Is Bacon Bad for You?
Is Bacon BAD for You? That’s a good question!
There are many opinions on this subject and I do agree that large amounts of bacon should not be eaten on a daily basis; nevertheless, I think we should take a closer look at what people are saying.
Bacon is pretty much a staple in a lot of households in the world. People put it in all kinds of dishes or just cook it up and eat it all by itself. I have nothing against a good piece of bacon, but I am leery about the fat content. Especially pork bacon, as you can see a lot of the fat through the packaging itself. There are different types of bacon, like Turkey bacon, that a person eats as a substitute and is a lot healthier. Did you know that there are 20 types of bacon in the world? Hence the word “types”, as these are not all the bacon you have grown up with.
Let’s take a look at the list below:
20 Bacon Types
- Gypsy Bacon – this is cured bacon that still has the rind. The meat is rich in flavor and has a distinct aroma. It’s also rounded in shape, much like Canadian bacon.
- Duck Bacon – this is cured, thick slices of duck meat; and usually comes from the breast. This type of bacon has less fat than regular pork bacon.
- Canadian Bacon – this is perfectly cured, fully cooked, and thickly sliced. Because of its lean-cut and round appearance, this particular type of bacon is often compared to ham.
- Coconut Bacon – this is a Vegan favorite, and when prepared correctly, has a very similar taste (and look) to original bacon.
- Pancetta – this is a salt-cured pork belly meat. Usually, it is spiced with only black pepper; however, other spices can be added for additional flavors.
- Samgyeopsal – this particular meat comes from Korea. It is often thick and very fatty, and usually isn’t spiced up at all, however, in more recent years; spices have become a popular item to add to this meat.
- Ireland Bacon – this isn’t really actual “bacon” but more a dish served in Ireland that involves bacon. They use a similar meat like we do here but add cabbage to the dish. There is traditional bacon used though.
- Chicken-fried Bacon – this is exactly how it sounds; bacon strips that are deep fried. It’s typically on the menu as an appetizer with dipping sauces like gravy.
- Elk Bacon – this is a non-pork alternative to traditional bacon is elk or venison bacon. The fat from both does infuse a smoky flavor – making it great for unique tasting bacon. Adding a little bit of honey on the shank is a great way to add an additional flavor.
- Lap Yuk – this comes from China. It is made from pork belly and this kind of bacon is often air cured with soy sauce, variety of spices, like cinnamon and star anise, along with some brown sugar.
- Lardon – this is a fatty type of bacon that is served as either a small strip or a cube. Most of this kind of bacon is used in beans or dishes that require bacon pieces. This has a very rich taste.
- Salo – this is bacon from Eastern Europe. The meat is made from cured slabs of fatbacks and is usually dry salt-cured. This style of bacon can be eaten raw or cooked – depending on your personal preference. I actually prefer it cooked.
- Frühstücksspeck – this is cured (or sometimes smoked) pork slices. This word means “breakfast speck” or “breakfast fat.”
- Jalapeno Bacon – this is exactly what is says, bacon with jalapeno bits/juice on it. It has become increasingly more popular as the time goes by. People seem to like the little kick this offers.
- Chocolate-covered Bacon – yes, this is actually bacon covered in melted chocolate. People have also added caramel, nut bits or coconut. This is a different twist to a salty snack and it’s oh so good!
- Pumpkin Pie Spiced Bacon – this seems to be a popular item in the Fall season. This includes the spices like ginger, powdered sugar, and nutmeg.
- Tangy Dill Pickle Bacon – Yes, this is a thing but it’s not available in stores and only during certain months of the year. From May – October, you can order this item from Grand Champions Meat. It’s only available on line and it’s about $50 for 3-12 ounce packs.
- Raspberry Chipotle Bacon – this has a smoky chipotle flavor, combined with a raspberry sweetness. This is also a bit pricey, coming in at around $55 for 3-12 ounce packs.
- Brand Smoked Bacon – this is thicker bacon that is rubbed with black pepper and garlic. It definitely has a different taste to it.
- Bacon from Japan – this bacon is actually pre-cooked and looks like thin ham slices in the package. There is a lot less fat on this bacon than in others.
There are a few other bacon’s out there that most of us haven’t tried yet, like Lamb bacon or Beef bacon.
Bacon Nutrition Facts
What about the nutrition facts on bacon? Well, here is a current run-down on what that numbers are:
Per serving (about 4-5 slices): 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. For someone watching what they are eating, this probably isn’t a recommended choice of meat. If you must have bacon, try going to find the center-cut slices, such as the Oscar Meyer brand. These numbers are for pork bacon, but there is an alternative you can have, which would be Turkey bacon.
Turkey bacon is made by grinding a mix of light and dark turkey meat (and skin), adding different seasonings (and preservatives), and then it’s pressed into bacon-like strips. You can also cook this bacon just as you would the pork bacon, this includes microwaving it too. Below is a chart of the differences each one has, as far as carbs, fats, proteins and sodium is concerned. As you can see, there is quite a jump in numbers from the Turkey bacon and Pork bacon. Keep in mind, this is only for Turkey and Pork, the other types of bacon mentioned above, will have their own list to take a look at before indulging in them. You want to make sure, if you are dieting, what the restrictions are for carbs, sodium and calories. Some of the ones mentioned are higher than what is below; especially those made with other spices.
|Turkey bacon Pork Bacon|
|Carbs||0.5 grams||0.2 grams|
|Protein||4.7 grams||6 grams|
|Total fat||4.5 grams||6.2 grams|
|Saturated fat||1.3 grams||2 grams|
|Sodium||366 mg||376 mg|
|Selenium||6% of the DV||14% of the DV|
|Phosphorus||7% of the DV||8% of the DV|
|Zinc||3% of the DV||4% of the DV|
|Niacin||3% of the DV||8% of the DV|
|Thiamine||1% of the DV||4% of the DV|
|Vitamin B6||3% of the DV||4% of the DV|
|Vitamin B12||1% of the DV||4% of the DV|
Sometimes, you just have to have some bacon! I get it, I love bacon myself. I also make it point to only make it about once every couple months. The fact is, it’s has a lot more sodium than I like and the fat content is not so great either. When a BLT calls my name, I answer it!
Can bacon be part of a healthy diet? The answer is yes, simply because of the animal proteins it contains. If you eat 8 slices of bacon, you will get 37 grams of high-quality animal protein. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12 are added in to the mix as well. However, you must pay close attention to portions when eating bacon on your diet. You can’t eat 18 pieces of bacon in one sitting and expect your diet to work correctly.
What about Eggs and bacon for breakfast every morning? Of course, as eggs also contain protein, which will help you jump start your day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! A couple of eggs, sunny-side up (or medium), plus a couple slices of bacon will also help to curve your appetite during the day with the boost of protein you had for breakfast. In turn, you just may lose a little weight in the process, which is never a bad thing. A good amount of protein to start your day, keeps you from craving foods that aren’t really good for you, especially if you are dieting.
As you can see, there are benefits to eating bacon; you just have to be careful how much you eat at one time. Bacon can be added to pretty much anything these days to add some flavor to your favorite dish. Just remember to always drain off any excess oil, whether its strips or bits, before you eat it. Nothing is worse than a soggy piece of bacon.
Let us know what you use bacon on, how you cook it and how it tasted. We love to hear from our fans and get ideas to use later on, to pass on to others.