Carb Counts and Sugar in Bacon

Basic Bacon is Low-Carb but Carbs Lurk in Some Bacon Products

A bacon sandwich. Justin Sullivan / GettyImages

Bacon is sometimes called meat candy. It's packed with flavor from pork, salt, smoke and, sometimes, sugar or other carbohydrates. But bacon doesn't have to contain any carbs. It depends on the type of bacon.

Carb Counts in Common Types of Bacon

Here is a quick list of the carb counts of different bacon products. The good news is that basic bacon, turkey bacon, real bacon bits and Canadian bacon have no measurable carbs per serving.

  • bacon 0
  • bacon, low sodium 0
  • bacon, turkey 0
  • bacon, Canadian 0
  • bacon, Canadian (Boar's Head, 2 oz.) 1
  • bacon, Irish (2 slices) 1
  • bacon, vegetarian (Morningstar Farms, 2 slices) 2
  • bacon bits, imitation (1 1/2 tbsp.) 2
  • bacon bits, real 0

How to Look for Hidden Carbs in Bacon

As you can see from the list, you might be buying a bacon product that has carbs and not realize it if you think that all bacon is low-carb. Some bacon has sugar or other sweet carbs added to give it that maple/sugar glazed taste. Vegetarian bacon may have carbs because it is made from carb-containing ingredients.

For example, McCormick Bac'n Pieces Bacon Flavored Bits and Durkee Imitation Bacon Bits are made from textured soy flour, which contains carbohydrate. One tablespoon has two grams of carbohydrate.

Vegetarian bacon strips likewise are often made with textured soy protein, so they contain carbohydrates. Two strips of MorningStar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips has two grams of carbohydrate.

In the case of these products, the carbs aren't coming from sugar. But for meat-based bacon products, sugar may be added as glazing or injected into the product before slicing to give it a sweet flavor. Check the label of any bacon product for carbohydrate content. Avoid any bacon that says it is glazed or touts its sweetness.

When you are dining out and you see sugar-glazed bacon listed as the side, you can bet that it contains carbs from the sugar. Maple-glazed bacon probably uses the carbohydrate-packed syrup to coat the bacon, so you will need to keep that in mind as well.

It's Not the Bacon - It's the Rest of the Meal

If you successfully used bacon that contains no carbs, you need to look at what else you are eating that might have carbohydrate. A typical American breakfast is a carb-fest. Toast, hash browns, oatmeal, yogurt, granola, pancakes, waffles, pastries, orange juice, milk, sweetened coffee drinks, muffins, scones, bagels and the bun of your breakfast sandwich all have high carbohydrate content.

Meanwhile, the bacon on your bacon cheeseburger may not be contributing carbs, but you'll be getting plenty from the bun and the cheese, not to mention the French fries which are basically deep-fried carb sticks.

Go ahead and sprinkle some real bacon bits on your salad, but watch out for the carbs in the salad dressing.

Fruits and some vegetables on your salad will also have carbohydrates, as well as the croutons. You'll need to educate yourself on all of the ingredients to choose wisely if you are trying to reduce or avoid carbs.

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