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Diet Food Stuff » How Many Calories In A Slice Of Bacon?

How Many Calories In A Slice Of Bacon?

Bacon Frying In A Pan

Ahh, nothing beats the smell of bacon. One of life’s greatest joys is waking up in the morning and smelling the home filled with the scent of bacon sizzling in a pan. You know you’re in for a great day when this is how your morning starts – I can feel my mouth salivating now at the mere thought of it! 

Bacon is one of those tasty treats you can’t live without. It’s so versatile; have it between bread for a bacon sandwich, on the side of a plate for a cooked breakfast, or chopped up with pasta for a carbonara. There are so many ways to enjoy this delicious piece of meat, though lots of people worry about the calorie count. How many calories in a slice of bacon? Well, that depends! 

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the calories in bacon and what may increase or decrease them. You’ll also see some great tips on how to fit bacon into your diet without feeling guilty. 

How Many Calories In A Slice Of Bacon?

How long is a piece of string? It depends on the piece of string in question, and it’s exactly the same when talking about the calories in a slice of bacon. 

Different “experts” say different things. 

For instance, WebMD comments that a medium strip of bacon has 43 calories

On the other hand, Nutritionix states that one slice of bacon contains 54 calories

Other sources will claim it’s less than both of these amounts – so who do we trust? Instead of picking one figure and sticking with it, the safest bet is to say that the average slice of bacon will contain anywhere between 35 and 55 calories

What Determines The Calories In A Slice Of Bacon?

The big reason it’s so hard to give a clear figure for how many calories in a slice of bacon is that so many things impact this number! 

Bacon can be more or less calorific depending on these factors: 

  • The size/weight of the slice – Bigger and heavier slices of bacon will hold more calories than smaller, thinner, ones. 
  • The fat content – Bacon slices with lots of fat will contain more calories than leaner ones without as much fat. This is because approximately 68% of the calories in a slice of bacon come from fat. 

Is It A Good Idea To Eat Bacon While On A Diet?

Look, there’s nothing inherently bad about bacon as a food substance. It tastes delicious, is a great source of protein, and can help fill you up. If you want to eat it while dieting, go ahead and start munching! 

There’s a big problem in diet culture revolving around restrictions. I think we’re trained to believe that the only way to lose weight or eat healthily is by restricting ourselves as much as possible and counting calories. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The secret to following a healthy diet is to enjoy your food in moderation. This means you can have your bacon without feeling guilty! 

Most things are bad for you when you eat too much of them, so avoid going overboard with the bacon. Have it once or twice a week – but ensure you follow some of the upcoming tips to make bacon even better for you. This will help you see the nutritional benefits of high-protein red meat without some of the downsides. 

Top Tips To Get The Most Out Of Bacon While Staying Healthy

Your mind is about to be blown as you’ll see some helpful tips that’ll let you enjoy the sheer pleasure of bacon with zero guilt. Those of you wondering how many calories in a slice of bacon will see simple ideas to make the figure as small as possible. Here’s what you should do: 

Buy Very Lean Bacon

Try to get bacon with as little fat as possible. Avoid the streaky stuff as it’s basically 80% fat and buy bacon that’s mostly meat. This will also have a higher protein content, so it’s immediately better for you. 

Another idea is to cut the fat from your bacon before you cook it. You’re removing excess calories, which could cut the total calories in your slice by 60% or more! I know, I know, fat adds a lot of flavor to bacon. I get that, but there are ways around this. Adding a bit of smoked paprika to your bacon imparts some added smokiness – and you can still leave some of the fat on, just remove the bigger chunks. 

Reduce Your Portion Size

If we’re saying a slice of bacon contains between 35 and 55 calories, an easy way to enjoy it while staying healthy is by reducing your portion sizes. This is a good general rule for anyone embarking on a weight loss journey; focus on portion sizes as even the healthiest foods become calorific when you eat too much of them in one go! 

Instead of having four slices of bacon, have three. You instantly drop the calorie count while enjoying all the deliciousness of this crisp, smoky treat. 

Switch To A Healthier Cooking Method

We all love the smell and sound of bacon frying in a pan. It’s one of the greatest sense-stimulating things on the planet – even vegans have to admit it sounds and smells amazing!  

However, as mentioned before, frying bacon in oil will add more calories to it. Switching to some healthier cooking methods will keep the calories as low as can be while providing you with a bacon taste sensation. 

Here are the three best alternatives to traditional oil pan frying for optimal bacon enjoyment: 

  • Fry with a 1-calorie spray – You can find cooking sprays online that give one calorie per spritz. Use this instead of traditional cooking oil and you lower the calories in your bacon-based meal by over 100. The best part is, you get the classic bacon frying sound and smell without the added guilt. 
  • Put your bacon under a grill – If your oven comes with a grilling function, this is a splendid way to cook bacon. It will still sizzle and smell amazing, though you don’t need to add any oil or cooking spray at all. I think this helps the bacon crisp up more than frying anyway, so it’s a win-win from my perspective. 
  • Use an air fryer – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know air fryers are a very hot topic. Everyone’s raving about them – and they can reduce calories by up to 80% when compared to pan frying and oven cooking. The beauty of air-frying bacon is multi-fold: it doesn’t require any oil, it can crisp the bacon better than any other method, and it’ll take a fraction of the time to cook. You can whip up some gorgeous bacon within a couple of minutes! 

Out of these three methods, grilling or air frying are the best two. They have the benefit of letting you leave some fat on the bacon to impart flavor without it sticking around. Fat can drip off the grill into a drip tray – and the same happens in an air fryer. You get your juicy bacon slices without loads of added fat. 

Be Mindful Of What You’re Eating With Bacon

Finally, it’s good to be mindful of what you’re eating with bacon. A bacon sandwich is completely fine on its own – as is some pasta with bacon bits mixed in. You’ll even have a healthy meal if you wrap a chicken breast in a slice of bacon. 

The main problem is if you’re eating lots of bacon with loads of other red meats. That’s when things get a bit iffy from a health perspective, so try to make bacon the main protein in your meal – or pair it with white meat instead. Of course, eat it in moderation too, and you’ll have all the thrills of bacon without any downsides. 

bacon sizzling

Conclusion

Eating bacon is a joy you can’t live without – and you shouldn’t have to! If you’re worried about how many calories in a slice of bacon, then you needn’t fret. When prepared properly, eaten in the right portion sizes, and cooked with healthy methods, a slice of bacon can have as little as 35 calories. Combined with a high protein content, it can be an important part of your meals. 

Calories are clearly important when it comes to losing weight but think about it like this. You can enjoy a couple of slices of bacon with your breakfast and then walk for 30 minutes and you’ve pretty much burned it off already!

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