Bacon and Eggs for Health Enthusiasts

Starting your day with a protein diet helps regulate your blood sugar to fire up your day after a night-long fast. While a high-protein diet helps feed and maintain lean muscle tissue, recent studies at the University of Missouri suggest that a high-protein breakfast is an essential factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Although people who lead sedentary lifestyles require less protein compared to physically active individuals, athletes, and pregnant women need significantly more than the current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 0.36 grams per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of body weight. Diet foods and processed foods have drastically replaced more natural food options. In many cases, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s change in stand on cholesterol is a sign that it is time to reassess what we eat.

Dropping its recommendation to restrict cholesterol in the diet is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption. Instead, high protein diets may even provide numerous benefits which are often associated with weight loss.

Hence, whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast.

Fire Up Your Day with Bacon and Eggs

Photo a person beating eggs using a wire whisk

Bacon and eggs are a classic old-school breakfast. For good reasons, it had been a staple breakfast for decades. Sadly, cholesterol was the enemy hence, it caused many people to shy away from making it a preferred choice for breakfast. Until recently, research suggests that eating bacon and eggs and other high-cholesterol foods may not be as bad as it was first thought.

The calories and saturated fat in bacon might give you a second thought, but indulging in bacon and eggs for breakfast a few times a week can be part of a healthy, hearty diet.

Pork bacon is an excellent source of protein and it does not have a lot of carbs. It may even help regulate your blood glucose levels if your meal sequence is to consume it before any carbs in your breakfast.

According to researchers at Tufts University, a diet that includes a breakfast of bacon and eggs and lean at lunch and dinner can help prevent the loss of muscle tissue, especially in older people.

Heather Leidy, assistant professor at the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology said, that those participants who ate a high-protein breakfast (35 grams of protein) voluntarily ate less throughout the day than those who ate a breakfast with a typical amount of protein (13 grams of protein) or those who usually skipped breakfast.

They consumed 400 fewer calories over a day. They also lost body fat, had more stable glucose levels, and reported feelings of hunger less frequently than the other two groups. So bacon and eggs can be a healthy breakfast option if eaten in moderation.

Society dealt with obesity issues over the past few decades.

Foods like red meat and eggs were seen as reasons that rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are soaring. It led many of us to look for alternative breakfast options and left bacon and eggs only to be had on weekends or special occasions.

So, if you enjoy eating bacon, whether as part of a bacon-and-eggs breakfast or on your sandwich at lunch or dinner, do it in moderation, as the meat is high in fat, calories, and sodium.

According to Margaret Wente, a renowned Canadian Journalist and a long-time columnist, the diet advice we have been force-fed all our lives has made us fatter and sicker.

Bring Home the Bacon in Your Healthy Lifestyle

Photo bacon fig fruit and garlic cloves

It is generally made of pork sliced into strips, soaked in a solution containing salt, nitrates, and sometimes sugar or maple syrup, and then smoked for its distinctive flavor and color. Some manufacturers may use additives such as nitrites, artificial colors, and flavors to speed the process.

Crack Into Better Health with Eggs

Photo close up shot of a person cracking an egg

Eggs are inexpensive, versatile, and loaded with nutrition and come in the cleverest natural packaging. Eggs are high in protein, which helps build and maintain muscle tissue. Eggs are not only high in protein, it also contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Experts explained that eggs contain B vitamins and vitamins A, D, E, and K. They also contain phosphorous and trace amounts of other minerals, all for around 80 calories each.

Most people can eat up to seven eggs per week without ill effects, but cooking them with little to no added fat and pairing them with healthy foods can keep your protein levels up and your fat, salt, and calorie count down.

Concerns about cholesterol in eggs have proven to be overstated. Dietary cholesterol has less impact on the cholesterol levels in your blood than the saturated fats, trans fats, and salt in foods that usually accompany or are used to cook eggs.

Health Benefits of Bacon and Egg

Health benefits gained in being a bacon and egg enthusiast include weight loss, body composition, and reduced heart disease risk when properly taken in moderation and with proper exercise.

Weight Loss

Photo people eating breakfast together

Protein is the most filling macronutrient and helps decrease hunger and food intake, two effects that promote weight loss. In particular, foods high in protein boost fullness hormones while lowering levels of hunger hormones like ghrelin. Research has shown that meals comprising 25–81% of calories from protein increase feelings of fullness, meaning that even moderate protein diets may reduce hunger. High protein diets also help enhance the thermic effect of food or the calories burned during digestion. This may be due to the greater oxygen demand to break down protein-rich foods. Interestingly, a small 4-week study in men with obesity demonstrated that a reduced calorie, high-protein, very low-carb diet providing 30% protein and 4% carbs led to more weight loss than a high protein, moderate-carb diet providing 30% protein and 35% carbs.

On average, the men in the high protein, low carb group lost 15 pounds (6.75 kg) while those in the moderate carb group lost 10 pounds (4.32 kg).

Many other studies reveal that high protein, low carb diets are more effective for weight loss than those higher in carbs and protein.

Body Composition

Photo fit athlete during training on a running track

When you lose weight, it’s normal to experience significant decreases in muscle mass. Yet, this loss can gradually lower your metabolism, as greater muscle mass increases the calories you burn while at rest. High protein diets can help preserve muscle mass during weight loss and may even increase muscle mass.

Increasing protein intake while cutting 500–750 calories per day has been shown to maintain muscle mass while promoting fat loss. However, this effect is lost during more severe calorie restriction, such as during poorly planned, low-calorie diets. Additionally, studies show that combining a high-protein diet with exercise can boost fat loss while building lean body mass.

In a 4-week study, 20 men who exercised intensely 6 days per week ate either a high protein diet of 1.1 grams per pound (2.4 grams per kg) of body weight or a control diet. Both diets provided 40% fewer calories than their energy needs and around 50% of calories from carbs.

Those following the high-protein diet lost more body fat and gained about 3 pounds (1.2 kg) of muscle mass, while the control group’s muscle mass stayed the same. Other studies note that high-protein diets promote increased or stable muscle mass during weight loss for both men and women, compared with low-protein diets.

Plus, eating a low-calorie, high-protein diet has been shown to help athletes gain muscle mass during training. A study on 48 athletes found that those who ate a minimum of 1.4 grams per pound (3 grams per kg) of body weight combined with heavy resistance training gained significantly more muscle mass and less body fat than those who followed their normal diets.

These results occurred despite the high protein group consuming 490 more calories per day than the control group. Low-carb diets have likewise helped reduce fat mass while maintaining muscle mass.

In conclusion, high protein, low carb diets may promote weight loss, preserve muscle mass, improve blood sugar control, lower your risk of heart disease, and enhance bone health. Bacon and egg enthusiasts know their boundaries and can make a healthy lifestyle in healthy moderation.