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Turkey Bacon: A Healthy Choice?

Do you choose turkey bacon over pork because it’s healthier? Find out whether turkey bacon is truly the better alternative.

Do you enjoy the taste of a crisp stick of bacon next to your egg in the morning? Many people do, but want the flavor without all of the calories and fat. That’s why they reach for the package of turkey bacon instead. It sounds like a reasonable substitute, but is turkey bacon really healthy?

Is Turkey Bacon Healthy?

From a calorie and fat standpoint, it might seem that turkey bacon would be healthier when compared to traditional pork bacon. The reality is it really depends on the bacon you choose. Keep in mind that dark meat turkey has more fat and cholesterol than either beef or pork; and turkey bacon is not usually made from white meat turkey. If you choose a low fat pork bacon you may actually be better off in terms of calories and fat content. The only way to know is to carefully read the nutritional label of each product. When doing this, it’s important to compare comparable serving sizes. This is one trick manufacturer’s use to fool the public into thinking their product is healthier. They use a smaller serving size so they can list a lower calorie and fat content. Side by side comparisons at the grocery store is the best way to determine decide whether one product is truly healthier than the other.

Maybe Not in Terms of Sodium

If you’re watching your salt intake, neither turkey bacon nor pork bacon is the ideal breakfast choice since both are usually loaded with sodium. The good news is that some companies make lower sodium pork and turkey bacon that has under 170 mg. of sodium per serving. If you can find a low sodium version of either form of bacon, it may be a healthier option if you have high blood pressure.

The Preservatives

The other issue with both types of bacon is the preservatives they contain. A study conducted at the University of Hawaii showed that processed meats such as bacon increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by as much as sixty-seven percent. They believe the culprit is the sodium nitrites that food producers add to give processed meat its “healthy” red color. Fortunately, some natural food markets now offer pork and turkey bacon that’s sodium nitrite free.

The Bottom Line?

All in all, turkey bacon isn’t necessarily healthier than pork, especially if you can find a low fat, low sodium, nitrite free pork bacon. The best way to choose a bacon is to compare each product in terms of its fat content, sodium content, and whether or not it contains preservatives such as sodium nitrite. Whether it be turkey or pork bacon, take the time to do your research before putting it in the frying pan.

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