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Can Bacon Be Part of a Healthy Diet?

Here's healthier bacon recipes and tips for bacon lovers.

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.

Bacon Recipes

Here are three recipes featuring pork or turkey bacon in modest amounts: a salad, a popular appetizer, and a pasta dish. Each recipe contains at least one antioxidant-rich vegetable, too. 

Salmon Cobb Salad with Light Dill Dressing

Ingredients:

Dressing:

6 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk

4 tablespoons light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

 Salad:

8 cups romaine lettuce leaves, torn into bite-size pieces

4 hard- boiled eggs

4 ounces smoked or grilled salmon, skin removed, then flaked with fork into bite-size chunks

1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced

6 strips center- cut bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

Preparation:

  •  In medium bowl, combine dressing ingredients with whisk. Cover and keep in refrigerator until needed.
  •  Place lettuce pieces in the bottom of a large salad serving bowl. Discard two of the yolks from the hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chop what’s left and sprinkle chopped egg over the top of the lettuce. Top with salmon pieces, avocado, and bacon bits.
  •  Drizzle dressing over the top and toss salad to blend well. Portion into 4 bowls and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as: 1 cup entree salad with seafood and light dressing OR 1 portion frozen dinner light OR 1 cup hearty stew

Nutrition Analysis: Per serving: 233 calories, 15 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 14.5 g fat, 3.3 g saturated fat, 6.5 g monounsaturated fat, 4 g polyunsaturated fat, 130 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 775 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 56%.

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