Today’s question on The Ask Prof Noakes Podcast relates to one of the most consumed foods within the Banting or LCHF diet – bacon. We chat to Prof. Tim Noakes about the many claims that bacon is bad for you because it is a processed meat..
Peter got in touch and he says that we regularly talk about the benefits of eating bacon on the Banting or LCHF diet but some nutritionists continuously claim that processed meat, especially bacon, is bad for you. Can you advise?
Prof Tim Noakes: Yes I think Peter, you are right there. One has to have some concerns that it is a processed food and we tend to suggest we should not eat processed foods. You see, the problem what the nutritionists are telling us is that in associational studies, people who eat processed foods tend to have slightly higher rates of various diseases.
The problem is those are associational studies and we do not know what else people who eat processed foods like bacon, are doing. In other words, you can never be absolutely certain that it is just eating the bacon that caused the problem.
Bacon eaters probably do many other things and we certainly know that people who eat processed foods are probably less wealthy and now I am talking about the really cheap processed foods, they are probably less wealthy and they probably have other major risk factors for ill health.
Is bacon actually the problem?
In other words, eating the processed meat, might be a marker of something else.
That is a long convoluted statement that we actually do not know if processed foods are good or bad for you, in the face of a good diet, that you are doing everything else right.
So, I just tend to think that you should, if you want to eat bacon, you should probably eat the bacon that is the least processed and I am not sure what that is but also make sure that it comes from animals that are raised in the best possible conditions.