Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Bacon, of course. This post is prompted by a recent dinner. We had frozen a venison tenderloin last year in marinade, we thawed it, wrapped bacon around it and grilled it. Yum!
Bacon and bacon wrapped venison
That inspired me to take slice of bacon and cook my greens and onions with it, along with some hot peppers I pickled a few weeks ago. Then I took a sweet potato and apple and cooked them with bacon, then put some maple syrup and warm spices on them. Everything was superlative.

What is the allure?

So what is it about bacon that makes everything it is paired with taste so good? Of course, salt and fat are well known to enhance flavors, but bacon seems to have something far beyond those simple aspects. Is there any surprise that there are bacon of the month clubs, and websites devoted to bacon? How about bacon fan clubs? Is it the smoke flavor? Is it the texture?

The Downside

The down side of bacon, of course, the same as it’s allure: the salt and fat. While one slice has only 43 calories, 30 of those come from fat, and 1/3 of those are from saturated fat. Interestingly, according to Livestrong.com, Microwaving bacon reduces some of these things:

Bacon contains both saturated and unsaturated fat. Per slice, bacon provides around 0.6 grams of saturated fat when microwaved and 1.1 grams when pan-fried. Although slightly more than half of the fat in bacon comes from monounsaturated fats, the saturated fat content is a concern, particularly if you consume several slices with your meal. Three fried slices of bacon, for example, packs 3.3 grams – or 29.7 calories – of saturated fat. No more than 7 percent of your overall calorie intake should come from saturated fat, which can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease or diabetes.

However, even taking this into consideration, 7% does allow for some bacon, if the rest of your diet is good. That allows for 140 calories if you eat 2000 calories. I’ve said for a long time that bacon should be treated as a condiment, not a centerpiece of a meal.
I’m not even going into the nitrates, sodium, and if any other ingredients are added. Like all your foods, you should try and find local suppliers that you can trust.

Rationalization?

I know it sounds like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth, I say there is no good reason to eat a hot dog, and how far is that from bacon, nutritionally speaking? A hot dog though, by definition, is much more than just meat, since a multitude of ingredients are ground up in there. It is used as a meat serving, and is delivered with a big, white flour bun, confounding the problem. In reality, though, there isn’t much to recommend bacon. Until you smell it cooking. Then all thoughts of nutrition go out the window. But again I say, just as long it is used SPARINGLY, bacon can be used as a flavoring, with the other caveat that as long as the rest of your diet is good.
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