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Can Bacon Be Part of a Healthy Diet?

Here's healthier bacon recipes and tips for bacon lovers.
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Bacon Options (from highest to lowest in fat)

Per approximately 1 ounce


  Total
Calories
Saturated
Fat (g)
Fat (g) Protein (g)
Hormel Center Cut, 4 slices 140  10 10

Hickory Smoked Bacon, 3 slices

120 9 3.8 7.5

Oscar Mayer Center Cut Naturally Smoked, 6 slices 

120 8 3 12
Farmer John Premium, 3 slices 105 7.5 4.5 9
Oscar Mayer Center Cut Smokehouse Thick Sliced,
3 slices
105 7.5 3 10.5
Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits 100 6 2 12
Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon,
2 slices
70 6 2 4
LightLife Smart Bacon (veggie protein strips), 3 slices   60 3 0 6
Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon, 2 slices   40 1 0

6

 


A note on cholesterol: The cholesterol per ounce in the pork options above range from 22 to 30 milligrams. The cholesterol per ounce in the turkey bacon options above range from 30 to 40 milligrams.

A note on sodium: The sodium per ounce in the pork options above range from 420 to 600 milligrams. The sodium per ounce in the turkey bacon options above range from 280 to 360 milligrams.

Healthier Bacon Alternatives?

The reduced-fat bacon lookalikes are definitely not all created equal in terms of taste and texture.

Oscar Mayer’s Turkey Bacon (formerly Louis Rich Turkey Bacon) is a good bacon substitute for many people. But in my opinion, the Jennie-O Lean Turkey bacon, with admittedly a lot less fat and no saturated fat, would be enjoyed by precious few.

There are veggie bacon options, but I don't think any true bacon lover would be satisfied with their texture or taste. And why bother with bacon bits when Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon has fewer calories and the same amount of fat?

The Bottom Line on Bacon and Health

Don’t make bacon a daily indulgence. When you do treat yourself, keep the serving size small, and include antioxidant-rich fruits or vegetables in the meal whenever possible.

If you're a true bacon lover, cut way back on other processed meats to keep your total consumption of processed meat low.

If you want a lower fat and saturated fat pork bacon, choose from the center cut bacons, namely Oscar Mayer Center Cut Smokehouse Thick Sliced. If you want turkey bacon, try a few types until you find a brand you really like.

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