Oscar Mayer turkey bacon is a popular lower-fat and lower-calorie alternative to traditional pork bacon. For those looking to reduce their calorie intake at breakfast, turkey bacon can be an excellent substitution. But just how many calories are in Oscar Mayer turkey bacon? Let’s take a close look at the nutrition facts.
Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Nutrition Facts
The number of calories in Oscar Mayer turkey bacon depends on the specific variety you choose. Oscar Mayer makes several different types of turkey bacon, including lower sodium, uncured, and original varieties. Here are the nutrition facts for some of Oscar Mayer’s most popular turkey bacon options:
|Oscar Mayer Original Turkey Bacon||2 slices (28g)||40 calories|
|Oscar Mayer Lower Sodium Turkey Bacon||2 slices (28g)||35 calories|
|Oscar Mayer Uncured Turkey Bacon||2 slices (28g)||35 calories|
As you can see, two slices (28g) of Oscar Mayer original turkey bacon contains 40 calories. The lower sodium and uncured varieties are slightly lower in calories at 35 calories for two slices.
Comparing Turkey Bacon to Pork Bacon
Oscar Mayer turkey bacon is much lower in calories compared to traditional pork bacon. For reference, here are the nutrition facts for Oscar Mayer pork bacon:
|Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon||2 slices (28g)||80 calories|
The same 2 slice (28g) serving size of Oscar Mayer center cut pork bacon contains 80 calories. So turkey bacon has about 50% fewer calories compared to regular pork bacon.
Turkey Bacon Nutrition Facts Explained
Why does turkey bacon have fewer calories than pork bacon? There are a few reasons for this:
Turkey bacon is very low in fat compared to pork bacon. Two slices of Oscar Mayer original turkey bacon has a total of 1.5g of fat. An equivalent serving of pork bacon has 9g of fat. Since fat provides 9 calories per gram, the lower fat content of turkey bacon leads to a significant reduction in calories.
Turkey bacon is higher in protein than pork bacon. A 2 slice serving of Oscar Mayer original turkey bacon has 12g of protein, while the same amount of pork bacon has just 6g. Protein only provides 4 calories per gram, versus 9 calories per gram from fat. So the higher protein content of turkey bacon also contributes to its lower calorie count.
Excess sodium can lead the body to retain water, resulting in weight gain. Oscar Mayer turkey bacon is lower in sodium compared to pork bacon. Oscar Mayer original turkey bacon has 380mg of sodium per serving, versus Oscar Mayer center cut pork bacon which has 590mg. Choosing lower sodium options like turkey bacon can help reduce water retention and bloating.
Some Oscar Mayer turkey bacon varieties are uncured. This means no nitrites or nitrates are used. Nitrites have been associated with an increased risk of cancer. Uncured turkey bacon avoids nitrites while still offering that smoky bacon flavor.
Nutritional Benefits of Turkey Bacon
In addition to being lower in calories, turkey bacon offers some other nutritional benefits compared to pork bacon:
- Higher in protein – 12g vs 6g per 2 slice serving
- Less total fat – 1.5g vs 9g per 2 slice serving
- Less saturated fat – 0.5g vs 3g per 2 slice serving
- Fewer calories from fat – 15 vs 72 per 2 slice serving
- Lower sodium options available
- No nitrites or nitrates in uncured varieties
The combination of higher protein, less fat, and less sodium makes turkey bacon a nutritious substitution for traditional pork bacon. Keep in mind though that both pork and turkey bacon are high in sodium, so consuming in moderation is still important.
How Does Turkey Bacon Taste Compared to Pork Bacon?
Of course, lower calories and higher nutrition are only benefits if the taste doesn’t suffer too much. So how does Oscar Mayer turkey bacon compare to pork bacon in terms of taste and texture?
Most people find the taste and texture of turkey bacon to be fairly similar to pork bacon. When cooked properly, turkey bacon can have a comparable crispy and chewy mouthfeel to regular bacon. The smoky flavors also come through thanks to liquid smoke flavoring.
However, there are a few differences to note:
- Turkey bacon tends to be leaner with less visible fat
- The color is often darker red compared to the pinkish hue of pork
- Turkey bacon can shrink more during cooking
- The smoky flavor may be less pronounced
- The texture is a bit more dense and less fatty
The taste, texture, and appearance differences between turkey bacon and pork bacon come down to personal preference. Some people find they quickly adjust to the subtler smoky flavors and slightly denser bite of turkey bacon. Others have a harder time finding an adequate pork substitute in turkey bacon.
How to Cook Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon
Cooking technique can make a big difference in maximizing the flavor and texture of turkey bacon. Here are some tips for cooking Oscar Mayer turkey bacon:
The best way to crisp up turkey bacon is by pan frying. Place the slices in a cold non-stick skillet and set heat to medium. Flip the bacon occasionally until both sides are browned and crispy. Take care not to overcrowd the pan, as this causes steaming instead of crisping.
For a hands-off approach, bake turkey bacon slices on a foil-lined baking sheet at 400°F for 10-15 minutes. Flip the slices halfway through for even cooking. Baking gives a nice crispy texture without the need to watch the stovetop.
While pan frying or baking is best, turkey bacon can also be microwaved in a pinch. Place slices on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, stopping to flip slices halfway through. The paper towels absorb excess moisture.
Recipe Ideas Using Turkey Bacon
Oscar Mayer turkey bacon is very versatile and can be substituted in many of your favorite recipes that call for regular bacon. Here are some recipe ideas to enjoy turkey bacon’s savory flavor at lower calories:
Turkey Bacon Egg Cups
Make a batch of egg cups for easy on-the-go breakfasts. Line a muffin pan with turkey bacon slices, crack an egg into each cup, add cheese and vegetables, and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.
Turkey BLT Sandwich
Build the classic BLT sandwich with Oscar Mayer turkey bacon for a leaner lunch option. Toast bread, layer with lettuce, tomato slices, turkey bacon, and avocado or low-fat mayo.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic
Get your veggie serving in with roasted brussels sprouts topped with crispy turkey bacon and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
Turkey Bacon Wrapped Scallops
For an easy appetizer, wrap scallops in turkey bacon and bake at 400°F until the bacon is crisp. Serve with a spicy ranch dipping sauce.
Turkey Bacon Mac and Cheese
Take mac and cheese to the next level by topping with pre-cooked crumbled turkey bacon before baking. The smoky, savory bacon bits take this comfort food up a notch.
Where to Buy Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon
Oscar Mayer turkey bacon is sold at most major grocery stores and supermarkets. Some locations to check include:
- Harris Teeter
- Sam’s Club
Oscar Mayer turkey bacon typically comes in packs of 12-16 oz, with about 10-14 slices per pack depending on the variety. It’s usually stocked in the refrigerated section near the regular pork bacon or other breakfast meats like sausage.
Online stores like Amazon and Walmart.com also carry Oscar Mayer turkey bacon for purchase. Buying online can be convenient if you have trouble finding it locally in stores.
Is Turkey Bacon Healthy?
While turkey bacon is lower in calories and fat compared to pork bacon, it is still a processed meat. The preservatives used to cure the meat may not make it the healthiest option. Consuming processed meats in high amounts has been linked to increased cancer risk.
In moderation, turkey bacon can be part of a healthy diet for its high protein and low calorie content. But it shouldn’t be thought of as a health food or consumed daily. Nutrition experts recommend limiting intake of processed meats to no more than 1-2 servings per week.
Turkey Bacon vs. Other Low-Calorie Bacon Alternatives
In addition to turkey bacon, there are a few other low-calorie, leaner bacon alternatives on the market including:
Chicken bacon is made from thinly sliced and cured chicken breast. It’s similar to turkey bacon in calorie and fat content.
For those who still want that savory pork flavor, look for uncured beef bacon. It’s usually lower in calories than pork bacon, but still has a similar taste.
Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh bacon offers a plant-based, high-protein option for vegetarians. The smoky flavor comes from added seasonings.
For a vegan choice, coconut bacon is made from crispy coconut flakes and seasoning. It mimics the texture of bacon bits.
Oscar Mayer turkey bacon offers a lower calorie alternative to traditional pork bacon. Two slices (28g) of Oscar Mayer original turkey bacon contains 40 calories and 1.5g fat, compared to 80 calories and 9g fat in pork bacon. While not exactly health food, turkey bacon can be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, especially if choosing uncured varieties.
With a similar smoky, savory taste to regular bacon, Oscar Mayer turkey bacon can easily be substituted into recipes like egg cups, sandwiches, salads, and more to lighten them up. Look for turkey bacon next to regular pork bacon in the refrigerated section at most major grocery stores. With proper cooking technique and reasonable intake, turkey bacon satisfies cravings while cutting calories.