eating bacon to live longer

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bacon - sea of baconI just heard about a 105-year-old woman in Texas who says her secret is that she eats bacon every day.  I don’t know if that will stand up to medical scrutiny, but it’s worth something.

The article reveals her bacon “secret”, which should be enough for the whole article.  But then it talks about her birthday party, which featured over 200 guests, which is okay, I guess.  But then it goes into explaining why bacon has gotten a bad rap lately.  It’s somewhat ironic, given the subject of the article.  Apparently some research study linked processed meat to a premature death.  But check out their results — they claim that eating less than 20g per day (which is 0.7 ounces) could prevent an estimated 3% of premature deaths each year.  So if you eat only a bite or two of meat per day, you have a 3% chance of living longer.  For people who follow that advice, I wonder what the odds are on premature death due to not enjoying life as much…  (To each their own, but that advice wouldn’t work for me.)

The article then references another study saying that even a single serving of processed red meat increased the risk of participants dying by 20%.  I may not be a statistician, but I figure the risk of dying is 100%.  :)  You can eat all the plants you want, but it is appointed for everyone to meet their Maker at some point.

Obviously bacon is somewhat unhealthy — not completely, but in some ways.  However, if a single serving of bacon (or any red meat) increases your risk of dying by 20%, and this woman has eaten bacon every day for 105 years so far (which could be up to 38,000 times), what would her risk of dying be?  I’d like to see one of those researchers calculate it and go tell her.  Maybe she’s like one of those cartoon characters who is invulnerable to the laws of physics because they don’t understand it.  :)  Either way, whatever she’s doing has worked for her.

This breakfast platter from Tony's I-75 restaurant in Birch Run, MI, has 1 pound of bacon.

This breakfast platter from Tony’s I-75 restaurant in Birch Run, MI, has 1 pound of bacon.

I’m not claiming that all this research is bogus, but I think there’s a LOT more to it than just saying eating meat will kill you early.  I’ve known quite a few people — including my grandparents — who ate big country meals all the time (which included lots of butter, gravy, and fried foods), yet lived to be 90+ and still had above-average health.  I know that’s a small sample, but when you consider how Americans used to eat versus what we now “know” about nutrition, it’s amazing any of them lived past 25.  I’m not saying fattening foods are healthy, but I do wonder if natural / organic fattening foods might be healthier than much of the modern stuff with preservatives and additives and chemicals.  I can’t prove it, and I’m not convinced either way yet, but I do think there’s a lot more to nutrition and healthiness than we currently know.

Regardless of whether bacon is good for me or not, I’m now hungry for bacon…

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5 responses »

  1. That breakfast platter looks surprisingly Southern for a place in Michigan. But the lack of complete butter coverage on the toast gives it away. Here in the South, that piece of toast would be considered defective and probably sent back to the kitchen.

  2. If she loves bacon enough to eat it every day, you know she usually eats more than one piece. And considering that a “serving” of bacon is probably just one strip, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to estimate that she’s eaten over 100,000 pieces/servings of bacon in her lifetime. That’s some accomplishment! That would probably be the world record, if she were counting… and that’s one record that I wouldn’t mind holding… :)

  3. so she is now 105 & eats bacon everyday? If someone were to believe this study to be true, it’d be interesting to calculate how old she’d would have live to be if she had not eaten any bacon (not that i’d ever recommend such a thing… although that WOULD leave more bacon for ME!) :)

  4. Maybe we should do further research on this phenomenon — let’s eat bacon every day and see how long we live! :)

  5. She’s obviously just kept on living so as to eat more bacon.

    If the only thing you had to look forward to for breakfast was warm oatmeal, at some point your body would decide it’s just not worth the trouble.

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