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Fun Bacon Nutrition Facts

Bacon nutrition facts are helpful to keep in mind so we can responsibly enjoy our favorite meaty treat. “Moderation in all things” is great advice, but how does it apply to temptingly crispy, insanely delicious bacon?

Let’s take a deep dive into everything related to bacon nutrition and uncover the facts.

bacon heart healthy

Please note: The writers and publishers of BENSA Bacon Lovers Society are not nutritionists, registered dietitians or medical professionals. All nutritional information provided is an estimate, and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of bacon used.

Please review our nutrition information disclaimer for further information, and talk to your healthcare professional for the best nutritional guidance.

How Many Calories in Bacon?

Because it’s a natural product, determining exact bacon calories and other nutritional info can vary depending on the size and thickness of the bacon slice, the bacon brand, the cooking method, and how much fat remains after cooking. (By the way, we love to cook bacon in the oven.)

Because we can never eat just one slice of bacon, here’s the makeup of two average* pan-fried bacon strips cooked on the stovetop:

  • 86 calories
  • .2 grams of carbohydrates
  • 6.6 grams of fat
  • 2.2 grams of saturated fat
  • 18 mg of cholesterol
  • 6 grams of protein

Source: My Fitness Pal

*Note: We’ve never eaten bacon that was average.

Cut matters, too. Center cut bacon, which is generally leaner, tends to be lower in fat and saturated fat than traditional cuts of bacon.

For facts about specific brands, most bacon makers publish their bacon nutritional data on their websites (and of course the information is required on their packaging).

What About 3 Slices Bacon Calories?

Three slices of bacon contain about 129 calories, when cooked to deliciousness in a frying pan. These tasty strips also contain:

  • .3 grams of carbs
  • 9.9 grams of fat
  • 3.3 grams saturated fat
  • 27 mg cholesterol
  • 9 grams protein

Source: My Fitness Pal

The Salty Lowdown on Bacon Sodium Content

Because salt is used in processing, most bacon has a high sodium content. You probably already knew that.

According to My Food Data, two average slices of pan-fried bacon contain 404.13 mg of sodium (202.07 mg per slice).

To put this number in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2300 mg of sodium per day, with an ideal target of 1500 mg of sodium per day.

We’ll wait here quietly while you do the math. That’s right, two slices of delicious bacon could represent 27 percent of our target daily sodium allotment.

We are personally fine with eating plain popcorn, plain garbanzo beans and low-sodium vegetable broth for the rest of the day in order to enjoy our bacon, but that’s us. 

If you’re watching your sodium intake, The Kitchn has a lovely recipe for make-your-own low-sodium bacon.

Is Bacon Keto Friendly?

Do you ever wonder if the trendiness of the Keto diet is largely due to BACON? Wildly popular for many ketogenic, paleo and low carb diets, bacon is enjoyed and employed for everything from bacon taco shells to chips for guacamole.

According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the standard Keto diet recommends 20 to 50 grams of daily carbohydrates. Since bacon has only .2 grams of carbs per slice (Source: MyFitnessPal) you can usually eat it in moderation.

Just be sure the bacon you buy doesn’t have added sugar, which contains carbohydrates.  (Keto dieting or not, it’s always fun to know how to make wavy bacon.)

Bacon food pyramid

Is Bacon Gluten Free?

If you’re allergic or highly sensitive to gluten, it pays to read bacon labels because trace amounts may remain if the bacon is processed in a facility using shared equipment.

Very Well Fit compiled a comprehensive list of gluten-free U.S. bacon brands.

Be careful with packaged bacon bits, too, as some brands contain gluten. Look for “wheat gluten” in the ingredients list.

Urban Tastebuds compiled a gluten-free bacon guide which includes many gluten-free bacon bits.

Is Nitrate Free Bacon a Better Choice?

Nitrates and nitrites are compounds used during the curing process to preserve meat, keep it fresher longer, and prevent harmful bacteria. Curing also adds flavor.

Perhaps at the store you’ve seen packaged marked “uncured” or “no nitrates added.” Are these bacons a better choice? The answer is murky.

All bacon is cured and preserved with smoke and/or salt, so “uncured” may not be exactly accurate.

While “nitrate free” bacon hasn’t been cured with sodium nitrites, it can still contain nitrites from non-synthetic sources like celery powder which may have its own risks. 

bacon nutrition facts

What About Turkey Bacon Nutrition Facts?

Since you’re reading a bacon blog, you likely know that turkey bacon isn’t technically bacon at all since it’s made from seasoned, chopped turkey formed into bacon-like strips.

Healthline compared the nutrient content of pork bacon vs. turkey bacon, and these are the highlights: 

  1. Turkey bacon is lower in calories, according to Healthline. Two cooked slices of turkey bacon have 60 calories, as opposed to 86 calories for two pork bacon slices.
  2. Pork bacon is lower in carbohydrates, with .2 grams in two strips versus .5 grams of carbs in two turkey bacon strips.
  3. According to Healthline, both turkey and pork bacon have about equal sodium content.
  4. Turkey bacon has less total fat with 4.5 grams in two slices, versus 6.6 grams in two slices of pork bacon.

Like so many things in life, there isn’t really a definitive answer about whether turkey bacon is better for you than pork bacon or vice versa.

Both types have pros and cons, so we recommend that you seek nutritional advice from your qualified healthcare professional.

Given the choice, we’ll take pork bacon any day of the week!

Bacon Wrap Up (Get It?)

So there you have it! We enjoy bacon in moderation, and know that BENSA members are an intelligent bunch who weigh facts and make thoughtful dietary choices.

Do you have any questions about bacon nutritional facts, or any additional data to share? Drop us a comment!

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like How to Tell When Bacon is Bad (because life is too short for anything but REALLY GOOD BACON.)

~ Your friends at BENSA

P.S. We know you know this, but we’re going to drop a little disclaimer here because our favorite thing besides eating bacon is not getting sued.

You should always follow your qualified healthcare professional’s advice about eating bacon, especially if you have a medical condition or any type of dietary restriction. We tend to give really bad advice when it comes to consuming bacon. 

eliza cross

About Eliza & BENSA

BENSA was founded by bacon expert Eliza Cross, author of more than a dozen cookbooks. She has written three bacon cookbooks including the award-winning Bacon Beans and Beer, the bestselling 101 Things to Do With Bacon, and the popular sequel 101 More Things to Do With Bacon. Learn more about BENSA...

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