Can You Eat Too Much Bacon?

Bacon is one of the true delights for meat-eaters. Typically made from a pig's stomach or back, bacon is salty, fatty, and oh-so-delicious. Unfortunately, all that flavor comes with a cost. According to Eat This, Not That!, bacon is typically packed with sodium. Four slices of bacon, which is an average amount you'll get served in a restaurant, contains about 770 milligrams of sodium, which is about half of what the American Heart Association recommends as a daily intake of 1,500 milligrams per day (via AHA). A diet high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer (via Healthline).

Eating too much bacon can also contribute to weight gain. This food is high in calories thanks to all the fat that makes it taste so good. Four slices of bacon contain about 220 calories, which can mean a lot if you're adding that bacon to a plate of pancakes for breakfast or putting them on a sandwich with eggs and cheese. You can avoid weight gain thanks to bacon by limiting your portion sizes and eating a balanced diet overall.

What to know about processed meats

Most bacon you can find in grocery stores has been processed to add flavor and prevent the meat from spoiling as quickly. Bacon is typically cured, which is a form of processing (via Healthline). Processed meats have been shown to be harmful to your health if consumed regularly. "The current evidence suggests the higher [the] intake of processed meat, the higher the risk of chronic diseases and mortality," said Frank Hu, Fredrick J. Stare of Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. While eating bacon a few times a month shouldn't harm your health, eating it every day might.

Eating processed meats often can lead to weight gain, inflammation, and faster aging (via Eat This, Not That!). "These types of meat usually contain a preservative called nitrate, which has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease," said Courtney D'Angelo. If you can buy uncured bacon instead of cured bacon, you won't run into as many health issues. However, uncured bacon is still high in fat and calories and should be enjoyed sparingly.