Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
31 Mar

How Much Is Too Much?

Stop 1Although the Primal Blueprint leaves ample room for individual determination, I do try to offer folks a clear picture of the impact different dietary and lifestyle choices have on their overall health picture. At times I even offer specific recommendations or ranges that readers can tailor to their particular needs and situations. I’m often asked, however, about the upper ceilings I would set for various elements of the PB (fat, fish oil, etc.) I thought I’d take on those questions today and cover good ground by applying a rapid fire approach for several of the most common “excess” inquiries. Enjoy, and be sure to share your thoughts!

Protein

My general recommendation is one gram per pound of lean body mass on an average day. If you IF, it might weigh in at half that or less on your fasting days, whereas special occasions like Thanksgiving or your uncle’s annual steak fry might tip the intake scale at 1.5 grams per pound or so of lean mass. For the average active person, these amounts will be well utilized and fully sufficient. Any more than that, however, and you run the risk of excess protein being converted to glucose, which of course defeats the purpose of a low/lower carb diet. If you’re adequately hydrated (which doesn’t take much), eating an overall alkaline diet and ensuring adequate intake of bone supportive nutrients like magnesium, calcium and vitamins D and K, the common (but generally outdated) concerns about kidney load and osteoporosis aren’t significant issues.

Fat

Eating Primally will almost always mean that more than half of your calories will come from fat, and there’s no reason to be concerned about that – in fact it’s a reason to rejoice. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate at least that and, in some cases, considerably more. There isn’t really an upper limit for fat intake. For the vast majority of us, a useful way to approach the fat question is to first dial in your protein intake and then look at what carb intake you’re shooting for. (Check out the Primal Blueprint Carb Curve for a good summary of ranges.) You could potentially go zero carb – although the prospect is extremely impractical (and boring) for most people and must be well thought out and rather meticulously executed. After accounting for adequate protein and desired Primal carbs, you can fill out the rest of your caloric needs with fat, prioritizing the cleanest saturated fats you have financial and logistical access to, then monounsaturated fats and then healthy, intact polyunsaturated fats like certain nuts and fish oils.

Conveniently, that brings me to our next category in question….

Fish Oil

I generally recommend 1-3 grams of fish oil each day to counter inflammation and balance out dietary omega-6 content toward a healthier ratio approaching 1:1. The more Primal and clean you’re eating, the less you need. As for upper limits, it depends. More than three grams a day on an otherwise healthy diet (and/or in conjunction with certain medications/high alcohol intake) can thin your blood too much and impair its necessary clotting ability. Keep in mind not everyone is affected equally by a higher dose. Some people do fine with higher amounts. Other people notice excess thinning at well below three grams. For people with certain medical conditions, dosages above three grams have served as effective therapeutic treatment options. Of course, just because a certain dosage has been used in scientific studies doesn’t mean it’s necessary or advisable to take that much if you have a given condition. Talk to your doctor, and keep in mind that quality fish oil isn’t the cheapest thing in the world. One-three grams is nothing to sneeze at. It’s potent stuff. There’s no use taking more than you’ll fully benefit from. Better to take an adequate dose and spend the extra money on better quality food than to down megadoses of fish oil you don’t need.

Chocolate

I don’t want to rain too much on anyone’s parade here, chocolate lovers being a uniquely passionate lot. Nonetheless, I’ll be straight with you. First, there’s the obvious: carb content. (Check the sugar and total carb content on your respective package and decide how it will figure into your Primal plan.) Those of us who have a penchant for the highest cocoa contents (or even the raw nibs) have a longer leash so to speak. Less sugar equals fewer carbs equals more chance to enjoy more chocolate. Yes? Well, yes, but there’s a little more to the story. One small study found that cocoa powder elicited more insulin release than other flavorings – irrespective of the macronutrient breakdown of the food. Researchers didn’t know what to make of the results, but postulated that the Pavlovian principle may be at work here. (I’m seriously not making this up.) The more we love our chocolate, the more our bodies evidently betray us. Although it’s hardly enough to get me to forgo a good piece of chocolate, it does underscore the need for personally instituted moderation.

Bacon

There’s no such thing as too much bacon.

Butter

Ditto.

Fruit

The above principle applies here as well. Fruit can play a healthy role in the PB, but too much can backfire. This is one area to watch – especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Tailor your fruit intake to your desired Primal carb intake. As luck would have it, higher ORAC level fruits also tend to be lower on the glycemic scale. Berries and cherries generally offer the most antioxidant bang with the least carb buck. Check out this carb chart (PDF) for useful carbohydrate estimates on all your favorites.

Alcohol

I say none is best. However, research generally supports the health benefits of 1-2 drinks a day (1 for the average woman and 2 for the average man). More than that, and the benefits begin to plummet pretty quickly. Certain alcohols can be reasonable Primal indulgences, and some like red wine can offer unique and potentially therapeutic health benefits. That said, moderation is key. That extra indulgent Saturday night at your cousin’s wedding won’t do much harm beyond that splitting headache the next day, but making a habit of it won’t do you any favors. (Think impaired brain and liver functioning.)

Sleep

The Definitive Guide last week got people talking about the suggested ceiling for sleep. A number of studies connect several downsides, including higher obesity and diabetes risk, to longer sleep duration (9-10 hours or more). The consensus seems to support the average of 7-8 hours a night as optimal. However, people have legitimate differences in sleep need. The vast majority of folks probably fall into the average need range, but there are always outliers. If you keep a healthy lifestyle and a genuinely good sleep schedule, but have to drag yourself through the day with less than nine hours of shut eye, you’re likely in this group. I think the key here is quality over quantity. Remember that college roommate who slept through his classes until noon or later? He was likely up well past midnight (doing who knows what). When you miss out on those early hours of deep sleep, it’s tempting for the body to stay in bed and try to make up for the deficiency. If you’re healthy and consistently in tune with your circadian rhythm, you’re likely in tune with what your body really needs.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think. What are your upper limits for the above – and other – Primal matters? What logic and experiences tell you how much is too much?

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. “There’s no such thing as too much bacon.”

    I love this quote.

    Eric wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • ditto :)

      Lillian wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Perfect timing for this “too much” subject. I was just having an internal argument with myself over having extra bacon with my morning omelette. While still not letting the calories run wild, the extra bacon seems to prolong my energy further throughout the day. Glad to hear, more bacon can be OK.

      As for chocolate, my 85% plus (especially Godiva %85) keeps me on track with just 2 small pieces almost daily. Maybe it is the psychological benefit or the “mood chemicals” in the chocolate that help.

      Sleep – I bet we could all get a bit more to get into 7 to 8 hours of deep sleep.

      With Fruit – since I am on losing weight cycle – down from 240 to 217 since January – 2010 – I keep fruit minimal. Staying with the suggestion of berries – blueberries with a bit of plain yogurt seems to work.

      Clay wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Hey careful on the Yogurt, most still have plenty of carbs and even the ‘plain’ yogurt sometimes will have sugars added. Look for ‘Icelandic’ style. It’s super thick, but only six carbs, no added sugars, and SEVENTEEN grams of protien!

        Mike wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Down from 244 to 212 as of Jan. 2010. Keep it up man, I love this stuff.

        Frank wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Yes, me too. I have bacon every day as well. I am glad to hear that I do not need to cut back :)

        Angelina wrote on March 31st, 2010
        • i believe the bacon and butter amount was sarcasm. Use common sense.

          mAnton wrote on February 25th, 2013
      • try putting frozen berries in a small amount of coconut milk..awesome

        gwen wrote on April 1st, 2010
    • Me too! …but there is such thing as too much sodium nitrates, so be careful… A bacon-heavy meal on an empty stomach first thing in the morning could potentially make you very ill. …not the pork, the nitrates they cure it with. Nitrate free? Then carry on!

      fixed gear wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Nitrate free bacon is actually WORSE than cured bacon.

        Cook’s Illustrated paid for the test:
        Nitrite has long been a controversial food additive, with studies showing it forms carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines when heated in the presence of proteins, like those in bacon. Regular bacon is cured with nitrite (NO₂) or a virtually identical chemical, nitrate (NO₃), both of which act as preservatives, though only nitrite has the potential to form potentially harmful nitrosamines. Bacon labeled “nitrate- or nitrite-free,” on the other hand, is brined with salt, a bacterial lactic acid starter culture, and celery juice (sometimes listed as “natural flavor”).

        But here’s the catch: Celery juice naturally contains a high level of organic nitrate, which is converted to the problematic nitrite by the bacteria in the starter culture and also by saliva during chewing. Despite this fact, it’s technically correct to label the bacon “no nitrates or nitrites added,” since the compounds are formed during production, not added as ingredients. The question is: How do the levels of nitrite and nitrate in uncured bacon compare with those in its cured counterpart?

        When we fried up strips of our favorite supermarket bacon, Farmland Hickory Smoked, along with Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon (“no nitrate or nitrite added”), tasters found the samples virtually identical in taste and texture. To quantify the nitrite and nitrate levels in these bacons, we sent three packages of each type to a lab for testing. For comparison, we also sent three packages of the Best Buy from our tasting of artisanal bacon, Applegate Farms Uncured Sunday Bacon (labeled “no nitrites added”). As we expected, all of the bacons contained nitrite and nitrate, and the nitrite levels were well within U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines of no more than 120 parts per million (ppm). But to our surprise, the uncured bacons actually had higher levels of nitrite than the cured meat: Farmland Hickory Smoked Bacon registered an average of 9.7 ppm nitrite (and 48 ppm nitrate), while its All-Natural counterpart showed an average of 16.3 ppm nitrite (and 10.3 ppm nitrate). And the Applegate Farms Uncured Sunday Bacon averaged more than three times the level of the regular bacon: 35 ppm nitrite (and nearly as much nitrate, at 44.3 ppm).

        The bottom line: All bacon is likely to contain nitrite and nitrate, whether added at the outset or formed naturally during processing. If you want to avoid these compounds, you’ll have to avoid bacon—and any other processed meats containing celery juice—altogether.

        Ashley Mason wrote on October 25th, 2010
        • Thanks for the info, Ashley.
          Funny that few are commenting on this important information about bacon and marketing phrases.

          Ez wrote on July 14th, 2012
        • Mark has actually written about the nitrates and nitrites in bacon. He didn’t say uncured was worse, but he did say that buying one or the other doesn’t make a significant difference unless you care about the taste. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-quick-guide-to-bacon/#axzz2T2SMD0mM

          Personally, I don’t think the potential gain in flavor would be worth doubling my bacon costs, and with your mini-study now… I’m definitely sticking to my regularly cured bacon.

          mgarrett wrote on May 11th, 2013
    • Double ditto. And was hoping this was the answer! Yay Bacon!

      shepherd wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Ditto!!! LOL! U da man! :)

      Steve wrote on March 31st, 2010
  2. “Bacon: There’s no such thing as too much bacon.”

    Can I get that on a T-shirt please?

    CJ wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • T Shirt- Bacon on the front, butter on the back? I’d buy it

      Kat wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Butter on the front, side pork on the back

        piano-doctor-lady wrote on March 31st, 2010
        • butter on the front
          side pork on the side
          back bacon on the back
          All around awesome tshirt

          (Please make them available in x-small?)

          Kat wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Yes me too please, that would b a great t- shirt:))
      Loved this Article.. Thanks Mark

      Joy wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Mark,

        We all want a “There’s no such thing as too much bacon” t-shirt. So, make one!

        Todd wrote on March 31st, 2010
        • yes please

          DThalman wrote on March 31st, 2010
        • I want 2!

          Lee Edwards wrote on April 1st, 2010
  3. “There’s no such thing as too much bacon.”

    I love you for this.

    MsNetMonster wrote on March 31st, 2010
  4. Bacon, it is not just for breakfast anymore. Think I’ll cook some for Dinner.

    Kev wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • GOT BACON? lots of great t-shirt ideas. Great article as always Mark.

      Aaron Curl wrote on April 1st, 2010
    • Primal shopping….”I need to run to the store for some more bacon!”

      skeedaddy wrote on July 10th, 2011
  5. Long live the Fat :)

    Organic Gabe wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Such a short phrase, but it made me laugh. There is such joy behind those words….thank you!

      Nicole wrote on July 25th, 2012
  6. In regards to sleep, Lights Out: Sleep Sugar and Survival recommends 9.5 hrs a night for 7 months of the year (fall/winter) as that is what our ancestors did up until 70 yrs ago when the lightbulb came into widespread use. Any thoughts on this? Also, won’t the fat in most bacon be high in omega 6 thus we want to limit intake somewhat? Thanks and love the website/book

    Ryan wrote on March 31st, 2010
  7. Ha! The bacon line was my FAVE too! Everything tastes better with a little bacon.

    Gina Worley wrote on March 31st, 2010
  8. Awesome article! I’m a chocolate lover myself so that’s hard to swallow. :) The 80/20 rule would also be helpful here:

    http://www.nutritionize.net/2009/09/the-8020-rule.html

    AJ wrote on March 31st, 2010
  9. “You have to have had too much to know how much enough is”

    KestrelSF wrote on March 31st, 2010
  10. Hey Mark, will the cook book have a section dedicated to bacon? If it doesn’t, it should.

    Kristin J wrote on March 31st, 2010
  11. How about exercise? We know about chronic cardio, but how about those short, intense workouts that combine lifting heavy things with sprinting(CrossFit for me)?

    Nic kirkland wrote on March 31st, 2010
  12. This was brilliant. Thanks, Mark. Here’s a question though: How do you calculate your lean body mass? How do you compensate for other componenets of you body (i.e. bone, organs, brain etc.)?

    Ben wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • I was just thinking that same thing.

      Mike wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Weird.

        Ben wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Lean body mass is traditionally everything that’s not fat. So (1-BF%)*weight. There are several simple methods for estimating body fat percentage.

      Nic kirkland wrote on March 31st, 2010
  13. Maybe the bacon kid from wifeswap USA had a point……..

    I possibly think that is the greatest quote on this website!

    Jack wrote on March 31st, 2010
  14. OK, as much as I love “there’s no such thing as too much bacon” I would really love to clarify something. it’s not a concern for me but I always get into this discussion with my fiance who has high blood pressure. Is the sodium content of bacon a concern, or are you generally okay as long as you’re getting pastured, nitrate free bacon. We can kill a package on a Saturday morning so this is kind of crucial, haha. And if there’s a resource, please point me to it!

    Meghan Waldeck wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • One word (oops, two words)

      Side Pork

      Bacon without the brine and sugar, from pastured pigs. Use promptly, no preservatives. But if you can get through a package of bacon at a sitting, you can finish side pork fast enough.

      Sodium seems to make my muscle aches worse, so I keep a lid on it as well as I can. That eliminates salami and other cold cuts, except as a very occasional treat, also a lot of canned fish like sardines.

      piano-doctor-lady wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • I too have discovered the awesomeness that is side pork :) Love it!

        Robin wrote on April 4th, 2011
    • Cutting sodium doesn’t drop your blood pressure by much. Low carb diet will see a big fall in blood pressure.

      Sue wrote on April 1st, 2010
    • Nitrite has long been a controversial food additive, with studies showing it forms carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines when heated in the presence of proteins, like those in bacon. Regular bacon is cured with nitrite (NO₂) or a virtually identical chemical, nitrate (NO₃), both of which act as preservatives, though only nitrite has the potential to form potentially harmful nitrosamines. Bacon labeled “nitrate- or nitrite-free,” on the other hand, is brined with salt, a bacterial lactic acid starter culture, and celery juice (sometimes listed as “natural flavor”).

      But here’s the catch: Celery juice naturally contains a high level of organic nitrate, which is converted to the problematic nitrite by the bacteria in the starter culture and also by saliva during chewing. Despite this fact, it’s technically correct to label the bacon “no nitrates or nitrites added,” since the compounds are formed during production, not added as ingredients. The question is: How do the levels of nitrite and nitrate in uncured bacon compare with those in its cured counterpart?

      When we fried up strips of our favorite supermarket bacon, Farmland Hickory Smoked, along with Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon (“no nitrate or nitrite added”), tasters found the samples virtually identical in taste and texture. To quantify the nitrite and nitrate levels in these bacons, we sent three packages of each type to a lab for testing. For comparison, we also sent three packages of the Best Buy from our tasting of artisanal bacon, Applegate Farms Uncured Sunday Bacon (labeled “no nitrites added”). As we expected, all of the bacons contained nitrite and nitrate, and the nitrite levels were well within U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines of no more than 120 parts per million (ppm). But to our surprise, the uncured bacons actually had higher levels of nitrite than the cured meat: Farmland Hickory Smoked Bacon registered an average of 9.7 ppm nitrite (and 48 ppm nitrate), while its All-Natural counterpart showed an average of 16.3 ppm nitrite (and 10.3 ppm nitrate). And the Applegate Farms Uncured Sunday Bacon averaged more than three times the level of the regular bacon: 35 ppm nitrite (and nearly as much nitrate, at 44.3 ppm).

      The bottom line: All bacon is likely to contain nitrite and nitrate, whether added at the outset or formed naturally during processing. If you want to avoid these compounds, you’ll have to avoid bacon—and any other processed meats containing celery juice—altogether.

      Ashley Mason wrote on October 25th, 2010
      • I know I’m a little late for the discussion! But that was a really interesting bit of information about bacon, I didn’t realize celery juice contained appreciable levels of nitrates. You say our saliva can break this down into nitrites, does this also mean that when I eat celery with any other meat I might be getting nitrosamines?! Just kidding, ha, I think there probably has to be heat involved in that reaction. But I would be curious in knowing how the nitrosamine levels in any cooked bacon might compare to the TSNAs in tobacco products.

        Michelle wrote on June 1st, 2012
  15. Obesity and diabetes connected to lots of sleep? Sounds like the classic correlation vs. causality problem. I wouldn’t be surprised if the lack of energy associated with obesity results in increased sleep, and we all know about diabetes and obesity by now.

    Like bacon, there is no such thing as too much sleep–you’ll eventually wake up.

    nicknick wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • there is no such thing as too much sleep–you’ll eventually wake up

      Usually… :-)

      gcb wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Or maybe if you have a sluggish thyroid you’re prone to longer sleeping jags. I guess the same could be true if you have an overactive thyroid; need more sleep… It might be a sign that there is something wrong internally if you require more (or maybe less) sleep.

      If you’re otherwise following PB, I think you could use the guidelines as a way to make sure you are healthy internally. If your needs are different, it could be used start a conversation with your doctor.

      Holly J. wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Except for the last time….

      robert wrote on July 17th, 2012
  16. Mark,

    Have you mentioned the same limits for coffee? I take 2 cups everyday…

    Thanks

    Venkat

    Venkat wrote on March 31st, 2010
  17. Excellent overview Mark. Thanks again.

    Steven R. McEvoy wrote on March 31st, 2010
  18. I am wary of the sodium content, as well, since I have one kidney. I was a bit dismayed to plug some foods into fitday and find that my 5 slices of thick bacon give me about 1.6 grams of sodium. Granted, I buy my bacon from a rural butcher so it might not have quite that much in it, but I’m still concerned.

    Primalchild wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Can you get hold of side pork?

      Equally delicious, no sodium added. Maybe your rural butcher can save some aside for you instead of curing it for bacon.

      piano-doctor-lady wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • PrimalChild,
      I am about to start PB. I too, have one kidney. Any issues? I would love to know or get any advice. Thank you!
      K

      Kalene wrote on February 26th, 2013
  19. Bacon is right up there on my awesome list with espresso, red wine and sex… that’s right, I said it…

    ccarrigan wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Espresso isn’t so taboo any longer, the little West has become more westernized, slowly catching up pace. Sex, sure… Red wine, don’t be Un-‘merican!

      wd wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Sex with bacon yum :)

      GAT wrote on March 31st, 2010
  20. To quote http://www.baconfreak.com : “Bacon is Meat Candy”.
    But even more so it is BUTTER that leads to nirvana for me!

    TexasPrimalSurfWahine wrote on March 31st, 2010
  21. ah bacon: the candy bar of meats.

    shastagirl wrote on March 31st, 2010
  22. I’m very grateful for this. Nice and concise way to explain it to my friends.

    tooround wrote on March 31st, 2010
  23. Bacon bacon bacon!!! Went to a Brazilian Grill this weekend and two items wrapped in bacon kept ending up on my plate. BTW nothing gives a more Primal feel to a meal than meat on a spit.

    Matt F wrote on March 31st, 2010
  24. There is no such thing as too much bacon…My dog wrote that for you didn’t she? LOL

    Dusty wrote on March 31st, 2010
  25. “There’s no such thing as too much bacon” I’ve said this for years, now its official! Thanks Mark

    biglee wrote on March 31st, 2010
  26. In regards to protein intake; how do you calculate your lean body mass, it can’t just simply be your weight can it? I weigh 160 lbs so doe that mean my diet throughout the day encompass 160 grams of protein?

    Any enlightement from you guys to clarify my confusion would be great.

    thanks, steven

    Austin wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Do a search on how to calculate your BMI (body mass index). It will tell you what percentage of your body is fat. The rest of your body is lean body mass (muscle, bone, cartilage, water, etc). For example, a 160lb man who has a BMI of 25% has a lean body mass of 120lbs (160 * .75).

      A simple calculator for LBM is at http://www.healthstatus.com/cgi-bin/calc/calculator.cgi . These are simple numbers and estimates, so take them with a grain of bacon…

      Mark wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Thanks for the info; it was extremely helpfull

        Austin wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Hi Mark. I think you’re confusing body mass index (BMI) with % bodyfat. BMI is simply weight in kg divided by the square of the height in meters. BMI does not measure % bodyfat, although in general a higher BMI means higher bodyfat, unless you have a lot of muscle mass.

        Ed wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • If you know your bodyfat percentage (from scales or caliper tests etc) the balance of your weight is lean mass.

      I’m 125 lbs with around 20% bodyfat so my lean mass is 80& of 125 lbs = 100 lbs of lean mass.

      Hope that helps.

      I love bacon too, and a month ago I was a card carrying vegetarian LOL, Grok on!

      Kelda wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • I’m obviously not Mark- but here’s how I do it.

      I take body fat percentage and subtract it from 100 to get LBM percentage and multiply that by total weight.

      100-25% body fat = 75% LBM percentage.

      150 pounds x .75 = 112.5 pounds of LBM

      golfgirl1227 wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Since muscle affects the BMI, I think it particularly screws up the results of the BMI calculations/charts for women with muscles. The BMI charts are based on average, and on average, most women don’t have much muscle.

        Lee Edwards wrote on April 1st, 2010
  27. Good article.

    However, the alcohol link is broken. “Page not found”.

    Jay wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • The link looks to be working for me. Which one are you referring to?

      Mark Sisson wrote on March 31st, 2010
  28. They do make a chocolate bar with bacon in it now, btw (I found it at Cost Plus so far). NOW we’re talkin’

    Peggy wrote on March 31st, 2010
  29. Om nom nom nom nom Baconnn…

    FrankOcean wrote on March 31st, 2010
  30. Sacrilege though it may be, any bacon is too much for me. Not because of the fat or the sodium; I simply don’t care for it. My personal “ad libitum” food happens to be eggs. It helps that I get them from a local farm for $1 a dozen, of course.

    Alex wrote on March 31st, 2010
  31. I had to laugh when I saw “There’s no such thing as too much bacon.”

    Actually I remember when I was in Boy Scouts on a camping trip we cooked up tons of bacon which I consumed to my heart’s content. Unfortunately the effect it had on me prevented me for several years from even being able to think about bacon without wanting to throw up. Fortunately I eventually overcame my repulsion and eat it two or three times a week now, but in moderation.

    Dave wrote on March 31st, 2010
  32. No concerns about the sodium nitrite in most types of bacon?

    luc wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • I seem to recall that you get more nitrite from saliva than you do from bacon, although I don’t have a reference handy…

      gcb wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Oh, no, does that mean no kissing?

        primalpatty wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • i love bacon, and having more is a good idea. but i worry because even many uncured bacon brands have “flavors” as an ingredient. maybe it’s a bit to soon to go wild on the bacon unless you explicitly know the source and ingredients.

      i bet homemade bacon far surpasses to store bought flavors. i personally love Beelers brand bacon. http://www.beelerspurepork.com/ but i don’t over do it.

      dakota wrote on June 22nd, 2013
  33. Just one question: how about all the salt in bacon? Or is it something else that makes it taste salty?

    Angelo wrote on March 31st, 2010
  34. Ive been eating primal with no counting calories, just lots of reading and learning and feeling good. But how do you figure what your cal’s are when cooking with fats. I don’t measure, should I? what about the meat juices? I know Ive lost a bit of weight, I do workout and get ravenous, but I think regardless of eating primal, how do I know if Im over doing it? Any trial and error suggestions, I feel good.

    Allison wrote on March 31st, 2010
  35. “The quarterly Meatpaper was founded by a couple of vegetarians who made the conversion to meat eating a few years back. (The founders say that when vegetarians cross over to the meat-eating dark side, bacon is the most common conversion food.)” From Dr. Michael Eades blog http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/good-eating/schmaltz-and-soy/

    A2Joe wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Threadless.com has an awesome shirt:
      “Bacon: the gateway meat”

      Jamie wrote on March 31st, 2010
  36. 2 Questions.

    1) Does the upper ceiling of protein still apply when trying to gain mass?

    2) What does 3 grams of omega 3 look like in real life. I buy the liquid.

    barehard wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • 2) What does 3 grams of omega 3 look like in real life. I buy the liquid.

      That would be around 3.5 milliliters of pure oil, or just under three quarters of a teaspoon full. Obviously it would depend on how pure your oil is though…

      gcb wrote on March 31st, 2010
  37. I frequently have dinners that consist of nothing but 3-4 strips of bacon and a glass of Sangria

    Dave wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • I do the same….except multiply the quantity of bacon by 3 or 4.

      Aaron Curl wrote on April 1st, 2010
  38. Since I’m eating more of the stuff now than ever before, I’ve switched to non-cured bacon as to avoid the nitrates. IMO, it’s not quite as good as the chemical-laden stuff, but hell: it’s still bacon.

    CJ wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Dr. Eades states in his latest comments section:

      “Actually nitrites are a health food so you needn’t spend the time trying to get rid of it. 80 percent of the nitrates and nitrites in the diet come from vegetables sources – processed meats account for little.”

      chris wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • I eat thick slice nitrate free bacon, and it’s much better than the thin sliced. Went to a restaurant the other day and had their thick sliced bacon, gag! It was so salty I could hardly eat it.

      G2baker wrote on March 31st, 2010
  39. Mod er a tion…..Choco late..

    Do not compute! ;P

    Noturningback wrote on March 31st, 2010
  40. Mmmm….bacon is Meat Candy! :)

    This is a great read Mark, and timely for me as well. I’ve been primal for about two weeks now (a newbie!) and I’ve been wondering about a lot of this. As far as the food items go (vegetables, fruit, animal proteins, fats, and bacon!) I’ve been going with trying to develop an intuitive sense of how much I need, but not trying to limit myself too much, especially since I guess I’m in “transition mode” and am feeling a little tired and maybe a carby hunger pang or two. I’ve managed to stave those off with other real food choices. I now think that punching in my food into FitDay every now and then would be a good benchmark to see how I’m doing.

    Great site, great method, great blueprint! Only two weeks in and I’m already feeling much better. Plus my muffin-top is shrinking, what’s more!

    Julie wrote on March 31st, 2010
    • Hey wonderful paintings BTW. I’m a portrait painter myself :)

      Mike wrote on March 31st, 2010
      • Thanks Mike!

        Julie wrote on March 31st, 2010

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