Why You Shouldn't Fear Bacon

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Bacon has gained a bad reputation in mainstream media because of the high levels of saturated fat and sodium. Are there valid reasons to avoid bacon?

Saturated Fat and Low-Carb Diets

As discussed in this post, there is no evidence that:

  • too much saturated fat raises cholesterol
  • saturated fat causes heart disease
  • high cholesterol causes heart disease
  • lowering cholesterol reduces heart disease
  • there is a correlation between obesity rates and the amount of fat consumption
  • there is a correlation between obesity rates and the amount of protein consumption

The types of fat you should be worried about are toxic trans fats and polyunsaturated fats, particularly high omega 6 to omega 3 ratio.

The true reason for heart disease is inflammation, not saturated fat or cholesterol. Don't be afraid of saturated fat - instead, include a variety of foods high in monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids.

Sodium and Low-Carb Diets

It's a fact that bacon is high in sodium, but is it bad for us? The general advise is to keep sodium low. However, for low-carb ketogenic diets, an increased amount is desired.

The RDA of sodium according to the USDA is 2,300 mg, which may not be enough for a low-carb diet. The reason is that insulin, which also has the effect of reducing the rate at which sodium is extracted through kidneys, drops and it can cause sodium levels to drop significantly, too. Also, as you eliminate processed foods from your diet, your sodium intake will likely be lower than what you've been used to.

You can also check my post about the importance of electrolytes. Increased intake of electrolytes will help you overcome the side effects of giving up carbohydrates (fatigue, cramps and headaches).

So, how much sodium is adequate? You should add about 3,000-5,000 mg in addition to sodium naturally occurring in food (Lyle McDonald, "The Ketogenic Diet"). Don't get the idea that you can eat a cup of salt a day when on low-carb.

100 g / 3.5 oz of bacon contains about 2,000 mg of sodium. Taking everything into account, you shouldn't worry about sodium content in bacon.

How about nitrates found in bacon?

As long as your diet is high in anti-oxidants, nitrates are acceptable in moderation.

Best Keto Recipes with Bacon

Looking for low-carb & paleo recipes with bacon? Here are over 25 tasty options to choose from!

Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

Bacon & Guacamole Fat Bombs

Low-Carb Bacon & Cheese Vegetable Gratin

Keto Green Eggs & Bacon

Bacon & Egg Fat Bombs

Why You Shouldn't Fear Bacon

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Liver Bites

Keto Crispy Bacon Pancakes

Keto Bacon & Onion Cookies

Low-Carb Pork, Sage & Bacon Stuffing

Chocolate Dipped Candied Bacon

Why You Shouldn't Fear Bacon

Keto Cheese & Chive Scones

Paleo Beef Bourguignon

Savory Cheesecake with Bacon

Bacon Wrapped & Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Why You Shouldn't Fear Bacon

Bacon & Gruyère Jalapeño Poppers

Pork & Egg Pie

Keto Mug Muffin with Bacon, Cheese & Mushrooms

Keto Spinach Bacon & Artichoke Dip

Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza

Why You Shouldn't Fear Bacon

Keto Mexican Breakfast Casserole

Keto Morning Hot Pockets

Savory Keto Cheese Pancake

Keto Zucchini Breakfast Hash

Bacon & Rocket Keto Toasts

Low-Carb Millionaire's Bacon

Why You Shouldn't Fear Bacon

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Please, note that I do not offer personalised advice. For personalised advice you can contact one of our experts.

Comments (9)

Just wondering which brand of bacon you purchase since many of them have sugar listed as an ingredient.
Thank you,
Natalie

Reply

Hi Natalie, I live in the UK and the vast majority of bacon is sugar-free. Maybe someone else can comment?

Reply

Is there a link to the recipe in the main picture. I need to eat more avocados and that looks great!

Reply

Hi Sydney, the Guacamole is here: Quick & Easy Guacamole

Reply

So is it best to cook bacon at 275 for longer?

Reply

Yes, this is better. I usually cook mine at 275 F / 135 C for 30 minutes.

Reply

After constantly hearing the negative connotations associated with nitrate content in bacon, I ate it seldom to avoid what could potentially cause digestive inflammation.  However, after reading your post and researching other studies, unprocessed bacon is good in moderation if a well balanced diet full of antioxidants to balance the gut.  I advise taking a digestive enzyme always before a fat laden meal to aid digestion.

Reply

Fabulous post! Everything about nitrates I was looking for - I used to avoid bacon for this reason, what a fool I was 😊

Reply

So true - nobody will touch my bacon! Thanks for this! 😊

Reply