Turkey Bacon Versus Regular Bacon: Which Is Better For Your Cholesterol?

Bacon is a staple in many Americans' diets, especially when it comes to breakfast. In the United States, 268 million people ate bacon at some point during 2020, according to Statista. However, bacon has come under fire the last few years for being high in cholesterol and saturated fat, as well as potentially containing carcinogens, according to Healthline. Because of this, as people have become more health-conscious, they have turned away from regular bacon in favor of turkey bacon, an alternative that seems to be healthier.

As the name suggests, turkey bacon comes from turkeys, but is made differently from regular bacon. Bacon is made from the fatty area of the pig's belly whereas turkey bacon is made from a combination of chopped up dark and light meat, explains Mashed. Many people consider turkey bacon to be healthy, but is that true? Does turkey bacon have less saturated fat and cholesterol?

Turkey bacon contains slightly less cholesterol, but not enough to be healthy

The nutrition facts show that turkey bacon is not necessarily healthier than pork bacon.

First, the good news. In a two-ounce serving, turkey bacon contains fewer calories, 218 versus 268, and less saturated fat, 4 grams versus 8 grams, according to Cleveland Clinic. However, the amount of saturated fat in that little serving is still too high.

Also, turkey bacon actually contains more sodium than pork bacon, with 1,900 milligrams in a two-ounce serving compared to 1,300 milligrams. For context, the American Heart Association says to keep sodium levels to 1,500 milligrams per day. Just a couple of slices of turkey bacon will put you above that.

As for cholesterol? "Turkey is white meat and has less cholesterol, probably about 20% less cholesterol than regular pork bacon," Cardiologist Dennis Bruemmer tells Cleveland Clinic. "But if it's 20% less, it's still 80% more cholesterol than if you weren't to consume it."