When I am upset, all I crave is bacon. It seems to bring out the good in everything. The sky is brighter when I eat bacon; the grass is greener; the glass is half full. Bacon just makes everything seem alright. I feel reenergized. Alert. Happy. Bacon is my substance of choice for mood-enhancement, as it optimally raises my dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine levels with no negative effects besides a little weight gain that is easily avoided by the addition of exercise. From an evolutionary stand point, bacon is the ideal food.
Back in the day, before there were nutritionists and people ate to survive, cravings were responsible for encouraging the right balance of carbs to fats to proteins as well as the consumption of all necessary vitamins and minerals. Protein, which is found primarily in meat, proved to be one of the hardest nutrients for the ancient human being to find, since they would have to hunt animals in order to obtain it. Because of its importance to the human’s diet and its difficulty to obtain, the reward system for proteins tends to be much stronger than that for any other nutrient.
Carbs may result in an increased level of serotonin, but proteins release tyrosine into the blood stream which causes the release of massive amounts of dopamine, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter. Bacon also has a great fat to protein ratio. Fats are another crucial nutrient because they are effectively concentrated, stored carbs which can be converted into ATP for energy on a cellular level. Containing nine Calories of energy per gram, one gram of fat is enough to sustain an average person in an inactive, waking state for ten minutes, though it may only last me a few seconds when I am riding my horse, Kaptain.
This means that the average slice of bacon can sustain the average person for about one whole hour. Maybe twenty-four slices of bacon a day is not the most healthy diet, due to its lack of carbs, vitamins, and minerals, but on a sad, dreary, rainy day, that is pretty close to what I would eat. I would probably add some eggs, pastries, orange juice, and multi-vitamins to the mix in order to have a more balanced diet, but I would definitely feel pretty comforted and happy.
Just thinking about a warm, crunchy, greasy, delicious plate of bacon with a side of steaming chocolate chip pancakes is triggering my lateral hypothalamus. My pituitary gland is already telling my mouth to water, my stomach to growl and prepare digestive enzymes, and releasing the hunger hormone ghrelin. Today may not be a sad, dreary, or rainy day, but I am still craving bacon’s crunchy goodness. Luckily, I can somewhat control my bacon cravings and I have a fast metabolism, or else I’m sure my horse would be suffering from intense back problems.