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  • Writer's pictureEmma Tellett


I often get asked if I miss bacon?? The simple answer is NO. I thought I would: the delicious smell of it cooking on a Sunday morning, its 'hangover curing properties' (NB:not grounded in scientific research) and its ability to flavour just about any pasta dish. However the answer is still NO. That is because I now know about nitrates and nitrites and the potential they have to harm our bodies.

Nitrates and nitrites are chemical compounds that are used to fight harmful bacteria in processed meats such as hams, salamis and bacon. Sodium nitrates combine with naturally present amines in the meat form potentially carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. For some humans this poses a problem, because 'under certain conditions' within the human body, these chemicals can damage cells.

You may notice that I said 'for some humans' - that is because the damage these substances can cause depends on an individuals biochemistry and genetic predisposition. Those of you that have read the scientific journals will know that there is evidence on both sides. Nonetheless the overwhelming feeling I had when reading these papers is that, for some, these substances could be hugely detrimental to their health when consumed regularly.

Personally, I have decided to remove such substances from my diet because I am not willing to 'take the chance' or assume I am one of the lucky ones to have a perfectly balanced biochemistry coupled with superlative genes. Don't get me wrong I stand by my motto 'Everything in moderation'. It is a 'personal choice' for me to eliminate bacon and sausages entirely but I would advise clients to 'cut your consumption of them down' if you can.

It's really easy to have a healthy 'cooked' breakfast. This is one of those simple changes I made over the years towards a healthier lifestyle. My favourite healthy cooked breakfasts are pictured above but there's tons of alternatives - play around with it!!

  • Fresh, organic cherry tomatoes, crushed avocado with chilli and a poached egg - all served on wholemeal toast (or twice toasted sunflower rye if gluten free)

  • Smoked salmon (a great substitute for the smoky taste of bacon), poached egg, avocado, organic tomatoes and toast

  • Selection of wild mushrooms, garlic, chilli and pepper on toast

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