Bacon: It Does a Body Good

Did you hear the wonderful news?! German researchers have found in a new study that eating bacon leads to a longer life!

Seriously. I’m not making this up. Click on the link if you don’t believe me.

Bacon, you see, is high in niacin. This study showed that roundworms who were fed niacin lived 10% longer than their counterparts who were not given niacin. I don’t know about you, but eating more bacon is one sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means tacking an extra 8 or 9 years onto my lifespan. High doses of niacin trick the body into believing it is exercising. Why am I paying for a gym membership?! I should be filling my grocery cart full of bacon instead! Incidentally, there are several other foods that are also high in niacin – paprika, peanuts, and sun-dried tomatoes. Which is all well and good, but none of them are bacon.

I can’t help but feel vindicated, by the way. I’ve mentioned before how I have a reputation for being a bacon lover. Somewhat undeserved, I believe, as I doubt my bacon intake exceeds that of most other individuals. In fact, as of this writing, I can’t remember the last time I had bacon. Clearly this must be remedied, as bacon is now a proven remedy to that most terrible of all diseases, death. And you know what? The results of this study don’t even surprise me. Earlier this year, I stumbled across a story in which a 105 year old woman from Abilene, Texas said the secret to long life was eating bacon. “I love bacon,” Pearl Cantrell said. “I eat it every day.” When Oscar Meyer got wind of her appreciation for the salty pork delicacy, they sent her gifts of bacon and took her for a ride around town in the Weinermobile. How cool is that?!

“I love bacon. I eat it every day.”

Pearl Cantrell isn’t even the first person to attribute her longevity to bacon. Back in 2009, Gertrude Baines – the oldest woman in the world at that time – said she had made it to the ripe old age of 114 thanks to her religious faith, penchant for doing the right thing, and an occasional piece of crispy bacon.  There you go, folks. Pooh-pooh these centenarians all you want, but they didn’t make it to 100+ by not eating bacon. That’s all I’m sayin’.

105 year old Pearl Cantrell waving around the fountain of youth.
105 year old Pearl Cantrell waving around the fountain of youth.

I also feel pretty good about eating bacon because I recently had a bunch of lab work done at the behest of Kaiser Medical and found, much to my surprise, that I’m pretty freakin’ healthy. It’s not that I thought I was dying or anything, but I had never had my cholesterol tested, and it tends to run high in my family. Plus, I’ve never been one to obsess over diet. I basically eat what I want, keeping in mind that moderation is key. I do make an effort to avoid processed foods (bacon doesn’t count!) as much as possible. One look at the ingredients list on a box of Hot Pockets made me swear off those things years ago. So the fact that my cholesterol was only slightly elevated, not at all a cause for concern for my doctor, was good news. My entire metabolic panel looked good, except for my “good” cholesterol, which was one point lower than it should be. My doc wants me to take a daily fish oil supplement to boost that up. I can live with that.

As healthy as I am overall, these past couple of days I’ve felt like shit. Monday evening, I finally caved in and admitted that I was not “not sick,” which is the closest I’ll ever come to actually admitting I’m sick. I called my boss, told him what was going on, and actually stayed home from work yesterday, resting and medicating myself and watching a whole bunch of shows that had accumulated on the DVR (can I just say that Big Bang Theory still holds up, after all these years? The hilarity is freakin’ ridiculous). And hats off to my wonderful wife, who has been a real trooper through all of this, taking care of me wonderfully. I think she feels guilty for passing her cold on to me in the first place, but still, she made a 7 AM run to the grocery store yesterday to buy me soup, cough drops, cold medicine, and ginger ale, and has basically done everything around the house these past couple of days. I appreciate that immensely. “In sickness and in health,” indeed.

I’m back to work today and feeling slightly better – at least I’m not coughing uncontrollably today – but I’m a long way from 100%. Forget the chicken soup, I should probably have some bacon for lunch!


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

12 thoughts on “Bacon: It Does a Body Good

  1. Gosh, glad you’re back to work today, but I hope you kick this thing soon! It sucks to be sick, doesn’t it? I don’t dare let Sara know about this study. She’ll have us on a diet of perpetual pork. She loves bacon!

    Hugs from Ecuador,


  2. Mark, this is just too funny because one of my blogging friends wrote a post about bacon on Monday. I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to leave you the link to the post so that you can read it because I think you will enjoy it.

    “Plus, I’ve never been one to obsess over diet. I basically eat what I want, keeping in mind that moderation is key.”

    I’m the same way. I eat whatever I want in moderation, and that seems to work for me. I also don’t eat sugar-free or fat-free stuff because I thinks that’s worst than eating the REAL thing.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better, buddy!

    And keep eating that bacon!


    1. Thanks for the link, Ron. I visited her blog and that post was right up my alley! I found it pork-fectly delightful.

      And I agree about avoiding sugar-free and fat-free foods. Studies have shown that the chemicals used in diet sodas are worse than regular soda. No, thanks! Don’t even get me started on butter v. margarine…


  3. You could eat BLT’s for lunch. That’s pretty healthy considering.

    Ummm…I don’t think Tara passed her cold on to you. Weren’t you the one bragging about kissing her when she was, in fact, sick? I believe you were!!

    Uh huh……


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