Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Bacon Debate: Pork Bacon vs Turkey Bacon

Ok. It's apparent that bacon shouldn't really be part of my diet.  While this is true, I'm human.  Sometimes I can't resist having a strip or two alongside scrambled eggs for breakfast.  I must say that I'm a tad partial to pork bacon, but I tolerate turkey bacon because of it's "healthier" reputation.  This alone prompted me to do my own investigation on how healthy turkey bacon really is compared to pork bacon.  My finidings may surprise you.

At my local grocery store I grabbed a box of Sugardale pork bacon and a box of Oscar Mayer turkey bacon to compare nutrition facts.  The first item I noticed was that the turkey bacon listed nutrition facts for only one strip of bacon, which made the calorie, cholesterol, fat and sodium counts appear lower.  While the Sugardale pork bacon on the other hand listed nutrition facts for two strips.  That's a tad sneaky on Oscar Mayer's end, right?  Take a look (turkey bacon at left. Pork at right):

At first glance the turkey bacon looks like its 45 calories less than the pork, when really it's only 10 calories less if you do the math for the extra strip of bacon (35 calories x 2).

In addition to this, I found (after doing the math) two strips of turkey bacon had 10 milligrams more cholesterol and 70 milligrams more sodium than two strips of Sugardale pork bacon.  Hmmm?  Yeah, I'm shocked too.  But the biggest shocker was that the fat content for two strips of Oscar Mayer turkey bacon was the same as two strips of pork bacon despite the turkey bacon's misleading packaging which boasts "50% LESS FAT than USDA data for pork bacon". 

After looking at all of this, I'm pretty much convinced that if I ever have a craving for bacon, I might as well roll with the tasty, tender, pork version or avoid both at all costs because one isn't really healthier than the other.

Turkey and pork bacon label comparison 

This goes to show that we have to do our own research when choosing what we place in our diets.  My investigation doesn't cover every side of the bacon spectrum.  Of course you can find turkey bacon that's not treated with excessive amounts of sodium nitrate (the substance that increases sodium milligrams found on the label).  And there's also the organic route.  The choice is yours!

Remember to READ and COMPARE labels on the food you're eating. If a food is popular because it's considered the "healthier" option, that doesn't always mean it's healthy.

Stay fit and fab!

Disclaimer: This comparison includes brands that I typically purchase.  Conduct your own research for details on other brands.  (Remember to calculate serving amounts and grams of each slice when comparing)


  1. This is eye-opening. To think that I've purchased turkey bacon as some kind of nod to healthier eating. Not so! This also teaches us to READ and UNDERSTAND labels. They're not just for nutrition information; they double as misleading marketing tools. Kudos to you for this girl. You're so good at teaching this stuff!

  2. Thanks for the tips! I always thought turkey bacon was healthier!

  3. Your article is very misleading. If you look at the serving sizes (ignore the # of slice) - turkey bacon is 15g and the pork bacon is 16g. So, visually, yeah you're eating half as much. But in reality, you're eating (basically) the same amount of meat in one slice of turkey bacon as you are in two slices of pork bacon. So, this isn't really very accurate.

    1. I agree with Sarah, this is an inaccurate article as you are paying no attention to the fact that the servings sizes by weight (which is more accurate) are the same.

  4. problem is that no one eats one slice of bacon. it's not the article that is misleading it is the packaging.

    1. just b/c no one eats only one slice of bacon doesn't make it misleading. the serving sizes are often the suggested serving size of a food for a balanced diet.