Is turkey bacon good for low carb diet?

Quick answers

Turkey bacon can be a good option for a low carb diet, as it is lower in carbs and calories than pork bacon. However, it’s not zero carb and still contains some carbs from ingredients like sugar. When choosing a turkey bacon, look for one with minimal added sugars.

What is turkey bacon?

Turkey bacon is a lower fat and lower calorie alternative to traditional pork bacon. It is made from ground turkey which is shaped and cured to resemble bacon strips. The turkey meat is combined with salt, spices, and other ingredients before being smoked to add flavor.

Compared to regular pork bacon, turkey bacon is lower in fat, calories, and sodium. It also contains fewer nitrates. However, it does still contain some fat, calories, and sodium since salt and other preservatives are added during processing.

Nutritional profile of turkey bacon

The nutritional profile of turkey bacon compared to pork bacon is:

Nutrient (per slice) Turkey bacon Pork bacon
Calories 40 54
Total fat 3 g 5 g
Saturated fat 1 g 2 g
Protein 5 g 4 g
Carbohydrates 1 g 0 g
Sodium 430 mg 190 mg

As you can see, turkey bacon is lower in calories, fat, and sodium compared to regular pork bacon. However, it contains slightly more carbs.

Is turkey bacon keto-friendly?

Keto diets recommend keeping net carbs under 20-50 grams per day. Since a slice of turkey bacon has about 1 gram of carbs, it can fit into a keto diet when consumed in moderation.

However, be mindful of added sugars which increase the carb content. Some turkey bacons contain honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, or dextrose. Check the nutrition labels and choose turkey bacon with no added sugars for the lowest carb option.

Is turkey bacon paleo diet friendly?

The paleo diet avoids processed foods. Since turkey bacon goes through processing and contains additives like sugar, salt, and preservatives, it is not strictly paleo diet friendly.

However, some people on the paleo diet may include turkey bacon in moderation since it has a better nutrition profile compared to pork bacon. But most advise avoiding all types of processed bacon.

Is turkey bacon good for a low carb diet?

Turkey bacon can fit into a healthy low carb diet in moderation. Compared to regular bacon, it is lower in carbs and calories. However, you need to be mindful of the following:

  • Check labels and avoid turkey bacons with added sugars, honey, maple syrup or other high carb ingredients
  • Stick to 1-2 slices per day and track your total carb intake
  • Avoid eating turkey bacon every day and switch it up with other low carb proteins
  • Don’t rely on it as your only source of fat, make sure to get healthy fats from avocados, nuts, etc.

Overall, turkey bacon can be an occasional swap for regular bacon on a low carb diet. But make sure to buy a high quality, low sugar variety and eat it in moderation as part of a healthy low carb meal plan.

What are some concerns with eating turkey bacon?

Some concerns around eating turkey bacon include:

  • High sodium content: Turkey bacon contains a similar amount of sodium as regular pork bacon, around 400-500 mg per slice. This can contribute to high blood pressure.
  • Nitrates/Nitrites: Like regular bacon, turkey bacon also contains preservatives like nitrates and nitrites which have been linked to increased cancer risk.
  • Heavily processed: Highly processed meats in general are considered unhealthy when consumed in high amounts.
  • Fat quality: The types of fats used in turkey bacon processing are not the healthiest. You are better off getting fats from whole food sources.

To limit the concerns, eat turkey bacon in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. Choose turkey bacon without added nitrates/nitrites if possible.

Healthier alternatives to turkey bacon

Some healthier alternatives to turkey bacon include:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • Grass-fed butter

These whole foods provide quality fats and nutrients without the processed factors of turkey bacon. Things like avocado, nut butters, and salmon offer more nutritional bang for your buck.

Recipes with turkey bacon

Here are some healthy recipes that incorporate turkey bacon:

Turkey club lettuce wraps

Lettuce wraps with turkey, turkey bacon, avocado, tomato, and mayo

Turkey bacon and egg cups

Eggs baked in a muffin tin with turkey bacon and veggies

Turkey bacon Cobb salad

Romaine lettuce salad with turkey bacon, hard boiled eggs, avocados, blue cheese, and turkey

Turkey bacon wrapped chicken

Chicken breasts wrapped in turkey bacon with roasted asparagus

Turkey bacon and Brussels sprouts

Shaved Brussels sprouts sauteed with turkey bacon and onions

Try pairing turkey bacon with non-starchy veggies and healthy fats for low carb meal ideas.

Is turkey bacon good for weight loss?

Turkey bacon can be incorporated into a healthy weight loss diet in moderation. Since it is lower in calories and fat than pork bacon, turkey bacon can be a better choice if you are monitoring your calorie intake and trying to reduce body fat.

However, turkey bacon is still a processed food and should not be consumed in high amounts, even when trying to lose weight. It is best to focus on whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, eggs, fish, legumes, whole grains, nuts and healthy fats for the majority of your diet.

Some tips for incorporating turkey bacon into a weight loss diet include:

  • Limit to 1-2 slices 2-3 times per week
  • Avoid bacon that’s deep fried or drowning in butter or oils
  • Combine it with veggies in an omelet or salad
  • Opt for turkey bacon over fatty/sugary breakfast sandwiches

Overall, turkey bacon can add flavor and satisfaction to your diet when trying to lose weight. But focus on getting nutrition from wholesome, minimally processed foods for the bulk of your meals.

Is turkey bacon good for building muscle?

Turkey bacon is not an optimal food for building muscle. It’s too low in protein and not a significant source of nutrients.

Foods that better support muscle growth include:

  • Lean beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Beans and lentils
  • Tofu
  • Nuts and nut butters

These foods provide a powerhouse of protein, vitamins, minerals and calories to fuel your workouts and recovery when building muscle.

Turkey bacon alone does not offer much muscle building potential. You’d get much more benefit from a serving of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt than a few slices of turkey bacon.

That said, turkey bacon can be included as part of a healthy muscle building diet. For example, add some turkey bacon to omelets, salads and sandwiches for extra flavor and satisfaction. Just don’t rely on it as a main protein source.

Is turkey bacon good for pregnant women?

Turkey bacon is generally considered safe in moderation during pregnancy as an occasional treat. However, here are some precautions for pregnant women:

  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked turkey bacon due to risk of food poisoning.
  • Limit intake to 2-3 servings per week at most.
  • Choose turkey bacon with no added nitrates or nitrites.
  • Opt for turkey bacon cooked by baking or pan-frying instead of microwave to reduce exposure to preservatives.

Pregnant women should emphasize getting nutrition from wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, eggs, and lean proteins like chicken or fish.

While an occasional turkey bacon treat is unlikely to be harmful, prioritize more nutritious foods during pregnancy.

Is turkey bacon good for arthritis?

There is no evidence that turkey bacon specifically benefits arthritis. However, the following diet tips may help manage arthritis symptoms:

  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce pressure on joints.
  • Consume anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, and colorful fruits/veggies.
  • Avoid processed and fried foods which can promote inflammation.
  • Stay hydrated to lubricate joints.
  • Limit sodium intake including cured meats to reduce swelling.
  • Consider anti-inflammatory supplements like turmeric or fish oil.

Including plenty of anti-inflammatory foods and nutrients while avoiding inflammatory triggers like processed meat is smart for arthritis. An occasional turkey bacon treat is unlikely to exacerbate symptoms in moderation. But prioritize whole, nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.

Is turkey bacon good for diabetics?

Turkey bacon may be a slightly better choice than pork bacon for people with diabetes due to it’s lower carb and fat content. However, the sodium levels in turkey bacon can be concerning for diabetics who need to watch their heart health.

Tips for people with diabetes include:

  • Limit turkey bacon intake to 1-2 slices a few times per week.
  • Opt for turkey bacon without added sugars or maple syrup.
  • Combine it with non-starchy vegetables or a salad.
  • Avoid pairing it with refined carbs like white toast or pancakes.
  • Monitor your blood sugar closely if consuming turkey bacon.

Overall it’s smart to limit processed meats if you have diabetes. Focus on getting nutrition from low glycemic whole foods like vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, eggs, avocado, and lean poultry.


Turkey bacon can be incorporated into a healthy low carb diet in moderation. In small amounts, it can add flavor and satisfaction to your meals. However, don’t rely on it too heavily for fat and make sure to buy a low sugar variety.

For optimal nutrition, emphasize whole foods like vegetables, eggs, avocados, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Use turkey bacon sparingly as a complementary addition to a low carb diet, not a staple ingredient.

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