The mere thought of bacon activates the taste buds. The crispy, savory meat product accents salads, sandwiches, main dishes, and even desserts. We find the flavor and texture irresistible, yet the question lurks behind each bite: “Is bacon healthy?” Red meats like pork have long endured a blighted reputation for contributing to poor health. However, recent research suggests that these foods could be a viable source of nutrition after all. Ultimately, how the meat is processed determines whether it is wholesome or unhealthy. Believe it or not, moderate intake of high-quality bacon can be beneficial to your overall health.
Bacon comes from pork belly, which is skinned and trimmed. The meat is treated with salt and nitrate for curing, then smoked or heated in convection ovens. Next, the bacon is chilled to prevent bacterial growth and lengthen shelf life. Salt is always a primary curing agent in making bacon, and it curtails some growth of bacteria. Nitrates and nitrites impart a pinkish hue to the meat and help accelerate the curing process. Bacon typically contains other additives such as spices, wood smoke, flavorings, and sugar.
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