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Have you noticed bacon is everywhere? From burgers to chocolate chip cookies to donuts, this meat seems to be taking over the world, one dish at a time. The frenzy even has its own name: bacon mania. Can you believe the average American eats about 18 pounds of bacon each year?!

A few days ago, I was driving on the interstate and saw a truck plastered with a big picture of a turkey sandwich piled high with bacon. The picture’s caption read, “When in doubt, add more bacon.” This ad made me wonder: Why we are obsessed with bacon?

Besides the fact that it’s delicious, bacon is also salty. This article explores why we crave it from a Chinese medicine perspective (naturally).

What Cravings Say About You

If you’ve ever been to an acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist, you’ve probably been asked about your appetite and diet and possibly, your cravings. Cravings are a way for practitioners to find out what is going on in your body. When we have imbalances in our bodies, we tend to crave particular foods. Your type of craving reveals what you’re deficient in. Sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and spicy are the different tastes of the five elements (i.e., fire, earth, metal, water, and wood) in Chinese medicine.

Five Elements and Bacon

What do these tastes have to do with bacon? A lot. Here’s the breakdown: Salty relates to the water element. The kidneys also relate to water. In Chinese medicine, when you push yourself a lot, experience chronic stress, and are always on the go, you can negatively impact your kidneys. (By the way, kidneys in Chinese medicine do not mean the actual anatomical organ, but instead the function of the kidneys’ energy).

You probably know someone who is a workaholic, looks much older than they actually are, who is constantly pushing past limits. Odds are those folks are drawing on their reserves, to the detriment of their kidneys.

What Craving Bacon Is a Sign of

We crave bacon and other salty foods, because we’re overworked, stressed, and extremely tired. The fact that bacon sales have increased significantly since 2011 and it continues to be a $4 billion industry, goes to show that we’re depleted and overcompensating with bacon.

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and craving salty foods, take it as a sign to rest and slow down. And when you do, your kidneys will thank you.

Did you know acupuncture can help reduce cravings? From salty to sweet, acupuncture can help balance you out. Acupuncturists can go to the heart of the matter and address the underlying cause of your cravings. Want to learn how acupuncture can help? Check out our Acupuncture FAQs.

Got a question about cravings or diet? Email Lynn here.

Lynn Palmgren Acupuncture Oak Park

About Author
Lynn Palmgren helps people get rid of pain, balance hormones, and reduce stress so they can feel recharged and replenished. She is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist and co-owns Palmgren Acupuncture in Oak Park, Illinois. You can find Lynn on Google+Twitter, and Instagram.

About Palmgren Acupuncture
We are a full-service acupuncture clinic located in downtown Oak Park, Illinois. We offer acupuncture, Chinese herbs, cupping and massage. Palmgren Acupuncture specializes in pain management, hormone balance, and weight loss. To schedule a complimentary consult to talk about your diet and cravings, contact us here.

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Sources: Bacon Mania, Wikipedia article en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacon#Bacon_mania

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