Good News for Bacon Lovers

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Although bacon’s nearly carb-free status gained it 15 minutes of fame back when the Atkins diet was hot, no one with a health conscience can look at it today and see anything more than strips of Saturated Fat and salt. But that doesn’t mean we don’t crave it! To assuage our longing for crispy, smoky bacon, we gave a lot of alternatives a taste test. Five made the cut with our die-hard bacon lovers. BLTs, anyone?!


2 strips = 80 calories, 8 g fat (3.5 g sat. fat), 300 mg sodium, 4 g Protein

If you’re going to indulge in gen-u-ine bacon, it’s not so much the calories you’ll regret. It’s the hit of skin-aging, heart-threatening, well-salted, grease-dripping Saturated Fat.


Morning Star Bacon Strips

2 strips = 60 calories, 4.5 g fat (.5 g sat. fat), 220 mg sodium, 2 g Protein

Of all the veggie bacons we tried, this was the only one that made the grade with our testers. Not only do these soy-based strips smell like bacon as you fry them up, they taste surprisingly close to the real thing. And they cook up much crispier than you would expect, despite having almost no bad fat. Find them in your freezer section.

Trader Joe’s Applewood-Smoked Turkey Bacon

2 strips = 60 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g sat. fat), 250 mg sodium, 7 g Protein

Surprisingly, turkey bacons don’t fry up to nearly the same crispiness as the Morning Star strips. The texture is softer and chewier — more like Canadian bacon — but the taste is rich and smoky, and it nicely flavors an egg sandwich.

Wellshire Farms Uncured All Natural Turkey Bacon

2 strips = 40 calories, 1 g fat (0 g sat. fat), 360 mg sodium, 6 g Protein

This all-natural brand tastes so hearty, it’s hard to believe each strip — and they’re big — contains only 20 calories and just a trace of fat. If you can live without the crunch of pork bacon, this one tastes the most indulgent while doing the least diet damage. Plus, there are no preservatives, antibiotics, or nitrates, though it’s high on the sodium side.


Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon

2 strips = 40 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat. fat), 280 mg sodium, 6 g Protein

Like the other turkey bacons, this extra-lean variety isn’t a clone of the real thing, but if you think “chewy” rather than “crispy,” the rich, smoked flavor will liven up a sandwich or spinach salad. And it’s hard to knock 0 fat grams.

Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon

2 strips = 70 calories, 6 g fat (1 g sat. fat), 380 mg sodium, 4 g Protein

This one comes closest to matching the true aroma and flavor of pork bacon (maybe it’s all that salt). Tip: It cooks up super fast in the microwave, so if you’re not careful, you’ll have bacon chips instead of strips. But don’t toss them if that happens — crumbled up, the bacon bits make a tasty topping for a salad or baked potato.

At RealAge, there’s a reason we call Saturated Fat — the artery-clogging kind that, appropriately, saturates meat and whole-milk dairy foods — an aging fat: Avoiding it can make your RealAge more than 4 years younger!

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