The ketogenic diet is quickly becoming the diet of choice for those who want to shed some weight. Why? Simply because it allows us to eat the tastiest foods that have traditionally been dubbed as “unhealthy.” It doesn’t limit us to salads or bland mains. Instead, the keto diet has a wider range of tasty food you can actually eat — provided they’re low in carbohydrates.
Does this include bacon? Everyone loves the crispy, meaty, and oily taste of bacon, and rumor has it that bacon consumption has the green light on the ketogenic diet. We explore the truth of that in this article. If you're a bacon lover, read on!
Before we answer the question 'is bacon keto?', let’s assess the requirements of the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet is all about consuming more healthy fats and proteins and less carbohydrates. When the intake of carbs is minimized, the body is forced to use stored fat for energy, producing ketones that accumulate in the blood and trigger a state of ketosis. This is when weight loss happens.
Unlike other diet forms, keto mostly limits carb intake. The macronutrients are divided into 55-60% fat, 30-35% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates. It’s safe to assume that low-carb foods are suitable when observing the diet. Now the question remains: is bacon suitable for a low carb diet and therefore keto-friendly?
You’ll be happy to hear that bacon is the ideal candidate for a low-carb keto meal. It satisfies all the prerequisites of the diet: it’s high in fat, high in animal protein, and low in carbohydrates.
Specifically, bacon contains 50% monounsaturated fats, mostly a fatty acid called oleic acid. It’s also rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B2, and minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. 3.5 ounces of bacon has 37 grams of high-quality animal protein and supplies the body with 89% of the daily recommended amount of selenium and 53% of the daily recommended amount of phosphorus.
Bacon is a low-carb keto-friendly food. It still contains carbohydrates, but only small amounts that are well within the daily carb limits required by the ketogenic diet. A medium slice of cooked bacon (8 grams) only has 0.1 grams of carbs but 3.3 grams of healthy fats and 3 grams of protein.
You should also consider the type of bacon you’re looking to consume as different varieties may have different carbohydrate contents. Traditional pork bacon, turkey bacon... the list of is quite impressive. For example, a slice of turkey bacon (8.1 grams) has 0.3 grams of carbs while the same amount of Canadian bacon has almost half the carb content.
Bacon is a very versatile food. You can cook bacon and eat it on its own or whip up one of the easy keto bacon recipes below to create a full keto-friendly meal.
Didn’t think you can use bacon in soup? Think again. Bacon soup is a hearty and filling dish that’s sure to warm your bellies and fuel you for the rest of the day. The key to this dish is making it as creamy as possible, so don’t be afraid to add cheddar cheese, to thicken the consistency. In addition to thick sliced bacon or bacon crumbles, add some fresh greens like green onion and chives as toppers.
We recommend making a large batch of bacon soup so you have a heart-warming meal on days you just need a little comfort food.
The wedge salad is a favorite recipe among keto dieters and bacon lovers. Using fresh leafy greens or nutritious ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry, you can whip up this dish in less than 10 minutes.
To make a wedge salad, cut your iceberg lettuce into wedges and place it in a large bowl. Add some blue cheese dressing, red onion, and diced tomatoes. And to top it all off, sprinkle some small slices of crispy bacon on top!
Casseroles are usually made of noodles or rice, both unsuitable bases for a keto diet. For something more low-carb, use cauliflower as a substitute. Create a casserole complete with cauliflower, cheese, and bacon and you’ve got yourself a hearty keto friendly dish that you can enjoy for lunch and dinner.
This is one of the best keto recipes if you’re meal planning your weekly diet. One easy preparation can easily whip up a meal for the entire week. Just make sure to store your cauliflower bacon casserole in the freezer so it doesn’t spoil.
Sure, you can eat bacon and asparagus separately. But why do that if you can have the meaty taste of bacon and refreshing asparagus in one bite?
Surprise your palate with some spears of asparagus with your bacon. Simply wrap a couple of pieces of asparagus in a thick slice of cooked bacon and you’re ready to indulge in the savory, refreshing goodness of every bite.
Brussels sprouts are a keto dieter’s best friend. They’re rich in vitamins and have a low net carb count, making them perfect for your keto lifestyle. The best part is that Brussels sprouts complement almost any dish. You can put them in a salad, pan-roast them, or toss them in the oven. Add some bacon and cream cheese for a more flavorful dish.
When adding bacon to a keto diet, not all bacon brands are keto-friendly. Always examine the nutrition label for added sugar and net carbs. Opt for brands with sugar free bacon and the lowest net carbs to ensure it aligns with your ketogenic goals.
Being allowed to enjoy bacon while observing a diet is a luxury that keto dieters can enjoy. But aside from this tasty treat, there are several other flavorful foods that you can consume while on a keto diet. Here are some of them:
The next time you’re looking for a quick keto-friendly treat to eat in between meals, reach for a bag of pork rinds. They’re just as good as regular bacon — both in taste and suitability for keto and low-carb diets. Pork rinds are 60% unsaturated fat and contain less than 1 gram of carbohydrates per serving. They’re also rich in collagen and protein!
If you think that meat and poultry are all you can eat in a keto diet plan, you thought wrong! Fish and other types of seafood are also welcome in your balanced diet, especially if they’re fatty. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout are good options — they’re high in protein and healthy fatty acids.
To give your fish a smoky flavor, you can coat it with canadian bacon, olive oil and fresh herbs and serve it alongside asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or other low-starch vegetables!
Eggs are a staple in keto diets, containing almost zero carbohydrates but filled with essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. Eggs are also rich in protein and selenium. You can enjoy eggs hard-boiled or scrambled for a filling snack or make a bacon omelet to enjoy for breakfast.
To maximize the health benefits of eggs for your keto diet, we recommend using pasteurized eggs or omega-3 whole eggs.
Dairy is an essential part of a ketogenic diet, containing healthy fat and vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorous. Dairy also takes longer to digest than other foods, keeping you full for longer. The next time you’re looking for something to flavor up your keto meals, reach for butter, cream, full-fat yogurt, and unprocessed cheese like cheddar, mozzarella, and blue cheese.
In between your keto meals, you can have a small serving of nuts like macadamia, almond, and pecan. These nuts are high in fat but low in carbs and are packed with vitamins and minerals to support your keto lifestyle. You can eat nuts as is, use them as nut butters or grind them up to sprinkle onto your keto dishes for that extra flavor.
The ketogenic diet is quickly replacing other diet fads because it’s less restricting. Only requiring you to reduce carb intake, you can still eat most of your favorite foods and indulge in that crispy, oily, and meaty slice of bacon. So, to answer your question, is bacon keto? We can definetely say yes!
In between meals, enjoy a bag of crunchy and tasty fried pork rinds — or use them as toppers for your bacon dishes!
If you are willing to sacrifice the quality of the foods you consume, you can go on a dirty keto diet which doesn't exlude processed foods, artificial ingredients, or pre-packaged snacks as long as it fits into your daily macros.
And remember, not all bacon is created equal. Be mindful of the type and quality of the bacon intake you choose for your ketogenic lifestyle, and you'll be well on your way to enjoying delicious bacon with your favorite food while having the opportunity to lose weight and embracing a low-carb lifestyle.