What a time to be living in. It seems as a society, the more we know the less we know, and we seem unable to take any steps forward without taking as many steps backward. The obesity rate among Americans has reached an all time high, and catastrophic rates of heart disease and diabetes have followed. Yet profit margins at fast food restaurants like McDonalds have plunged as Americans seek slower and (ostensibly) healthier options, such as any of the trending fast casual restaurants. Whole Foods has been the figurehead in the trend toward pricier, fresher, and healthier diets among millions of Americans.
After an extended trend away from the consumption of meat and other animal products, the ship seems to be righting. Initially, of course, meat was considered a necessary dietary staple, and the surest ticket to lasting physical strength and energy. During World War II, however, a fear of cholesterol and saturated fats–both abundant in animal products–coincided with a shortage of butter, which led to a rise in spreadable hydrogenated fats. Hydrogenated fats–namely Crisco–remained a dominant force on the American markets until the 1990s, when research showed that processed fats are extremely harmful to humans, and pretty much to be avoided at all costs.
It’s hard to know where to stand now. A lot of this confusion is likely due to conflicting marketing strategies initiated by industry competitors. But considering how much the consensus regarding the health benefits and risks associated with meat-eating has flip-flopped, it sometimes seems most practical to simply eat what you want and not pay attention to the pundits. I hereby urge you to start paying attention…at least soon. Because we’re getting smarter. A report issued in 2010 heralded a micronutrient called choline that, when consumed by a pregnant woman, may aid the brain development of her unborn child. Great news! But the best part of all is that choline is found abundantly in bacon. It’s hard to say just how many expecting mothers have consciously upped their choline intake in response to these findings, but the bacon movement is sure to take off if we all work together to spread the word. I foresee this knowledge leading to a beautiful bacon boom, and a trend toward brilliant babies being born. Someday soon the intelligentsia’s collective brainpower will exceed that of previous generations, and we’ll finally know which fat sources we should be prioritizing (in addition to bacon, of course).
Though this movement is in its infancy stages, from time to time we can clearly see its positive effects. Gregory Ferenstein, author of a recent report published by Vox.com, must have been exposed to a lot of choline (bacon) while he was in utero. No average baby would grow into a man brilliant enough try a bacon-rich diet in order to lose weight. His experiment led to a brilliant realization that, as he quite eloquently put it, “carbs awaken my appetite, and fats bed it back down to rest”. Since he was eating more bacon, Ferenstein found he was hungry less of the time, and wound up eating fewer calories. Sounds like a good recipe for weight loss to me, and if you must eat fewer calories, why not eat more bacon as well? Even better, it’s a great diet couples can partake in as a team. So, tell everyone: bacon can help you lose weight and it can make your offspring smarter.