Do I Have To Give Up Bacon If I’m Watching My Fat Intake?

I love bacon, but I am watching my saturated fat. Do I need to give up my strips of bacon?

Far be it for me to strip you of your bacon. While pan-fried, pork cured bacon can sizzle up 7 grams of fat and 2.5 grams of saturated fat in a 1/2-ounce serving (about 2 slices), turkey bacon or Canadian-style bacon can satisfy your yen for bacon for a lot fewer calories and less fat.

Compare these numbers hot out of the frying pan:

Fat* (grams) Saturated
Fat* (grams)
cured bacon, cooked, 2 1/4 strips
7 2.5 82
Turkey bacon,
cooked, 1 slice
2.5 1.0 35
Canadian bacon, about 1/2 slice 1.0 <0.5 22


* The 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that individuals 2 years of age and older keep their dietary fat intake to no more than 30 percent of their daily calories and their saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of their daily calories. For a person consuming 2,000 calories daily, that would mean consuming no more than 67 grams of fat and less than 22 grams of saturated fat daily. Some individuals with heart disease or at a higher risk of developing heart disease may need to lower their saturated fat intake further.

Substituting turkey bacon or Canadian bacon at breakfast will lower the calories, fat and saturated fat on your plate. If only regular bacon will do, then ease up on the saturated fat elsewhere in your diet. You could start with the eggs. An egg provides about 1.5 grams of saturated fat, all of which is in the yolk. Scrambling up only whites will help tone down the saturated fat (and the dietary cholesterol) in your breakfast and offset some of the saturated fat coming from the bacon. If you want both the pork bacon and the whole egg, then just balance the saturated fat at your next meal or over the course of the next day or two.

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