The average American consumes nearly 18 pounds of bacon per year and the number of bacon products out there are endless. You may even have received a bouquet of bacon roses for Valentine's Day.
According to a new AsapScience video, there's a scientific reason for our love of bacon.
"When bacon is heated, fats melt and sugar and amino acids have a very unique chemical reaction," the video explains. "This specific reaction releases a medley of around 150 volatile organic compounds from the bacon which float through the air and create the amazing smell, ultimately stimulating your mouthwatering response.”
While we fully understand that there is nothing better than a few pieces of perfectly cooked bacon, there are some unfortunate side effects associated with all that bacon consumption.
First of all, bacon is high in calories and saturated fat -- that 18 pounds comes out to a whopping 44,000 calories per year -- and four pieces has nearly half your recommended daily intake for salt, according to AsapScience.
Also, when bacon is cooked, nitrites react with amino acids and turn into nitrosamines, a known carcinogen. That means, unfortunately, that eating too much bacon -- and you'd have to eat a lot! -- could increase your risk for some cancers, including bowel cancer.
We know, we know. This isn't the best news you've heard this week. And due to its extreme deliciousness, we're not suggesting you quit bacon entirely. As with all things tasty, moderation is the key.