You Can Eat Bacon and Lose Weight!

Healthy Bacon Recipes
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Not-so-newsflash: Bacon is delicious. It’s salty, it’s smoky, it’s beefy, it’s crispy. Unfortunately, it's also high in fat and calories. Each pan-fried slice of standard pork bacon has around 50 calories and 4 grams of fat in each slice! But that doesn’t mean it’s totally off-limits for calorie counters. Read on for tips on indulging in the food that never stops being awesome.

Best Bets for Real Bacon

First things first: meat eaters can bring home the bacon.

The real bacon! If you remember one thing when you’re buying bacon, remember these two words: center cut. If the package says “center cut,” it means the meat was sliced close to the bone – a method that results in less-fatty strips than standard bacon, which tends to be sliced from the middle of the pork belly. The center-cut variety has around 30 calories and 2 grams of fat per slice. Just watch out for varieties labeled "thick cut," which have more calories and fat.

Have a strip with your morning egg scramble, or add a slice to a grilled cheese sandwich. Another great way to get your bacon fix is with precooked real crumbled bacon, like the kind by Oscar Mayer. One tablespoon has 25 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. With stats like that, it's a smart addition to your favorite salad. Plus, the convenience is fantastic!

If You Don't Eat Pork

Following a pork-free diet is not a reason to miss out on the cured meat that everyone’s talking about.

If you eat poultry but not pig, break out the turkey bacon. The texture is similar to that of regular bacon and although the taste isn’t quite as smoky, it’s definitely comparable. Regular turkey bacon has about 35 calories and 2 grams of fat per slice, which is about equal to center-cut pork bacon.

And the flavor is great!

Attention, vegetarians: I recently got my hands on some meatless tempeh bacon strips, and although it doesn’t have the exact same texture and taste of bacon, it  is smoky and savory. One strip has about 35 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. Another vegetarian option? Faux bacon bits, which are usually made from textured vegetable protein like soy. They’re pretty reasonable in the stats department (30 calories and 1 gram of fat for a 1 tablespoon serving), but the flavor doesn’t quite live up to the real deal. Still, if you don’t eat meat, toss a few bits into your salad for added crunch.

Surprising Bacon Combos

It's not surprising that some crazy flavor combinations are possible with bacon. I’ve learned that bacon is a welcome addition to a huge variety of recipes, whether they’re sweet or savory. If you’ve never added bacon to your dessert, try it out!