After Kobe Bryant suffered his Achilles injury in April 2013, the Mamba embarked on an eight-month recovery process. His diet included a food source that provided natural anti-inflammatory products: Bacon.
The sizzling meat played a role in Bryant's paleo-style diet, implemented by the Lakers strength and conditioning coach, Tim DiFrancesco, in the 2012-13 season.
"Contrary to what people might think, we actually want our players to eat as much grass fed butter and bacon as we can get into them," DiFrancesco told Lakers.com. "Will that sky-rocket cholesterol? No, just look into the science on it."
The team's nutritionist, Dr. Cate Shanahan, also helped design Bryant's recovery diet. The paleo-style diet focuses on using natural fats as the body's main source of energy. Lakers veteran trainer Gary Vitti has changed his mind about food such as bacon.
"We've turned the whole [dietary] pyramid upside down, that's what we've done," Vitti told the Los Angeles Times. "I went 25 years without having whole milk or a stick of butter in my refrigerator. I didn't eat bacon. No fatty meat. We've flipped that upside down. Now 50% to 60% of our calories are coming from fat. It's the source of the fats that's important."
Bryant said this philosophy was something that he and his teammates "had to adjust to, but we trust Dr. Cate implicitly. I've seen great results from it from when I started doing it last year. Watching your sugar intake, making sure you're eating healthy fats. You've got to find a balance in that system. It's worked well for me."
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