Bacon is salt-cured pork made from various cuts, especially from the pork belly or lesser fatty back cuts. It is often eaten as a side dish, particularly in breakfasts, or used as a minor ingredient to flavor dishes. The term initially derived from the Old High German ‘Bahho’ meaning ‘buttock’ or ‘ham.’
Since bacon is cured like pre-cooked ham, you might have questions like, can you eat bacon raw? No, you should not. Eating it raw or meat of any kind increases your risk of food-related illnesses, also known as food poisoning. It is because they harbor harmful viruses, bacteria, and parasites such as salmonella.
Is Eating Bacon Raw Bad for Me?
Raw bacon infected with parasitic worms, such as Trichinella spiralis, may lead to trichinosis.
So as for the question, is eating raw bacon bad for you, it is a resounding yes. On the upside, the infection risks have subsided due to better pork production laws than in the past decade. The parasitic illness is now often associated with eating raw wild game meats.
Moreover, Trichinella spiralis infection can cause several symptoms, from mild infections to fatal illnesses. You cannot spread these infections to other people but through eating raw or undercooked meat containing T. spiralis worms.
To avoid such incidents, ensure your meat is cooked all way through as most of the bacteria is denatured by heat. The food-related illness you are likely to suffer from include:
The parasite is not harmful to most people although it can endanger those with a weakened immune system.
A species of parasitic roundworms cause trichinosis that can prompt diarrhea, nausea, faintness, and eye inflammation.
In this case, the parasites live in your intestines and can cause weight loss, abdominal pains, and blockages.
Therefore, you can kill these parasites and eliminate the risk of food poisoning by cooking your bacon appropriately.
What are the Ways to Cook Bacon?
Since you cannot eat raw bacon, you are more likely to ask yourself, what are the ways to cook your bacon? Well, you can use several methods such as roasting, frying, and microwaving your bacon.
Proper cooking and handling bacon are best ways to reduce your risk of food poisoning. Additionally, be sure to keep raw bacon separate from other foods and clean your surfaces, hands, and utensils after handling it.
The following methods of cooking your bacon:
Method 1: Roasting
During this process, use an oven. Place strips of your bacon on a baking rack at 400- degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked. It will therefore be the perfect combination of crispy, tender, and chewy.
Method 2: Frying
Use your frying pan for this method. Fry your chopped bacon until a bit crisp and caramelized. Remove them with a spoon, set them aside, and use the fat to sauté your onions and added ingredients. Add your fried bacon back to the dish at the end.
Method 3: Microwave
Place your bacon strips on the microwave-safe plate lined with paper towel and ensure you have not crowded the dish. Cook for approximately 2 to 4 minutes, depending on your microwave until cooked. Allow them to rest for a minute and serve.
What is the Nutritional Value of Bacon?
Bacon contains various nutrients that play an essential role in your body.The fat in bacon liquefies and becomes drippings when heated. It is flavorful and used in different cooking processes. In British and southern US cuisine, bacon grease is used as a base for cooking and an all-purpose flavoring for everything, including gravy, cornbread, and salad dressings.
In a slice of cooked side bacon, the nutrients include:
- Fat 4.5 grams
- Proteins 3.0 grams
- Sodium 205 milligrams
The fat, sodium, and protein content varies depending on the cut and cooking method. The highest percentage of the food energy of bacon comes from fat, which almost half is saturated. Three pieces of bacon contain 30 milligrams of cholesterol.
Dietary cholesterol has minor effects on cholesterol levels in your blood. However, the health effect of saturated fats depends on the type of saturated fat, dietary context, and your overall lifestyle. There is, however, no reason to worry about the fat content in bacon since the usual serving size is small.
However, bacon contains high salt levels since it is used in the curing process. Eating food high in salt has been linked with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Excessive salt intake may also cause a rise in your blood pressure if you are salt sensitive.
What are the Benefits of Eating Bacon?
Bacon is a crispy piece of deliciousness, which might be unbelievable to have benefits for your body. Despite containing high salt levels, which might not be suitable for your health, you might be surprised by the number of benefits it has. It is, however, wise for you to eat in moderation. Such benefits include boosting your mood, being a choline source, and packed with useful nutrients.
Benefit #1: Packed with Beneficial Ingredients
Every type of meat is full of beneficial nutrients that are dire to the body. The reason that carnivores survive on an all-meat diet without the need to eat vegetables. Therefore, Bacon contains essential minerals and vitamins that are part of a healthy diet, such as protein, vitamin B-, selenium, and phosphorus.
Benefit #2: Boost Your Mood
Lack of neurotransmitters such as serotonin is a common symptom of clinical depression. Your body uses amino acids, which are present in bacon hence helping to treat the symptoms of depression.
Benefit #3: Source of Choline – Beneficial to Your Brain
A healthy intake of choline, which prevents Alzheimer’s, dementia, and age-based cognitive decline, can also contribute to better memory.
- Eating raw bacon is not safe since pork, like any other meat, can have bacteria and parasites such as Trichinella Spiralis worms, which causes food poisoning and other food-related illnesses.
- Since you cannot eat raw bacon, you can use several methods to cook. They include frying, microwave cooking, and baking.
- Bacon contains various nutrients such as proteins and fats, which may prove beneficial to your health.
- The benefits of eating bacon are vast such as improving memory cognition and boosting your mood.