Dreams are often intangible, fleeting flights of fancy, unlikely to ever turn from imagination into reality. A prominent and recurring feature in the midnight musings of carnivorous food lovers everywhere is that most moreish of meats: bacon. We all live in perpetual hope of discovering that bacon could in fact be the answer to all our health problems.
It may be fried, it may be fatty, but it's undeniably delicious - just imagine if we could eat bacon guilt-free. This fantasy has tantalized and tormented bacon lovers in equal measure since before the beginning of time. But now, a hero has risen from the masses, determined to disprove conventional wisdom about the seemingly non-existent nutritional value of everyone's favorite piggy product.
In a David Blaine-esque feat of endurance, Dan Quibell embarked on a mission for all mankind: 30 days with nothing but bacon and willpower. Despite a sizeable question mark over the dietary impact of a month of bacon, there was method in Quibell's madness. Quibell is an advocate of ketogenic living, a radical approach to nutrition and health. A keto diet revolves around almost totally cutting out carbohydrates, whilst upping fat and protein intake. This may seem counter-intuitive, but who are we to quibble with Quibell?
In a nutshell, the principle of ketogenic living is pretty straightforward. When the body consumes carbohydrates as part of a typical diet, the body produces both glucose and insulin. Glucose is by far the easiest molecule for the body to convert into energy, and so will be used as the body's primary energy source wherever possible.
This means that alternative energy sources, such as fat, are stored rather than burned. By depriving our bodies of carbs, and therefore glucose, we can induce a state known as ketosis, where ketones (produced by the breakdown of fat) become our primary energy source. Isn't science fun?
By living exclusively off bacon, Quibell was able to induce such a state in his own body. The results of the experiment were profound. Despite all logic seeming to point to the contrary, Quibell managed to lose nearly 20lbs over the 30-day period. His blood pressure also fell significantly, and his liver markers were described by a doctor as "perfect". It seems as though bacon may not as terrible for us as we all feared.
Quibell's success has prompted the creation of an online community dedicated to bacon based living. The Bacon Experiment now has a following of over 20,000, and can boast a digest of dietary success stories. Studies have shown that a keto-focused approach to dieting can be even more effective, and provide more health benefits than a low-fat equivalent. Quibell's determination to flout convention may have helped us take a giant culinary leap. He is not the hero we deserve, but he is the one baconistas everywhere need.
It seems as though, for those willing to sacrifice carbs (which is, in and of itself, a step that no self respecting foodie should take lightly), bacon can indeed be key component in a healthy and happy life. The dreams of enthusiasts all over the world could well be turning into reality. All hail Saint Quibell!