Why Paleo & Keto are Perfect Diets for Bacon Lovers

Food trends have come to define 21st-century health and wellness culture. While dietary programs like Atkins and Weight Watchers reigned at the start of the millennium, there has been a shift to broader “lifestyle” trends. From veganism to absolute raw food diets, one could presume the love for our favorite food—bacon—is diminishing.Think again. Two of the fastest growing food crazes are paleo and keto dietary plans.  Both rely heavily on protein and healthy fats to sustain a low on carbs, that one “nutrition fact” which is bad for your waistline.

Think about how the cavemen used to feast and your mind will envision what is considered the paleo diet; free of processed food, soy, grains, industrial oils, or refined sugar. A paleo diet includes plenty of meat (another way to say, “eat more bacon”) and it is dense with nutrients as well as high in fat, while low in carbs. The Department of Anthropology and Radiology at Emory University conducted a study where they found that our ancestors obtained about 35% of their dietary energy from fats, 35% from carbohydrates and 30% from protein. Thus, you can achieve the paleo lifestyle by chowing down on fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts. Just like your mom taught you throughout childhood.

Loren Cordain, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University and author of The Paleo Diet, explains that this lifestyle “lessens the body’s glycemic load, has a healthy ratio of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids, and increases vitamin and nutrient consumption.” Throwing down like our hunter-gatherer ancestors once did makes for a balanced diet, so you can toss that food diary in the trash. Also, since these sources of nutrition are natural foods, they can enhance your cardiovascular health. Consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and of course, bacon, as recommended in the paleo lifestyle will decrease the risk of health concerns from too much saturated fats in meat. The paleo plan also helps increase muscle mass because of the high protein intake combined with shorter, more intense workout sessions. We’re sensing a win-win situation here. Shorter workouts and eating bacon. Count us in.

The ketogenic diet is slightly different. Instead of the balanced ratio between the fats, proteins, and carbs, sources of energy in a keto plan primarily come from fats and proteins, while you fill your body with fewer carbohydrates. Keto replaces carbohydrate intake with fat (bacon), which puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. (Sounds a lot like the food coma you enter after destroying a plate of bacon.) Typically, carbs must be present to properly break down fats. However, the theory behind a ketogenic diet is re-training the body to use fats rather than carbs for energy to increase weight loss. Your body is fueled by almost 90% proteins and fats and this diet is designed to put that fuel to work and allowing you to feel healthier.  If you’re reading this and thinking, “a diet that burns fat by eating fat?,” you are not crazy. This is what is going on right now, people.

However, it is important to note this diet isn’t for everyone: diabetics should avoid the keto lifestyle as it causes harmful acid-base abnormalities and can affect insulin.  The Ketovangelist blog sums up keto eating as this: “No calorie counting. No food measuring. Bacon!” Literally couldn’t have said it any better.

In conclusion, paleo lifestyle consists of natural, protein-heavy foods like meat, beans, and grains, while the ketogenic diet relies more on fatty fuels such as meat and cheese. Both have numerous health benefits: improved immunity, lower blood pressure, weight loss, and increased energy. But most importantly, there’s room for bacon in both. And lots of it.


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