Bacon and Biking
December 28 2015 – Ezekiel Binns
Reasons to disregard all you’ve heard about bacon and start snacking on it before your morning rides!
With all the fuss about bacon being problematic and possibly carcinogenic, the shock on ones face when you suggest bacon's prospective health benefits seem to be nothing more than appropriate. If you think the World Health Organization placed bacon adjacent to cigarettes on a list of carcinogens just because it's cured and fried meat then you probably have some reading to do. The misconception that bacon causes cancer because of the molecular chemistry of the animals meat isn’t hard to emend once someone states the more reasonable cause. Processed meats, including bacon contain nitrates that conserve and prevent the bacteria in the meat from naturally doing what they do; devouring the fats and proteins present in the meat, leading to what we recognize as spoilage. Recent studies have moderated the bacon-cancer paranoia by showing that two pieces of bacon minutely increases the lifetime risk of developing cancer from 4.5 percent to 5.3 percent and that's only if consumed daily.
Jessica Stamm, a certified clinical nutritionist works in Honolulu, Hawaii for a company called Stamm Nutrition. Stamm’s recent research gives bacon’s legacy a new fate. “There are benefits to indulging in bacon,”, she claims. One of bacon’s key characteristics is the amount of sodium it contains. Stamm claims that “Sodium is really important during hard races, as it is a key electrolyte that supports adrenal gland function to help your body deal with the stress of the competition” However, she doesn’t stop there, it seems as if all of the things we are told not to indulge in have their benefits when applied to the physical strains of cycling. Our brain usually rewards us for eating the things that aren’t the best for the body and this is exactly what Stamm’s claims when she says, “saturated fat can help provide a feeling of euphoric joy in the midst of physical hardship,”.
Take those ironic health benefits with a grain of salt, using your best judgement and eating bacon at your best judgement. For more information on the now mitigated bacon-cancer phenomenon, we encourage you to check out these related articles:
Huffington Post: "Processed meat is bad for you, but it's no tabacco".
Bicycling : "Bacon as ride food: your secret weapon?"