets in the drivers seat, it is time to say adieu for now on this topic.

To extend on the analogy of the bubble, it has not burst but swells like an abscess.

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:21 AM

god, kale tastes like shit

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:34 AM

I haven't analyzed the data myself yet but if this is true...."Mat LaLonde broke a bunch of foods down by their nutrient density, and bacon came out on top." That tends to actually take care of number 1 also.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 09:56 PM

How much nitrosamine is actually in bacon?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 01:57 AM

More or less paleo depends on a lot. Most of those items could be considered more or less paleo.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:35 PM

Does Lalonde condone nitrosamine consumption?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 01, 2012
at 01:52 AM

1) Not everything needs to be optimal. 2) We don't know what's paleolithic, but it's a pretty safe bet there was no bacon tree. 3) Paleo is about making an informed decision about the food. Pork is allowed. Curing is allowed. Why wouldn't bacon be allowed?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 01, 2012
at 11:01 AM

Why wouldn't sausage fit into this category? Ground meat with seasonings. Since I'm not having to cut chunks off a carcass myself and my meat is processed by someone else, why is it a problem if it has been run through a grinder?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:36 AM

But as Matt says, suppose its not optimal....does that mean we should never eat green leaf lettuce because kale is better? Can we not have sweet potato's since white potatoes have more minerals? What else should we arbitrarily ban due to there being an incrementally better option?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:31 AM

Considering bacon is just seasoned pork belly, sausage is seasoned ground pork....I could make those two as a hunter/gatherer. The rest, I actually must admit I do not know how to produce though.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Mscott already did the leg work on that, Harry, and I've already pointed that out to you before. http://paleohacks.com/questions/139951/do-nitrosamines-produced-in-food-actually-cause-cancer

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Harry - Yeah, he does. Go listen to Chris Kresser's and Robb Wolf's AHS12 wrap up podcasts. Go listen to almost ANY interview with LaLonde. The guy tells a hilarious story about trying to get a pound of bacon at Denny's (or some place like that).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:15 AM

What you should be asking is how much nitrosamine is formed in cooking it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 17, 2012
at 07:04 AM

Leg work does not constitute evidence to the contrary..

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 24, 2012
at 01:12 AM

Dude, let it die.

2
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on September 30, 2012
at 02:59 PM

It doesn't get a free pass in paleo kosher land. You can't really keep kosher if your eating any type of pork. The health issues relating to eating a scavenger animal are gone, except it might be high in 0mega 6 fatty acids.

1
2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on September 30, 2012
at 04:06 PM

i rarely eat bacon, as i feel that there is better fatty meat options(just my opinion)

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on September 30, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Better in terms of health or better in terms of taste? I don't know too many slices of meat that taste better than bacon except maybe veal liver. And bacon is definitely nutritious.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Reminds me that I need to find some foie gras.

1
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:03 PM

It's great fun to make jokes about our dear friend, Barium Cobalt Nitride, but in real life I don't give it a free pass. I only buy uncured bacon, and I only eat it as an occasional treat.

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