March is National Nutrition Month, so in that spirit InsideMedford.com will publish features and articles that explore the topic. The article below, submitted by the office of a celebrity dietician, is the first in a series of occasional pieces this month.
Bacon has always been popular, but now it’s the standard by which many express affection with the ubiquitous online meme: I love you more than bacon.
It’s considered by many to be the ultimate food indulgence, but according to Dr. John Salerno, a protégé of “Atkins Diet” creator Dr. Robert Atkins, bacon is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
“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,” (www.thesilverclouddiet.com). “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.”
Need more reasons to love bacon?
- It has a 4:1 ratio of protein to fat;
- It contains choline, which boosts memory and healthy brain function;
- It’s composed of monounsaturated fats, the kind that contains lots of healthy fat-soluble vitamins and minerals
- It’s a potent source of oleic acid and saturated fats, which help reduce levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), lower triglycerides, and raise HDL – commonly referred to as the good form of cholesterol.
Dr. Salerno says there are other indulgent-yet-healthy foods out there, including:
- 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 Salerno recommends. 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.
About Dr. John Salerno
A board-certified family physician, Dr. John Salerno has been pioneering complementary medicine for more than 20 years. Best known for his Silver Cloud Diet nutrition program, anti-aging supplements, and natural therapies, Dr. Salerno has crafted original treatment plans to restore human health. His publications and professional studies have made him a popular expert on the physiology and assessment of many complex medical conditions. Dr. Salerno was a protégé and colleague of prestigious Dr. Robert Atkins and served as a clinical preceptor at the Yale University School of Medicine for three years. He has worked with Hollywood actress/author Suzanne Somers (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy pioneer); actor Steven Cannell; and president of the International Congress of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Hiroyuki Abe M.D.