Turkey bacon: How healthy is it really?

(WXYZ) - Who doesn’t love a delicious hot piece of crisp bacon? But with the saturated fat and high calories, many of you reach for turkey bacon instead. But, how healthy is this substitute?

Turkey bacon doesn’t look quite as appetizing as regular bacon. What exactly is in turkey bacon?
Turkey is a much healthy alternative when compared to red meat, so I get why many of you may think it’s the better option.  

Turkey bacon is made from ground up dark and light turkey meat. Oil and seasonings are added and it’s pressed into the traditional bacon shape. It may be leaner than pork bacon with a few less calories and lower overall fat content, but it’s still high in saturated fat.  

And, this contributes to heart disease.  

Regular turkey bacon is actually much higher in sodium than pork bacon. A few slices contain more than 1,900 milligrams of sodium. That’s more than the 1,500 milligrams the American Heart Association recommends you get per day. There’s a limit on sodium because it also raises your risk for heart disease and is linked to kidney stones.   
 

Partha’s RX
1. I always say eat everything in moderation and that includes bacon regardless of type.  But aim for less than one serving a week.  
2. When cooking bacon, avoid adding butter or oil.  A light spritz of cooking spray can help keep it from sticking to the pan.
3. Cook using an indoor grill as it lets the bacon fat drip off.  And be sure to soak up any extra grease by patting the bacon with a paper towel.  
4. Select brands that are labeled as low-sodium. And please don’t season bacon with salt before or after cooking. 

Turkey bacon does fall into the processed meats category.  And research links regular consumption to higher risks of stomach and colorectal cancers. But, if you eat a nutritious and balanced diet the majority of the time, an occasional couple of slices of bacon every now and then may not pose a huge health risk.

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