You were waiting for this one, right? Dr. Francoise Marvel, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University, said she typically avoids this salty, delicious breakfast delicacy.
“Bacon is an example of highly processed red meat that is high in saturated fat and increases the bad cholesterol — called low-density lipoprotein LDL — which is linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke,” Marvel said. “The way bacon is processed is through ‘curing’ the pork, which usually involves adding salts, sugars and nitrates. The large amounts of salt (or sodium) used in this processing may increase blood pressure and fluid retention, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood through the body. Increased blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease as well.”
Chemicals added to the meat, like nitrates, have been linked to cancer and other health problems, Marvel added.
“It should be noted there is a varying amount of processing and ingredients used by different bacon manufacturers,” Marvel said. “But overall, to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems, limiting the intake of processed red meat like bacon is beneficial.”
Next time you order breakfast, Marvel suggests swapping two slices of bacon for two slices of avocado. Your heart will thank you.