When you first stop to think of popular keto foods, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For many people, the answer to that question is “bacon”. After all, bacon is delicious, high in fat, and packs in more than enough protein to make it worth your while. But is bacon keto? Truly keto? Let’s find out!
What Makes Bacon a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
Bacon is easily one of the most popular food choices out there amongst low carb dieters. Here are just a handful of reasons why it’s so immensely popular:
- Bacon is incredibly calorie-dense, which helps to increase satiety on low carb meal plans.
- It’s also an incredible source of dietary fat; providing an abundance of saturated and monounsaturated fats, with a modest amount of polyunsaturated fat as well.
- Bacon is also a good source of protein, offering up 13 grams of protein per 100 gram serving of raw bacon.
- It’s available in several different varieties: regular, thick cut, maple flavored, etc.
- You’ll almost never run out of delicious low carb recipe ideas that incorporate bacon.
Is Bacon Keto?
Let’s get the rather obvious good news out of the way right off the bat: bacon is indeed 100% keto-friendly.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s examine why; along with some of the main reasons why many people still wrongfully shy away from bacon.
First and foremost, contrary to popular belief, there currently exists no evidence that saturated fat increases cholesterol, or that dietary cholesterol increases your risk of developing heart disease. In fact, by replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates (as commonly recommended in the past) has resulted in skyrocketing rates of heart disease. (1)
So now that we know that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol aren’t the enemy, let’s look at the high sodium content of bacon.
While it’s true that there are individuals who need to be mindful of their sodium intake, this is usually not an issue for anyone following low carb diets like the keto diet. Quite the opposite in fact – most keto dieters appreciate the added sodium, as it helps to replenish electrolytes lost via losing water weight. (2)
With sodium now eliminated as a negative for keto dieters, you’re left with nothing but net positives when it comes to including bacon in your diet, which is exactly why it stands as one of the all-time popular keto foods.
Bacon Nutrition Facts
Since everyone has their own preferred method of cooking bacon, we thought it would be beneficial to share the nutritional breakdown for a 100 gram serving size of raw bacon:
- 417 calories
- 40 grams fat
- 13 grams protein
- 1.3 grams carbs
- 0 grams dietary fiber
- 0 grams sugar
- 66 mg cholesterol
- 662 mg sodium
- 198 mg potassium
Good Keto-friendly Bacon Recipes
Bacon Health Benefits
We debunked some of the myths surrounding bacon earlier in this article. Now, it’s time to take a look at some of the actual health benefits that bacon can provide you with:
- Can help with optimizing testosterone production. Thanks to modern research, we now know definitively that both saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are two of the required building blocks for testosterone. Bacon is an excellent dietary source of both dietary fat and cholesterol, making it one of the top food choices for individuals who are trying to naturally increase testosterone levels. (3)
- It’s good for your brain health. Bacon provides you with several important amino acids, which are essential for the production of serotonin and dopamine; key neurotransmitters responsible for regulating mood and relieving symptoms of depression. Bacon is also a good dietary source of choline, which helps to improve cognitive functioning while also protecting against neurological disease. (4)
Keto Bacon Alternatives
There are plenty of delicious options for keto dieters who are looking for a keto-friendly bacon substitute. Here are some of the top options available to you; they range from meaty bacon replacements to keto options that double as being vegan-friendly as well:
- Beef bacon
- Turkey bacon
- Pepper dulse (seaweed bacon)
- Coconut bacon