There are approximately 140 calories in 4 slices (28g) of pre-cooked bacon. The exact number of calories can vary depending on the brand, ingredients, cooking method and portion size. On average, a slice of pre-cooked bacon contains about 35 calories.
Bacon is a popular processed meat made from the belly of a pig. It is commonly used as a breakfast food or in sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads. Pre-cooked or pre-sliced bacon has become increasingly popular due to its convenience – it can be eaten right out of the package with no additional cooking required.
The number of calories in bacon can vary significantly depending on a few factors:
Different brands of bacon may have slightly different nutritional information. For example, Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon contains 30 calories per slice, while Hormel Black Label Original Bacon contains 40 calories per slice. Checking the nutrition facts label on the package will give you the specific calorie count for that brand.
Bacon can be regular or lower-sodium/fat. The ingredients used, such as the cuts of pork, curing process and added preservatives, affect the calorie amount. Traditional bacon tends to be higher in calories than lower-sodium alternatives.
The cooking method impacts the fat content and calories. Pre-cooked bacon has been pre-cooked or smoked during processing. This renders some of the fat and results in slightly fewer calories than raw bacon slices cooked at home.
Calories are directly correlated to the amount or weight of the bacon. More slices equate to more calories. The standard slice size is around 14g uncooked or 28g pre-cooked. Checking the weight of your slices compared to the nutrition information will give the most accurate calorie count.
Now let’s look at the calories in a standard serving of 4 slices of pre-cooked bacon specifically:
Calories in 4 Slices of Pre-Cooked Bacon
The typical nutrition facts panel does not list the calories in 4 slices specifically. However, we can easily calculate it based on the following standard nutrition information for a 28g serving size of pre-cooked bacon:
|Amount Per Serving
|28g (about 4 slices)
So 4 slices (28g) of pre-cooked bacon contains approximately 140 calories. This may vary by +/- 10 calories depending on the specific brand.
If you want even more precision, you can divide the 140 calories by 4 slices to get the calories in a single slice of pre-cooked bacon. This comes out to 35 calories per slice.
The Calories in Different Brands of Pre-Cooked Bacon
While most pre-cooked bacon contains around 35 calories per slice, or 140 calories per 4 slices, the exact amount can vary depending on brand. Here is the nutrition information per serving for some popular brands:
|Calories Per Slice (4 slices)
|Oscar Mayer Center Cut
|24g (4 slices)
|Hormel Black Label
|28g (4 slices)
|28g (4 slices)
|28g (4 slices)
|28g (4 slices)
As you can see, Oscar Mayer has the lowest calories with 30 per slice, while Hormel has the highest at 40 calories per slice. But all of the major brands range between 30-40 calories per slice of pre-cooked bacon.
Nutrition Facts for Pre-Cooked Bacon
Now let’s take a detailed look at the full nutrition facts panel for a serving of pre-cooked bacon:
|Amount (per 28g/4 slices)
|% Daily Value
– Each 4 slice serving provides 140 calories, which is 7% of the daily calorie intake based on a 2000 calorie diet.
– There are 9g of fat per serving, with 3.5g being saturated fat. This equals 14% and 18% of the daily value for fat and saturated fat respectively.
– Bacon is high in sodium, with 540mg or 23% DV per serving.
– It provides 8g of protein (16% DV) but very little to no carbohydrates or fiber.
Ways to Reduce the Calories in Bacon
While bacon is a higher calorie food, there are some easy ways to reduce the calories while still enjoying its savory, smoky flavor:
– Choose center-cut or back bacon, which often has less fat around the edges than regular sliced bacon.
– Opt for a reduced-sodium or turkey bacon option.
– Grill or bake the bacon instead of pan-frying. This allows some of the fat to drip away.
– Microwave the bacon between paper towels – this also helps absorb excess grease.
– Blot slices with a paper towel after cooking to soak up additional fat.
– Stretch 4 slices of bacon across 8-10 strips for topping salads or baked potatoes.
– Crumble crispy cooked bacon over dishes instead of serving in full slices.
– Look for bacon bits made from real bacon that provides flavor in a low-calorie sprinkle.
– Add bacon flavor to dishes using bacon grease, bacon salt or natural liquid smoke.
With some simple adjustments, you can still enjoy the bacon taste you love while controlling the calories and fat.
Healthiest Ways to Eat Bacon
While bacon isn’t the most nutritious choice, there are some healthier ways to incorporate it into your diet if consumed in moderation:
– BLT salad – Top lettuce and tomatoes with just 1-2 slices crumbled bacon and light dressing
– Baked potato – Garnish a plain baked potato with bacon bits, chives, and reduced-fat cheese or Greek yogurt instead of full servings of butter and sour cream.
– Brussels sprouts – Roast Brussels sprouts and onions with a sprinkle of bacon for rich flavor.
– Clam chowder – Add a few bacon pieces for a smoky note to creamy clam chowder.
– Green beans – Sauté green beans with garlic and sprinkle with bacon.
– Quiche – Bake bacon, spinach, and cheese into a veggie-packed quiche or frittata.
– Panzanella – Toss a few bacon pieces on top of the tomato-bread salad.
– Baked beans – Mix a small amount of cooked bacon into baked beans.
– Split pea soup – Top off hearty split pea soup with some crumbled bacon.
The key is using bacon as a light flavoring or occasional accent, rather than the main protein source or portion focus. This allows you to add tasty texture and flavor while controlling calories.
Health Risks of Consuming Too Much Bacon
While the occasional serving of bacon is probably fine for most people, regular and excessive consumption may increase health risks. Here are some of the potential downsides of eating too much bacon:
– Heart disease – Bacon is high in saturated fat and sodium which can negatively impact heart health over time.
– Cancer – Processed meats like bacon are considered carcinogenic, especially when consumed in excess. Higher intake is associated with increased colorectal cancer risk.
– Obesity – The high fat and calorie content can lead to weight gain if consumed in large amounts.
– Diabetes – Frequent bacon intake is linked to an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
– High cholesterol – The saturated fat in bacon can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
– Salt sensitivity – For those with specific health issues like heart failure, excess sodium from bacon can exacerbate problems.
– Nitrates – Bacon contains nitrates and nitrites which may cause inflammation and cellular changes at very high intakes.
To keep health risks low, bacon intake should be limited to only occasional uses and reasonable portion sizes. Those with certain medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease may want to avoid it altogether due to the high sodium and saturated fat content.
In summary, a serving of 4 slices of pre-cooked bacon contains approximately 140 calories. However, the exact number can vary between 120-160 calories depending on the brand. On average, a single slice of pre-cooked bacon provides 35 calories.
While bacon does contain a good amount of protein, it is also high in saturated fat and sodium. Consuming it in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet is fine for most people. But limiting intake may be prudent for those with medical conditions like heart disease that are exacerbated by excess saturated fat and sodium.
There are also ways to reduce the calorie and fat intake from bacon through cooking methods, using it as a savory seasoning, or selecting lower-sodium varieties. This allows you to still enjoy the signature taste without all of the drawbacks.
So savoring the occasional serving of crispy bacon can absolutely be part of balanced nutrition. Just be mindful of portion sizes and combine with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to offset the downsides.