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Diet and Nutrition

Bacon: Good or Bad

05/12/2010

Question:

Is bacon really that bad for you? If it is then why? Also, what are some major health concerns that are long term?

Answer:

Bacon is a high fat, high saturated fat, high sodium food. We think of this food as a meat, but it is not a particularly good source of protein compared to most meats.

 

So, is it bad? It depends on how much you are eating, how often, and what you are eating it with. If you have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol levels (which are major known risk factors for heart disease) I would not eat bacon or bacon substitutes.

 

 If you are healthy and trying to remain so, all food can fit into a healthy diet. I use bacon sparingly, but do not get regular, raw bacon. I get ready cooked bacon bits that are mostly the small portion of meat that is in a bacon strip with the fat rendered out, or I get Canadian bacon (which is a lean, smoked pork loin) and cut it into small bits. I use about 1 teaspoon in a scrambled egg or as a garnish on green beans cooked with onion. I cook without salt to make up for the fact that the bacon is still a high sodium food. Also, I am only using this version of bacon 1 or 2 times each month. 

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Response by:

Sharron   Coplin, MS, RD, LD Sharron Coplin, MS, RD, LD
Former Lecturer
Food & Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University