Is Turkey Bacon a Good Source of Protein?

Turkey bacon has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional pork bacon. With its lower fat and calorie content, turkey bacon is often promoted as a healthier choice. But when it comes to protein content, how does turkey bacon stack up against regular bacon? In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the protein in turkey bacon to determine if it’s truly a good source.

An Overview of Turkey Bacon

Turkey bacon is made from ground or chopped turkey that has been combined with seasonings and other ingredients and shaped to resemble pork bacon strips. The turkey meat used can be white or dark turkey meat, or a combination of the two. Turkey bacon is cooked by frying, baking, or microwaving until it becomes nice and crispy.

While the taste and texture aren’t exactly the same as regular bacon turkey bacon provides a similar smoky, salty, meaty flavor that many people enjoy. It can be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for bacon.

Nutrition Profile of Turkey Bacon

Compared to regular pork bacon, turkey bacon is lower in total fat, saturated fat, and calories. A single slice of pan-fried turkey bacon contains around 30 calories, 2 grams of fat, and less than 1 gram of saturated fat. It also packs about 3 grams of protein.

Turkey bacon is a good source of certain B vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. It also provides minerals such as selenium, phosphorus, and zinc.

However, turkey bacon contains added sugar, sodium, and preservatives like nitrates/nitrites. It’s important to keep these things in mind when evaluating how healthy turkey bacon really is.

Protein Content of Turkey Bacon

Now let’s focus specifically on the protein content.

A typical slice of turkey bacon contains around 3 grams of protein. Meanwhile, a slice of regular pork bacon provides about 4 grams of protein.

So gram for gram, pork bacon actually contains more protein than turkey bacon. The exact protein content can vary between brands, but pork bacon consistently wins out when it comes to protein density.

If you compare protein on a calorie basis, two slices of turkey bacon (60 calories) would provide about 6 grams of protein. Two slices of regular bacon (80 calories) would provide approximately 8 grams of protein.

Overall, regular bacon contains 20-30% more protein than turkey bacon.

Is Turkey Bacon a Good Source of Protein?

Given that turkey is a lean source of protein, you might expect turkey bacon to be high in protein. But since turkey bacon goes through extensive processing, it loses some of the protein advantages of fresh turkey meat.

While turkey bacon does contain a moderate amount of protein, it doesn’t qualify as an excellent source. Three ounces of most meats provides at least 20 grams of protein. Turkey bacon would fall short of that.

Here are some examples of foods that contain significantly more protein than turkey bacon:

  • 3 ounces of chicken breast (28 grams protein)
  • 3 ounces of lean beef (22 grams protein)
  • 3 ounces of cod (20 grams protein)
  • 1 cup of lentils (18 grams protein)
  • 1 cup of edamame (17 grams protein)
  • 1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt (24 grams protein)

So if you’re looking to increase your protein intake, turkey bacon isn’t the optimal choice You’d be better off eating high protein foods like lean meats, fish, legumes, yogurt, eggs, and milk

That being said, turkey bacon can contribute some protein to your diet. If you enjoy the taste and want to keep your overall fat and calorie intake lower, it’s a reasonable option in moderation. Two or three slices would provide 6-9 grams of protein.

Health Concerns With Turkey Bacon

While turkey bacon is lower in fat than pork bacon, there are some potential downsides to eating it frequently or in large amounts.

Turkey bacon is high in sodium A 2-3 slice serving may contain 600-900 mg sodium, which is a substantial amount. Eating too much sodium is linked to high blood pressure

The nitrates and nitrites added to turkey bacon have been associated with a higher risk of certain cancers. Though nitrite-cured turkey bacon is linked to less cancer risk than nitrite-cured pork products, it still may be unhealthy to eat large quantities on a regular basis.

Additionally, like all processed meats, turkey bacon is linked to a small but measurable increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and bowel cancer compared to unprocessed red meats.

For optimal health, processed meats like turkey bacon should be limited. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends eating very little, if any processed meats.

The Bottom Line

Turkey bacon can be a good substitute for regular bacon thanks to its lower calories and fat content. However, it contains significantly less protein than an equal portion of regular pork bacon.

If you’re seeking a high protein food, turkey bacon is not an optimal choice. You’d be better off eating high protein foods like chicken, fish, Greek yogurt, eggs and legumes.

Due to the sodium, nitrates/nitrites, and other health concerns with processed meats, turkey bacon should be eating in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. 2-3 small servings per week is reasonable for most people.

While turkey bacon tastes similar to regular bacon, it doesn’t provide the same excellent source of protein. If you’re looking to increase your protein intake, opt for minimally processed high protein foods rather than turkey bacon.

Is turkey bacon healthier than the regular stuff?


Is turkey bacon a healthy protein?

Turkey bacon is likely healthier for you than conventional bacon since it’s not red meat. Turkey bacon, however, is still processed meat. Stick to small portions, pair it with nutrient-rich foods, and choose nitrate-free versions if you enjoy turkey bacon and want to keep eating it.

Is turkey bacon ok to eat every day?

Just like pork bacon, turkey bacon contains a hefty amount of saturated fat and sodium—two nutrients that, when consumed in excess, can potentially result in some unsavory health outcomes. And just like with any processed meat, eating turkey bacon in excess is not a wise move for your overall health.

What type of bacon has the most protein?

Protein: Each 2-ounce serving of pork or turkey bacon has roughly the same amount of protein. Pork bacon offers 20 grams per serving. Turkey bacon provides 17 grams.

How much protein is in 2 eggs and 2 pieces of turkey bacon?

Nutrition Facts
How much fiber is in 2 Eggs Turkey Bacon Classic? Amount of fiber in 2 Eggs Turkey Bacon Classic: Fiber 7g
How much protein is in 2 Eggs Turkey Bacon Classic? Amount of protein in 2 Eggs Turkey Bacon Classic: Protein 28g
Vitamins and minerals
Fatty acids

Is turkey bacon high in protein?

One serving of turkey bacon is around 8 grams of protein. If you purchase turkey bacon from turkey high only, it can be even higher in protein. As such, it qualifies as a high-protein food. Increasing your protein intake will boost muscle mass, while also supporting your tendon, ligaments and other body tissues.

What are the health benefits of ground turkey?

Ground turkey has multiple benefits. It is a good source of minerals, and B vitamins, rich in proteins, low in fat and it is lower in calories than common turkey.

Is Bacon made of Turkey a good source of B vitamins?

Bacon strips made of turkey also contains small amounts of B vitamins but not enough to consider it a good source that provides nutritional value. The one major difference between bacon made out of pork vs. turkey is that turkey meat is leaner and therefore contains less calories and fat.

Is turkey bacon healthier than pork bacon?

Turkey bacon can be a healthy alternative to conventional bacon, especially if you want to reduce your calorie intake. One strip of turkey bacon has 29.8 calories, whereas the same serving of pork bacon has 43.3 calories. Turkey bacon, however, contains nearly as much fat and sodium as pork bacon. Some turkey bacon may even contain red meat.

Leave a Comment