Believe it or not, Tupac, Friends, and turkey bacon all have one thing in common; they got popular in the 1990s.
Although we would love to chat about Ross and Rachel, turkey bacon and Paleo is the only relationship we’ll be gossiping about today.
Paleo diet can seem restrictive at times, and we don’t blame you for wanting to diversify your breakfast or dinner menu from time to time.
But, just because something might appear Paleo doesn’t necessarily make it a smart and healthy option.
Just as well, only because something has the word bacon in its name doesn’t mean it actually is bacon.
That brings us to turkey bacon and the question this article aims to answer: can you eat turkey bacon on Paleo?
We’ll cover some basic facts and show you our take on the Paleo diet.
See Also: Does Bacon Grease Go Bad?
Can You Eat Turkey Bacon On Paleo?
In our humble opinion, you shouldn’t.
Are you staying Paleo if you do? You are, but what does staying Paleo even mean in the first place.
If you ask us, it means eating fresh, nutritious food that has no additives and doesn’t go through any food processing.
Although advertised as the “healthy alternative” to regular bacon, turkey bacon is far from it.
But let us prove it.
Turkey Bacon Nutrition
- Unprepared Turkey bacon (100g)
- Raw Bacon(100g)
Just for comparison, we added regular bacon nutrition facts as well.
The most significant difference between these two is the fat percentage.
A hundred grams of bacon has around 19g of fat, while turkey bacon has around 17g of fat.
However, turkey meat isn’t famous for its fat contents, which means a lot of that fat was artificially added.
Also, turkey bacon somehow has more cholesterol than the regular bacon; that’s some X-files mystery right there.
But we’ll get back to this whole fat and cholesterol point a little bit later; first, let’s take a look at how turkey bacon is made.
Turkey Bacon Production Process
First, some light and dark turkey meat is chopped or ground.
Next, seasonings and preservatives are added.
Finally, that magical mix is pressed into bacon-like strips.
As you can see, there’s some nasty food processing in play here.
For comparison, let us tell you how regular bacon is made.
Cuts from pork loin or belly are rubbed together with salt and spices; then, they’re left for a week to cure properly.
In the end, the meat is washed with water, dried, and smoked.
Notice there’s no mention of preservatives and food presses that shape the way a certain grocery looks.
Salt is what keeps the bacon from spoiling and what gives it some flavor.
That’s the traditional way of making bacon.
Now, of course, you can buy poorly made,heavily-processed bacon, drowning in preservatives whenever you want.
But if you’re on Paleo, you should strive towards eating non-processed food as much as you can afford.
The thing with turkey bacon is that you can’t find it non-processed.
Bacon relies on fat, and turkey meat just doesn’t contain much fat.
“But, but, livinpaleocuisine.com people, why is fat thought of as something bad, and why is processed food so unhealthy???”
Well, our curious and non-gullible reader, let us answer that with some facts.
Chemicals In Processed Food
We won’t go through all of them; of course, there are too many to count, but we will mention the ones more relevant to this topic.
Sodium-nitrate is mostly used in processed meats, and it has several roles.
- It prevents the growth of bacteria.
- It makes the food taste saltier(better).
- It adds a pinkish color to food.
An excess of sodium-nitrate can cause cancer and heart problems.
In fact, an excess of processed food and meats, in particular, tends to cause those problems.
Just look at the sodium contents the nutrition chart shows. It’s 50% more than in regular bacon.
Buy fresh meat.
If your buying packaged and its nutrition label looks like somebody pasted half of the periodic table on it, do yourself a favor and skip it.
Do what our Paleolithic ancestors did, go to the meat section of a grocery store, and pick out the freshest cut you can find.
The fact that it sounds like something ninja turtles are made of should be more than enough to scare you.
It’s used to enhance the flavor of long shelf life food.
So if you accidentally found your grandpa’s war rations in the basement, maybe skip it, and throw it away as well, just to be safe.
Although some studies suggest it’s not harmful to humans, there have been instances where it caused health problems.
If you’re eating Paleo, try and get fresh ingredients, stay away from canned if you can, and if you can’t, then buy canned (dad jokes, ftw).
“But you said fat is good, make up your mind already!”
Yes, we said that we’ll go over why fat is healthy in a second.
Natural trans fat is good for you; artificial trans fat is not.
Artificial trans fats have gone through hydrogenation, which means their shelf life is prolonged.
They increase inflammation in your body and can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
But keep in mind that the food you eat that’s high in trans fat is often high in sugar as well, and both are a huge no-no.
The nutrition chart shows a low-fat percentage in turkey bacon, but you can always find ones with high amounts of artificial fats.
Fat And Regular Bacon
We’ve talked about fat in the past, so we’ll try and be brief.
1. Heart Conditions
This false notion was conceived back in the 1950s, and it’s been proven wrong.
We are all different; some people function properly with high cholesterol, some with low cholesterol, some with three kidneys.
Whatever the case may be, generalizations, like it was with fat, are just not acceptable when it comes to our health.
One thing is true, though; processed sugar is bad for you, plain and simple, and processed food, even meat, tends to contain some amount of it.
Paleo diet allows a decent amount of meat consumption since it’s full of vital minerals our body needs.
Turkey bacon has fat, but most of that fat is added during the production process.
If you’re looking for meaty alternatives, read: Can you eat Quorn on Paleo? It might surprise you.
2. Uncured Bacon
We’ve already said how regular bacon, made from pork, can be highly processed as well.
That’s why we’d like to tell you about uncured center-cut bacon.
It’s made the way we described the process earlier in this article.
It has a little more meat than fat, but it still tastes the same and can be the right choice for anyone on the Paleo diet.
If you’re a fan of bacon and eggs, read: Can you eat scrambled eggs on Paleo?
Bacon is an excellent source of animal protein and energy.
If you are eating Paleo, make sure you get a decent amount of physical activity as well.
The food on this diet provides you with the necessary nutrients to fuel your workout or just a good long walk.
Can You Eat Turkey Bacon On Paleo – Conclusion
If you’re sick of eating bacon and you’re looking for an alternative, we have two things to say to you.
First, what’s wrong with you? Nothing beats proper bacon.
The second thing would be, turkey bacon isn’t the replacement we’d recommend.
It is considered meat, but the process it goes through to achieve its final form is just too unnatural.
It’s full of unhealthy additives and preservatives.
It does have a decent amount of protein, but you should already be covered on that front if you’re on the Paleo diet.
We don’t think you should eat it.
If you decide to include it in your diet, make sure it’s not on the menu too often.
All in all, we recommend you stick to regular bacon, the one that was made properly and not pressed into existence.