Nitrate-Free Turkey Bacon – The Healthiest Brands for Guilt-Free Goodness

Turkey bacon has long been touted as a healthier alternative to pork bacon. Lower in fat and calories, turkey bacon can help you cut back on processed meats. But many conventional turkey bacons still contain nitrates and nitrites for curing. Thankfully, more turkey bacon brands now offer nitrate- and nitrite-free options.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Are nitrates/nitrites in turkey bacon bad?
  • Benefits of nitrate-free turkey bacon
  • What to look for when buying
  • The best nitrate-free turkey bacon brands
  • Expert tips for cooking it perfectly
  • Other healthier turkey bacon options

So keep reading to learn all about the top nitrate- and nitrite-free turkey bacons to enjoy!

Are Nitrates/Nitrites in Turkey Bacon Bad?

While turkey bacon is already healthier than pork many contain sodium nitrate or nitrite curing agents. But as with regular bacon, these additives come with some health concerns

  • Can form cancer-causing compounds called nitrosamines when cooked at high heat
  • Linked to increased risk of colon cancer and type 2 diabetes
  • May cause inflammation in blood vessels
  • Can trigger migraines in sensitive individuals

While more research is still needed, minimizing consumption of processed meats cured with nitrates/nitrites is recommended for better health.

Benefits of Nitrate-Free Turkey Bacon

Choosing nitrate- and nitrite-free turkey bacon has several advantages

  • Avoids exposure to compounds linked to cancer and inflammation
  • Eliminates migraine triggers for those sensitive to nitrates
  • Still provides protein and savory flavor of turkey bacon without additives
  • Adheres to clean eating habits like Paleo diet or Whole30
  • Gives peace of mind if you’re concerned about processed meat consumption

So you get all the tasty goodness of turkey bacon without the potentially harmful curing agents.

What to Look for When Buying Nitrate-Free Turkey Bacon

When evaluating turkey bacon products, here are some key things to look for:

  • “No nitrates/nitrites added” or “uncured” on label
  • No sodium nitrate or nitrite in ingredients list
  • Uses alternative cures like celery powder instead of sodium nitrite
  • Shorter shelf life of just a few weeks
  • Explicit “nitrate-free” claims on packaging

Beware of labels like “no artificial preservatives.” While true, it still may contain nitrates/nitrites from “natural” sources like celery. Check the fine print to be sure.

The Best Nitrate-Free Turkey Bacon Brands

Here are some of the top brands offering nitrate- and nitrite-free turkey bacon products:

1. Applegate

  • Sunday Bacon – Cured with celery juice powder instead of sodium nitrite. Non-GMO, gluten-free.

  • Organic Turkey Bacon – Uses celery juice concentrate for curing. Humanely raised.

2. Oscar Mayer

  • Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon – While not labeled as such, turkey bacon rarely contains added nitrates.

  • Selects Turkey Bacon – Their premium line of turkey bacon. Minimal ingredients.

3. Wellshire

  • Sugar Free Uncured Turkey Bacon – Celery juice cured. No added sugars.

  • Premium Thick Sliced Uncured Turkey Bacon – Celery juice powder cured.

4. Diestel Family Ranch

  • Uncured Turkey Bacon – Cured with celery powder instead of nitrites. Gluten-free.

  • Heirloom Organic Dry Cured Turkey Bacon – No nitrates or nitrites.

5. Naked Bacon

  • Hickory Smoked Uncured Turkey Bacon – Uses vegetable powders for curing. Minimal ingredients.

  • Peppered Uncured Turkey Bacon – Dash of black pepper. No nitrates/nitrites.

6. Pederson’s Natural Farms

  • Natural Uncured Turkey Bacon – Cured with celery juice powder and vinegar. Gluten-free.

This covers some of the major nitrate-free turkey bacon brands to choose from. Check your local health food stores for even more options.

Expert Tips for Cooking Nitrate-Free Turkey Bacon

Follow these handy tips for cooking and serving your nitrate-free turkey bacon perfectly:

  • Cook at medium to medium-low heat to avoid burning.
  • Bake in the oven on a wire rack lined sheet pan at 400°F for even cooking.
  • Microwave 2-3 slices between paper towels for 1-2 minutes.
  • Blot cooked bacon with paper towels to remove excess fat.
  • Store cooked bacon in the fridge and use within 1 week before it declines in quality.
  • Add to sandwiches, burgers, pizza, salads, pasta, and more to liven up recipes!

With proper cooking methods, you can enjoy the full flavor and texture of your nitrate-free turkey bacon.

Other Healthy Turkey Bacon Options

If you can’t find nitrate-free turkey bacon, opt for these better-for-you turkey bacon alternatives:

  • Organic turkey bacon – Stricter processing standards limit additives.

  • Reduced sodium turkey bacon – Contains 25% less sodium than regular turkey bacon.

  • Turkey bacon strips – Thinner cut turkey bacon with slightly fewer calories.

  • Turkey bacon bits – Great salad topper with lower fat than strips.

  • Prosciutto – Italian dry-cured ham without any nitrate/nitrite additives.

While not completely additive-free, these turkey bacon options still cut back on sodium, fat, and nitrites.

The Bottom Line

Opting for nitrate-free turkey bacon allows you to enjoy the savory flavor without the concerning cancer-linked additives. Brands like Applegate, Diestel, and Wellshire make it easy to go nitrate- and nitrite-free with turkey bacon. Look for “no nitrates/nitrites added” and alternative cures like celery juice on labels. Then cook your turkey bacon at medium heats and incorporate into your favorite recipes for guilt-free goodness!

Turkey Bacon Brands Ranked From Worst To Best


What brand of bacon has no nitrates?

Naked Bacon: All-Natural Bacon Without Nitrates.

What brand of turkey bacon is the healthiest?

If you do not want to give up meat, look for varieties without added nitrations, such as Dietz & Watson Organic Uncured Turkey Bacon. Nitrate-free turkey bacon is leaner, packs more protein, and has slightly less sodium than other options.

Is Oscar Mayer turkey bacon nitrate free?

Enjoy the smoky turkey bacon you love and feel good about eating it! Oscar Mayer Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon has no added nitrates or nitrites, 58% less fat that regular bacon, no artificial preservatives, and no added hormones, but all of the flavor you crave.

Does Trader Joe’s turkey bacon have nitrates?

There is always a downside and sodium is it! Another Trader Joe’s no-nitrate option is the uncured, turkey bacon. Each 30 calorie slice cooks up nicely and tastes more like high quality ham than turkey. Mix it with scrambled egg whites, beans and salsa and stuff into a tortilla.

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