How Much Iron is in Bacon? A Detailed Look

Bacon is a delicious and popular breakfast food, but many people don’t realize it also contains small amounts of iron. While bacon isn’t the most plentiful source of this essential mineral, it can contribute to your recommended daily intake if consumed regularly. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at exactly how much iron is found in different types and servings of bacon.

The Role of Iron in Your Body

Before looking at the iron content of bacon specifically, let’s briefly overview why iron is important for your health.

Iron is a mineral that serves several key functions in the body

  • Forming hemoglobin to transport oxygen in the blood
  • Aiding enzyme functions
  • Supporting immune health
  • Developing connective tissue
  • Regulating body temperature

Deficiencies in iron can lead to anemia, fatigue, decreased immunity and other problems The recommended daily intake of iron is 18 mg for women and 8 mg for men. Women need more iron due to blood loss during menstruation

Now that we’ve covered why iron matters, let’s analyze how much of this mineral bacon actually contains.

Iron Content in Different Types of Bacon

Not all bacon is created equal when it comes to iron content. Different cuts and meats can impact the levels, but in general bacon contains only modest amounts of iron.

Here is the typical iron content found in 2-3 slices of popular types of bacon:

  • Pork bacon – 1-4% of the Daily Value
  • Turkey bacon – 3-5% of the Daily Value
  • Canadian bacon – 2-3% of the Daily Value

As you can see, across the major types of bacon, two or three slices generally provide 1-5% of the recommended daily iron intake. While not insignificant, bacon is far from being considered a top source of dietary iron.

Other cuts of pork, like pork chops, typically contain higher percentages of the recommended iron than standard bacon.

Iron Content by Serving Size

In addition to the type of bacon, the serving size also impacts how much iron you’ll get.

Here’s an overview of the iron content in different serving sizes of pan-fried pork bacon:

  • 1 slice – 2% of the Daily Value
  • 2 slices – 3% of the Daily Value
  • 3 slices – 5% of the Daily Value
  • 4 slices – 7% of the Daily Value

As expected, the more slices you eat, the higher percentage of your recommended daily iron intake you’ll obtain. Still, even four pieces of bacon provides less than 10% of the iron needs for most adults.

The iron content does start to add up if you eat bacon frequently, but you’ll need to consume it in larger quantities to make a major dent in your daily requirements.

Top Food Sources of Iron

While bacon contains some iron, there are many other foods that can provide significantly higher amounts per serving. Here are some of the top food sources of iron and their typical content:

  • Oysters – Up to 23mg per serving

  • Dark chocolate – 3.3mg per ounce

  • Beef liver – 5mg per 3 ounces

  • Lentils – 3mg per half cup

  • Spinach – 3mg per cooked cup

  • Tofu – 3mg per half cup

  • White beans – 2mg per half cup

  • Broccoli – 1mg per cooked cup

As you can see, foods like oysters, liver, lentils, spinach and beans provide at least 3-6 times more iron per serving than bacon.

While bacon can provide a small iron boost, making sure your diet includes plenty of these iron-rich plant and animal foods will be important for maintaining optimal levels.

Should You Eat Bacon for the Iron?

Based on the nutrition information, is bacon a good food choice if you are looking to increase your iron intake?

There are a few pros and cons to consider when eating bacon for its iron content:


  • Bacon does contain some iron, which accumulates, especially if eaten regularly.

  • The fat in bacon may increase absorption of non-heme iron from plant foods when eaten together.

  • Bacon has a delicious flavor that makes people want to eat it.


  • The iron content per serving is relatively low compared to many other foods.

  • High sodium levels in bacon may negatively impact those with hypertension.

  • Bacon is high in saturated fat, which should be limited for heart health.

  • Processed meats like bacon may increase certain cancer risks when eaten in excess.

Overall, the lower iron content and less nutritious fat and sodium profiles mean bacon should not be considered a preferred source of dietary iron. While the iron you obtain from bacon is beneficial, you’ll need a varied diet with plentiful amounts of vegetables, beans, lentils and other iron-rich foods to meet your needs. Think of bacon as providing supplemental iron rather than a core source.

Tips to Increase Iron Intake from Bacon

If you do enjoy bacon and want to maximize your iron intake from it, here are some tips:

  • Choose higher fat, thicker cut bacon to increase the iron content per slice

  • Opt for high-quality bacon made from heritage pork breeds that may have more iron

  • Eat bacon with vitamin C foods like orange juice or bell peppers to enhance iron absorption

  • Don’t overlook bacon drippings/grease as an added source of iron

  • Cook bacon properly – charred or overcooked bacon loses iron during high heat

  • Enjoy bacon with iron-rich side dishes like spinach, kale or broccoli

  • Add extra bacon to sandwiches, salads, pasta and other dishes for an iron boost

While bacon shouldn’t be your primary iron source, following these tips can help you incrementally increase your intake from this popular pork product.

Health Benefits of Iron

To wrap up, let’s review some of the key benefits you can experience by getting enough iron from all dietary sources:

  • Increased energy and reduced fatigue

  • Improved exercise and athletic performance

  • Enhanced brain function and concentration

  • Red blood cell production and oxygen circulation

  • Stronger immune function

  • Regulated body temperature

  • Healthy enzyme and hormone activity

Consuming a balanced diet with a variety of iron-rich plant and animal foods can help provide these benefits. While bacon contributes some iron, rely on it sparingly and be sure to include more plentiful sources like lentils, spinach, beef and seafood.

The Bottom Line

Bacon does contain non-heme iron, providing 1-5% of the recommended daily intake per 2-3 slices depending on the type. While a decent source, bacon is far from the most plentiful source of dietary iron compared to foods like oysters, liver, lentils, tofu and spinach that contain significantly higher levels per serving.

Eating bacon in moderation can provide some supplemental iron, but relying on it too heavily means missing out on the wide range of health benefits provided by more iron-dense foods. Use bacon as an iron accent rather than a main source.

How to Lose Fat by Eating Bacon – Dr. Berg


Is bacon full of iron?

Red meat, like beef, is a good source of iron when eaten as part of a healthy diet. One 70 gram serving contains 2.5 milligrams of iron. But you should avoid eating more than 350 grams of red meat per week. Red meat, especially processed meat like bacon and salami, are linked to bowel cancer.

Is there iron on bacon?

Bacon Is Fairly Nutritious Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12. 89% of the RDA for selenium. 53% of the RDA for phosphorus. Decent amounts of the minerals iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

How much iron is in bacon and eggs?

177 g of Bacon and egg sandwich contains 123.90 mcg vitamin A, 0.0 mg vitamin C, 1.59 mcg vitamin D as well as 4.04 mg of iron, 201.78 mg of calcium, 297 mg of potassium. Bacon and egg sandwich belong to ‘Egg/breakfast sandwiches (single code)’ food category. Bacon and egg sandwich nutrition facts and analysis..

How much iron is in cooked bacon?

2.64 mg
15 %
22.68 mg
5 %
198.24 mg
16 %

How much iron is in a serving of bacon?

A typical 3-ounce serving of bacon provides 0.8 milligrams of iron, which is about 4% of the recommended daily value for adults. This may not seem like a lot, but every little bit helps, especially if you’re not getting enough iron from other sources.

Is there iron in blackcurrants?

The blackcurrant has approximately 1 mg of iron per 100 gr. However, it is not a good source of iron since it is non-heme iron and contains little amount.

Is Bacon a good source of iron?

A 1 thick slice of bacon contains about 1% of the daily recommended value of iron per serving. While this may not seem like a lot, it is important to note that bacon is not a significant source of iron. Iron is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in the body’s overall health.

What vitamins are found in bacon?

Turning food into energy B vitamins like those found in small amounts in bacon help your body process the foods you eat into energy. B vitamins also are important in forming red blood cells. But other, healthier foods have these vitamins too, including leafy greens, fish, and beans.

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