There is nothing quite as heavenly as smoked meats and fish, but of all the foods you can smoke, it seems like pork lends itself best to smoking for a number of reasons. While there is still a great deal of controversy over whether or not smoked foods are as healthy as they can be, there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that if done right, there is nothing harmful in smoked foods. You really can safely enjoy some amazingly tasty dishes made with smoked pork, fish, and even vegetables. Here is some of what you aren’t being told.
Salt and Smoke Seem to Be the Culprits
Whenever you read about smoked meats being unhealthy, what you will see are two main complaints. Salt and smoke are the targets. If done right, neither of those should be an issue. When it comes to salt, there is less salt in smoked pork than there is in broiled, baked, pressure cooked, or boiled pork. It’s the brine and salt you baste the pork with before smoking. And in smoking pork, the salt in the fat drains away.
Negate this step and you eliminate that objection. As for smoke, the key is to smoke your pork well away from your home, so you aren’t breathing in the toxins, and selective use of wood chips helps as well. Run a heavy-duty extension cord for smokers found on electricsmokercenter.com and you can keep smoke away from open windows and outdoor living spaces. Smoked meats have been eaten for countless generations and many of the world’s populations with the longest lifespans thrive on smoked foods!
How Smoking Really Is the Healthiest Way to Enjoy Pork
One of the health benefits of smoking pork is that the fat (and make no mistake, pork is fatty!) drains away into the drip pan so it is not sitting and soaking up that fat. This also helps to eliminate the salt content when all is said and done. Pork fat is bad for your heart for two reasons, the first being cholesterol and the second being salt. Eliminate that by draining fat away during the smoking process and you’ve just done yourself a major favor. Now you can enjoy pork with minimal risks to your heart.
Summing up What We Know
Since we know definitively that some of the world’s populations that have longer lifespans than here in the United States and that many of these cultures regularly smoke foods for consumption, could it be other lifestyle choices are affecting mortality rates? Take, for example, obesity. Consider the fact that in Japan, only 3.6 percent of the population have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30, which is the standard for healthy weight whereas more than 30 percent of Americans are considered obese to clinically obese. Perhaps we should be more concerned with other issues such as obesity and lack of exercise instead of assuming smoked foods are leading causes of heart disease and cancer.
Actually, obesity results in more heart attacks and diseases than smoking our foods, so if you can find a way to prepare them that eliminates much of the saturated fats and salt content, wouldn’t that be a healthier choice? That would be smoking our meats where the fats are drained away as they cook. Elementary my dear Watson – and highly logical, wouldn’t you say?