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Confused about bacon, ham, sausage, etc.

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  • Confused about bacon, ham, sausage, etc.

    Hello, reading through the site I'm finding conflicting info regarding so called "processed meats". Under this entry: The Secret to Health & Longevity: Are You Following the 10/90 Rule? | Mark's Daily Apple under #7 says "The backbone of the American diet – bacon, pepperoni, sausage, ham, hamburger meat, deli meat – is also a very effective nail in the coffin. This is by far one of the most important aspects of health. Processed meat and excellent health don’t go together. Ever." And then, under the definitive guide to saturated fat, a picture of bacon appears as the symbol of the health benefits of saturated fat along with this article about bacon itself: A Quick Guide to Bacon | Mark's Daily Apple sings it's praises. So which is it? Good? bad? Are we talking the uncured/nitrate free bacon/sausage at health stores? Is that ok? Confused!

  • #2
    they're all good, and they're all bad. eating handfuls of cured meats is just asking for problems, because often times they can include some crappy stuff. but, good quality meats--bacon, sausage, pepperoni/salami/etc., ham--are sensible indulgences. don't build your meal around them, but enjoy them in moderation.


    • #3

      Agreed. I probably eat chicken sausage more than pork. My digestion isn't the greatest right now and fried pork sausage is not on the top of the list of easily digestible foods. I think the cooking method is also very important. A nice slow oven-roasted ham that is very tender goes down smooth, but fry it up in a skillet and its rough on the stomach. There is some scientific stuff relating too much pork consumption to colon/stomach "dis-eases." and a lot of religious traditions bar it as well. Like most things, i think its a matter of personal intuition and choice. Having said that, I love me some bacon every now and then.


      • #4
        It's a good question and one of he few things I find frustrating about Primal. On any given day I can find three pro bacon posts and three anti. Same for primal smoothies. All so confusing!
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        • #5
          Grok didn't have a blender, so I doubt there was much in the way of smoothies. Pretty good indication that he did smoke meats though.


          • #6
            Hmm... my favorite thing about bacon is bacon FAT. That's right just the grease. I can totally skip eating the bacon itself because I've always found it extremely salty for my tastes unless it was used as a condiment for something else. Thus, I've never been into consuming several rashers each morning.
            I'm also on a salt restricted diet at this point for medical reasons, so its not on my acceptable list. BUT, I want that grease! I filter it and jar it,and cherish it for cooking.

            The actual bacon itself... used, chopped up, IN cooking or on salads sometimes... also husband and my dogs really appreciate it as a snack on occasion.
            Last edited by cori93437; 01-28-2012, 01:37 AM.
            “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
            ~Friedrich Nietzsche
            And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


            • #7
              My 2 cents. Anything processed including meat not good. If you can get good quality sausage/bacon/ham from a local farm preferred then I think they are fine, but their intake should still me moderated. Bacon like Oscer Myers should be NEVER. Ham from the deli counter should be NEVER. I'm not on the bandwagon that eating 1/2lb of bacon everyday is a good idea. I limit myself to once a week for a Sunday breakfast. In terms of other pork, I consume only a few times a month based on the quantity provided in my CSA. I think one of the big problems with pork was the parasites which is where the religious stuff started.
              Primal since March 2011

              Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs


              • #8
                Just a quick PSA - bacon and hot dogs that say "No added nitrites or nitrates!" still have them, they're just in the form of celery salt, seed or juice. The minute they hit your tongue, they're the same thing. Just so you're aware.

                I wish I could eat bacon, I really do. It tastes insanely good and... well, it just tastes insanely good! But it gives me migraines, so I'm jealous. Having said that, I think we have a tendency to demonize or glorify certain foods here, and that's a little messed up. Some people can get away with eating foods others can't, and EVERY food has something "bad" about it if you look hard enough.

                If you can handle processed meats, then good for you. I definitely wouldn't make them a staple in your diet, but if your body doesn't object, I don't see why they wouldn't be fine every once in a while.


                • #9
                  I fail to understand why a steak is somehow okay and a steak ground into hamburger is not. But perhaps he is referring to the typical ground beef that contains some ghastly stuff called "sludge". I get ground beef from my grass-fed source. I assume it has no sludge. I hope it doesn't. I can't see how it would help his business if it did.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                  • #10
                    I think you have to read the packages. I can buy bacon that is bacon with nothing but pork or I can buy bacon with 12 other ingredients including corn syrup. Ham can have god knows what in it. Sausage can have corn syrup and gluten. I know that ground beef can have soy in it- especially burgers at restaurants.

                    You just have to read labels.

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                    • #11
                      When you're searching the blog archives, it helps to look at dates on the posts. The 10/90 one is from 2007, which is from the pre-Primal period on the blog--the meat post linked to in that particular article is pretty interesting as an example of changing perspectives. I'm not saying shovel back the bacon, but Mark's opinions have shifted over time. Bacon is a reasonable indulgence if you're getting it from a clean source (good farming and processing practices, minimal additives). I think we make a lot of bacon jokes around here, but in reality, most primals aren't chowing down on a pound of it daily.
                      “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                      Owly's Journal


                      • #12
                        Eating primally really makes you check the labels.

                        I bought some sausages this afternoon that claim to be gluten and dairy free, and claim to consist of 97% pork with some seasoning and lean (ugh) pork shoulder. Most others will have a much smaller meat content with some filler including rusk.
                        Meat is Prized, Wheat is Despised.

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