Hipsters love bacon. OK, pretty much everyone loves bacon (even some vegetarians!). Are they on to something? One doctor says it actually fits into the category of healthy foods.
“Many think of bacon as one of the guiltiest pleasures possible, but it has also been shown to alleviate the effects of diabetes, heart disease and strokes,” says Dr. Salerno, author of The Silver Cloud Diet—and a protege of “Atkins Diet” creator Dr. Robert Atkins.
“Nitrate-free bacon is an excellent source of high protein, low-carbohydrate energy that helps to reset the metabolism, and it’s filled with amino acids delivered without the risk of dangerous levels of mercury, which can be found in many fish.”
Dr. Salerno says there are other healthy foods out there masquerading as indulgences. Here's his list (vegans may want to hide their eyes):
• Butter: "Butter contains the highest amount of butyric acid found in a natural food source. Butyric acid is recognized for its roles in cellular health, antioxidant protection and metabolic properties; it also increases energy and may prevent cancer. Butter derived from natural, grass-fed animals is recommended."
• Barbecue: "Add sauces and condiments and this American favorite will have more starch and sugar than recommended," Salerno says. "But the main ingredient—meat—speaks to the heart of a low-carb, high-protein diet. Grass-fed hamburger meat and organic, hormone-free chicken provides the nutrients your body needs. Stay away from the buns, sugary condiments, sauces and marinades, and you can enjoy a healthy barbecue."
• Omelets: "Eggs contain lots of cholesterol and saturated fats, which have been demonized throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Fortunately, we know there is such a thing as good cholesterol and fat. Packed with vitamins, minerals and one of the best-absorbed proteins we can feed our body, any negatives associated with eggs are far outweighed by the benefits. Natural, unprocessed cheeses and cream add to the nutritional value of an omelet."
• Chocolate ice cream: "Ice cream made with organic egg yolks, heavy cream and a small amount of stevia herb for taste, instead of sugar, is actually a healthy dessert. Fats are fine, with the exception of trans fats, so long as dieters control their carbohydrate intake. Humankind did not evolve with the vast amount of foods today that contain complex carbs and hidden sugar. Our bodies are used to high amounts of natural fat and a limited amount of unprocessed carbs."