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By Danny Vega
BACON. For many of us, reading or hearing the word alone leads to a visceral reaction. I know I felt my salivary glands perk up. It’s used in a lot of our staples here in America—bacon and eggs, bacon cheeseburgers, and there are even bacon COOKIES. Good bacon provides a perfect combination of saltiness, crunchiness, and fattiness for your salivating mouth. Thankfully, good old-fashioned bacon has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the last decade or so with the rise of the paleo diet and the ketogenic diet. I personally have an online friend who lost 90 pounds on the ketogenic diet, and a lot of that was from eating a diet consisting of mostly bacon! Check out the impressive results below!
I’m not saying that I advise everyone to hop on a bacon diet, but bacon is actually a pretty darn good food choice! Even those who argue against animal protein, and claim that monounsaturated fat is a more “heart-healthy fat” than saturated fat have to concede that bacon contains more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat. Yes, you read that correctly. Bacon fat is about 50% monounsaturated, 40% saturated, and 10% polyunsaturated. In the context of a low-carbohydrate diet, this is a great mix of fats and is totally healthy. It is also a good source of protein—the building blocks (amino acids) of muscle, and the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Moreover, bacon is a great source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12, selenium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Plus, it’s also high in sodium, something we low-carb and keto folks should definitely be consuming in the absence of carbohydrates! Last but not least, bacon is a great food option while you are doing the KETO 30 Challenge!
Why am I going on and on about my love for bacon? Because today (December 30th) is National Bacon Day! So now that you know all the reasons I eat bacon, here are some of my favorite brands of bacon (yes, quality matters!).
If you follow me at all, I don’t think you will be surprised to know what my favorite brand of bacon is. In my opinion, Pederson’s Natural Farms not only has the best quality bacon and cured meats, it is also the best tasting. Pederson’s Farms has been producing high quality, all-natural pork products since 1992. They work with self-sustaining family farms that not only grow the feed they use for their pigs, but they also house their pigs in deep pens with plenty of room to romp, frolic and engage in their natural behavior. Lastly, they do not feed their pigs hormones or antibiotics.
I first tried Pederson’s Farms about a year and a half ago with my first Butcher Box delivery. My favorite bacon products that they offer are Uncured No-Sugar Hickory Smoked Bacon, No Sugar Added Uncured Smoked Bacon, and Uncured No Sugar Buckin’ Bacon. Try them! And even though it’s not bacon, their holiday ham is the best ham you will ever eat. It was the superstar on Christmas Day at the Vega household.
Here is the thing—I am very particular about my bacon. Like I said before, Pederson’s Farms is my favorite company. That being said, some people may not have access to it locally. I can personally find it at my local Sprouts Farmers Market. However, not everyone has access to Sprouts. Nature’s Rancher uses the same farms as Pederson’s Farms, so the quality is right on par with it and it is available at Whole Foods.
Before Pederson’s, there was Applegate. We started using this brand during our paleo days back in 2011, and there is no doubt that this was the first bacon that Desmond got to savor when he was a baby. This is a great brand, and you can find it at most stores. Our favorite product of theirs is the Uncured Thick Cut Bacon. It is delicious! It’s also thicker than Pederson’s bacon if you want a little variety in your bacon life.
So there you have it… the Fat Fueled Family’s top 3 bacon brands. Make sure to celebrate National Bacon Day, and feel free to tag me @ketocounterculture and @ketologic in your bacon photos! I will never get sick of looking at photos of bacon!
ABOUT DANNY VEGA:
A native of Miami, Florida, Danny received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University in 2004, where he played football and was a three-time Dean’s List recipient. Danny earned his Master of Science in Human Performance from the University of Florida, where he worked with the national championship men’s basketball team along with women’s basketball, tennis, and golf programs. He then went on to become the Strength & Conditioning Coordinator for VCU basketball, helping the Rams to the 2007 conference champions and making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. As a raw powerlifter, he had meet bests of 640 squat in wraps (610 raw), 400 bench, and 700 deadlift. He now competes in indoor rowing, where he has personal bests of 1:19.9 in the 500 meter, 14.5 in the 100 meter, and 389 meters in the minute for distance.
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