Ask Dave: Bacon is health food?

Posted on June 3, 2013 by


Dear Dave,

All of my crossfit buddy’s eat an enormous amount of bacon – they say it’s nitrate free and that it’s perfectly fine to eat at every meal.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they wrap their apples in bacon.  They all do Paleo, stay really active with Crossfit and seem to be in good health.  What’s your take on bacon? Thanks Dave.

Ready to Pig-out in Sherman, CT,


Dear Thomas,

Great, timely question.  Paleo (a lifestyle focusing on avoiding processed foods, grains, and sweets, and consuming lots of meat and veggies) websites and facebook sites make nearly constant mention of bacon uses so I’d love to weigh in with my serious concerns.

  1. SUGAR:  The vast majority of bacon is made with sugar.  Sugar-free versions are just starting to show up (THANK YOU!!!) and should be used provided the rest of the ingredients are clean.
  2. SALT:  The level of sodium in bacon will cause inflammation. Period.  Your body will require extra work and water to process it through.
  3. NITRATES: YES many companies make bacon without synthetic nitrates but what is ‘celery juice or powder?’ Naturally occurring nitrates! While these are not a red flag for most people they are still a processed food. Remember the original paleo-principle….keep your food simple!

PALEO PERSPECTIVE:  I like to see things as a caveman might to simulate the ‘true’ paleo experience:  “I killed a wild boar and winter approaches….now I’ll go get some sugar and salt and make bacon!  Oh crap,  I don’t have sugar.  OK Ill use extra salt. DOUBLE CRAP!  Salt is a precious commodity in my century and I need to trade a sabertooth tusk for a small rock of it!  OK I’ve splurged on the salt now I just need some nitrates”…see where I’m going?  Bacon is a relatively new food – cavemen would just eat or dry the pig for later- PALEO STYLE!

VERDICT:  Sugar & Chemical free bacon is a great treat; I enjoy it on occasion but I always feel my body work harder to recover.  Your crossfit buddies may not show it on the outside but the internal inflammation is inevitable. It will catch up with them in any number of ways.

THE ALTERNATIVE:  Pork belly is bacon before it becomes bacon! It is a fatty, delicious cut of meat that is incredibly versatile and growing in price & popularity.  Why the high price?  It is a fresh cut of meat!  Bacon is PRESERVED, in some cases more than others.  PRESERVED, PROCESSED FOOD LASTS LONGER AND COSTS LESS AS IT CAN BE SOLD TO MORE PEOPLE!

Pork belly for breakfast,


100% Pork Belly...No Bull!

100% Pork Belly…No Bull!

Posted in: Ask Dave