Bacon and the Paleobsession.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 14, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I am very interested in Paleo. Been eating pretty much Paleo for the last couple months, and think it is a great diet and even more, a great lifestyle. As food is one of the most important aspects of our life, I believe that eating well and actually caring about what goes into our bodies is compulsory.

I am slightly moderate in that I still eat occasional grains/sweets/etc (well... not for the past month, but that's because I'm cutting weight) and I don't kill myself over it or go blast out a 25 minute KB AMRAP to "make up for it".

In fact, I get slightly annoyed when I see one-eyed CrossFit zealots preaching and telling 'HOW IT HAS TO BE' and that there is only one way. I grew up in a healthy family, and all throughout my childhood my parents cooked every meal. We had lots of ethnic foods, veggies with every meal as well as lean protein, and usually grains. My dad still eats like this, and is perfectly fit with NO bowel problems, skin diseases, or whatever is common. I think that carbs in moderation are perfectly normal, and I have seen this with my eyes. That said, I completely agree that mostly Paleo is the way to go. Just would like for people with single-track minds to maybe ease up a bit and don't be so quick to condemn.

One thing I have noticed, and what this original post is about, is that on my FB feed I have countless picture updates from die-hard-ONLY-way Paleo junkies about bacon.

I love bacon. Straight up LOVE it. And I'm gonna eat it. But if everyone is so hyped up about being Paleo, does that not contradict the OFFICIAL Paleo food list? Shown here is Cordain's official food list, and specifically under FOODS TO AVOID, lies our salty friend bacon.

What say you, bacon lovers? Justify your love for bacon, and help confirm mine.


on March 15, 2012
at 01:18 PM

Um... how is this not a direct question: "does that not contradict the OFFICIAL Paleo food list?"



on March 14, 2012
at 04:42 PM

I don't eat bacon.


on March 14, 2012
at 02:42 PM

"Confirm my beliefs" is not a real question. Please turn this into a question or it will be closed.



on March 14, 2012
at 02:37 PM

Well, you can get uncured bacon if you think it matters.



on March 14, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Dave, I think curing is where many of the objections come from.



on March 14, 2012
at 02:21 PM

Define processed. Cooking is a process. Cheese, yogurt, kefir, kombucha and fermented foods are "processed" and yet widely recommended. You simply have to look deeper than that. It is not enough to use a simple heuristic (like "only eat stuf that could be eaten raw") to determine what is healthy. Bacon is salted, cured and sliced. So what? Does it cause negative health issues? The excess n6 might, if you eat it often. Don't make it the base of your pyramid. But unless I were facing serious inflammation and needed to minimize n6, there is no reason to say it's totally off limits.

Medium avatar


on March 14, 2012
at 01:58 PM

I agree that bacon shouldn't be "paleo" nor eaten too often. After all it is a processed product.

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7 Answers



on March 14, 2012
at 02:10 PM

Who is this Loren Cordain person?

Seriously, he may be the starting point for many, but most of us have moved beyond his "Paleo Diet".

Bacon is fine, except for the PUFA n6/n3 ratio, which is the only real reason to limit it (along with all pork). Just drain off the grease and dry on some paper towels. Eat. Delicious!

Loren is still afraid of saturated fat, salt, dairy and he buys in to the acid/base balance thing which has no strong science behind it.

Read some of the work of Dr. Kurt Harris or Paul Jaminet or Mark Sisson (or better yet all three) to get a more balanced view that corresponds to 80-90% of what paleohackers think of as "paleo".


And by the way, there is no "one perfect diet" for everyone. Eggs are wonderful, but not if you are allergic to them. Everyone has to experiment to find what works best for them, physically, menatlly and emotionally. Paleo is not re-enactment. It is a paradigm or better yet a template that gives us an evolutionary perspective as a starting point in thinking about food, nutrition and health.

Hint: it's not the end-point that Cordain thinks it is. And he is wrong to state that evolution stopped after agriculture. For example, many people have developed lactase persistence and are therefore lactose tolerent into adulthood.



on March 14, 2012
at 02:08 PM

My justification is that it's delicious, it helps me eat more veggies (roasted brussels sprouts with bacon FTW), and it doesn't make me chubby or make me feel ill. I get the highest quality bacon I can afford, and I regard it as real food- it's just sliced & cured pork belly. I just treat it as a condiment rather than a protein source, because there are far better protein sources out there.


on March 14, 2012
at 04:08 PM

I think many people rely on pork a little at the beginning of Paleo--thereafter it curbs off. Also...it is better to eat the bacon than the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg or The Cheetoes--CAFO or not.

Medium avatar


on March 14, 2012
at 02:56 PM

I think the obsession may have started with Ray Laudette and his Neanderthin, the concept of getting your day going with a pound of bacon is just so appealing. Whole9(?) lists bacon as "Paleo candy". We've eliminated grains and sugars, but that pairing of salt and fat and crispiness can be just as addictive as anything created in a Hostess lab.



on March 14, 2012
at 02:29 PM

Pork may not have an optimal Omega-3:6 ratio, but I only eat uncured, fresh bacon. "Ingredients: pig". I don't get bacon when eating out. I really don't see the problem with eating real bacon. If any food gets to be on the paleo-food list, it's real, uncured bacon.

However, yeah, I do find the bacon-obsessors kind of silly. It's delicious. Now shut-up. ;-)


on March 14, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Depending on how it is produced, bacon can be acceptable. However, the vast majority of bacon out there is really, really bad. (i.e. processed)

As an occasional element in your diet, it's fine. As an addition to make a recipe "pop", it's fine.

I think the "in all things, moderation" mantra should be exercised here.

I had some bacon the other night and it did jack up my weight--but I think it was the salt and water-retention at work rather than "packing on the pounds".

I've been blogging my health efforts since January if you're interested. I started on juice-fasting and have swung around to paleo, though I still consider fasting a viable and healthy endeavor.

I have no "commercials" on my blog...




on March 14, 2012
at 02:54 PM

Even with the sub-optimal PUFA ratio, pork fat is still only approximately 10% PUFA by calories, bacon is closer to 6.5% PUFA by calories. Are you eating enough bacon that your PUFAs are greater than 3-6% of your calories? I thought not. Seems making mountains out of molehills to me.

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