For many of us, bacon has always held a special place in our hearts (and stomachs). It may not be a staple in all diets, but that smell or sound of bacon frying often conjures memories of a beloved breakfast delight we grew up with: scenes of family sitting down to a nutritional breakfast where those crispy slices of pork were often the first to be gobbled down. It was picturesque, right? I love bacon, you love bacon, the kids love bacon, it’s great!
The transition away from our love affair with bacon can be attributed in part to studies that highlighted a number of negative health effects of red meat and foods with high cholesterol. The journal BMC Medicine published a study which showed a connection between red and processed meat consumption and mortality (1) and many studies found a link between a high cholesterol diets and increased risk of stroke or heart disease (2). However, the risks of eating bacon are significantly low and bacon’s fat to protein ratio is perfect for maintaining your Keto diet macros.
The key component of Keto is making sure the majority of your food intake is made up of fats. Remember our favorite breakfast pastime? Yep, bacon has a lot of fat. In fact, that’s one of the reason it has gotten a bad rap in recent years, specifically for its controversial saturated fat. Lucky for us, the myths have been proven wrong and saturated fat is no longer seen as harmful in the diet (3).
The breakdown of fats in a typical batch of bacon is (4): 50% monosaturated A large part is oleic acid, which is the same fatty acid that olive oil is praised for and generally considered “heart-healthy”(5) 40% saturated 10% polyunsaturated
The best part about bacon is how diverse it is to cook with, which makes it easy to incorporate into any meal throughout the day. It’s helpful to cook a large batch or two at the beginning of the week so slices can be pulled as needed throughout the week. Try experimenting with frying bacon in a cast iron skillet or baking it in the oven and turning to broil for the last 30 seconds to one minute (make sure you watch the oven, though!).
Meatloaf wrapped in bacon Bacon cheeseburger (sub lettuce for bun if desired) Keto Carbonara
As with any food in your diet, the key is moderation. Your protein macro goal on the Keto Diet should be around 20-25% each day. So, if you’re planning to eat bacon for your breakfast and mid-day snack, think about decreasing the amount you eat for the remainder of the day. Bring on the bacon!