Is there anything more tasty and delicious than bacon? But because of its high fat and caloric content, it should probably be avoided when trying to lose weight, right?
No, not necessarily.
We’ve been fed this myth about “high fat” and how it has been contributing to the obesity epidemic.
Instead, it’s actually the high sugar content that we are consuming every day that’s causing us to get fatter, not to mention the overloading amount of calories that are being consumed day in and day out. The fat, not so much.
A diet high in fat and low in sugars can actually help us burn more body fat than a diet low in fat.
All these low-fat food products that have been marketed to us over the years have caused us to mistakenly believe that fat is something sinister that should be avoided at all costs.
But in actuality, we’re a much fatter generation than ever before.
That’s the premise of the ketogenic diet, and one of the most popular foods of the diet is bacon.
High in fat and calories and void of carbs, bacon would make the ideal food to include as part of our everyday meals, right?
But is eating bacon every day, all day the right approach to take? Is it even a healthy and sustainable way to eat to both maintain ketosis and optimal health?
What is Bacon?
Bacon is a form of salt-cured pork that can be prepared from various cuts of meat, but it’s mainly cut from the belly or back.
It’s high in fat and protein and is a common addition to meals such as sandwiches, burgers, salads, and even some desserts.
Nutritional Makeup of Bacon
Three slices of bacon consist of the following:
Is Bacon Keto-Friendly?
Bacon is absolutely keto-friendly.
In fact, it’s widely considered to be the go-to food to add to the keto diet to help keep fat levels high, carb levels low, and protein levels moderate.
For keto dieters, bacon has a good fat-protein ratio, which means it’s high in fat and has a decent amount of protein to fuel the muscles and keep satiety high.
And while it’s wise to keep sodium levels within moderate ranges – the US Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day – keto dieters typically need a little more (1).
And that extra salt that keto dieters need conveniently comes with bacon.
Why the extra sodium?
When you drastically reduce carb intake, blood sugar levels also decrease. And with lower sugar consumption comes lower insulin levels. Insulin actually helps the body hold onto sodium (2).
So, when there’s less of it, there’s also less reabsorption of sodium into the body. Instead, sodium just passes through the bloodstream and is excreted from the kidneys and into the urine.
With inadequate levels of sodium absorbed into the body, a number of uncomfortable symptoms can occur, including:
- Lower energy
- Decreased mental focus
- Full-body ache
Generally speaking, this lower level of sodium can bring on what’s been coined as the “keto flu,” with symptoms similar to those of the traditional flu that we are all accustomed to.
That’s why it’s so important to replenish stores of sodium while following a keto diet, and bacon can provide our bodies with the sodium it needs to help us feel great while shifting our body fat composition.
Bacon Recipes to Try
There are seemingly endless ways to eat bacon while keto dieting. While you can always eat it straight up, you can also add it to a number of dishes, including the following.
1. Bacon Casserole
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 cup pickled cucumbers, sliced
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 2 tbsp sugar-free ketchup
- 7 oz canned chopped tomatoes
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 8 bacon slices
Preheat the oven to 360°F.
Grease a large pot with the butter, then add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
Add the beef to the pot and cook for a few more minutes until browned.
Add the pickled cucumbers, mustard, ketchup, parsley, and almond flour, and mix.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, heavy whipping cream, salt, and pepper.
Add the cheeseburger mixture into a large baking dish, then add the cheddar cheese.
Pour the egg and cream mixture over the top and stir.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, then top with sliced bacon and place it back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
2. Bacon and Egg Bombs
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay the bacon strips, making sure they don’t overlap.
Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, then set aside and allow it to cool down.
Boil the eggs until they are hard-boiled, about 10 minutes.
Remove the eggs from the heat and place them in a bowl with cold water.
When cooled, peel and quarter the eggs.
Mash the eggs with the butter.
Add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and bacon grease and mix.
Place the mixture in the fridge for about a half hour until it solidifies.
Crumble the bacon into small pieces.
Roll the cooled egg mixture into balls using a tablespoon or ice cream scooper.
Roll each ball in the bacon crumbles and place them on a tray, then place them in the fridge before serving.
3. Bacon-Wrapped Salmon
- 2 salmon fillets
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pesto
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wrap the salmon with the bacon and place it onto a tray, drizzled with olive oil.
Bake for about 20 minutes.
Mix the pesto and mayonnaise together, then season with salt and pepper.
When the bacon-wrapped salmon is done, add a dollop of mayo and pesto over top and serve.
If you’re wondering what types of foods to add to your ketogenic diet plan, bacon is definitely a keeper.
It’s high in fat, moderate in protein, virtually free of carbs, and has the sodium content you want to avoid the dreaded keto flu.
Enjoy it on its own or add it any number of low-carb recipes to keep those ketones in production and body fat burning.