Are Nitrates in Bacon Harmful?
?·?Nitrate-Free Bacon. We often see “no nitrates or nitrites added” bacon in the grocery store. How does it differ from regular bacon? Nitrite has long been a controversial food additive, with studies showing it forms carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines when heated in the presence of proteins, like those in bacon. Regular bacon is cured. ?·?Those searching for a bacon-shaped life preserver might cling to natural brands touting “no-nitrites-added” products, but that labeling can be misleading, experts say. Nitrates can come from.
Put healthy meals on the menu with these mouth-watering recipes kids nitartes love. Tuck in to a family dinner that's not only whzt, but is also bursting with goodness. Calling all cheese dodgers! We've rounded up the ultimate cheese-free dinners, just for you.
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Naked Bacon is just that, naked. That means bacon with NO sugar, nitrates, nitrites, chemical solutions, celery, phosphates or water. Instead, we use ultra-high quality ingredients and slow, traditional methods to dry cure and smoke our meat in small batches. Unsmoked bacon rashers sourced from outdoor-bred British pork. No added nitrates. Grill or pan-fry for five to six minutes until crisp. Six rashers per pack. Country of Origin. Made in the UK with M&S assured pork from farms in the UK. Suitable for freezing. LIFE 1w +. Meats that contain nitrates, including bacon, salami, hot dogs, bologna, corned beef, sausage, luncheon meats and cured meats, are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and the United Stated Department of Agriculture as to their nitrate content. These meats contain nitrates .
We've consulted with our team of licensed nutritionists and dietitians to bring you informed recommendations for food products, health aids and nutritional goods to safely and successfully guide you toward making better diet and nutrition choices.
We strive to only recommend products that adhere to our philosophy of eating better while still enjoying what you eat. Bacon is a staple in the American diet. It's a traditional breakfast meat, as well as a food we love to experiment with—remember the bacon craze that gave us bacon lattes and bacon donuts?
But bacon is also one of those supermarket items that are somewhat controversial. To begin with, it should be consumed in moderation because it's not the healthiest food by nature. To add to that, there are many factors that play into the quality of packaged bacon, starting with the quality of the meat used in production, as well as the curing and smoking processes, that can yield anything from top quality bacon, to a product that may be a potential health hazard.
American bacon is made from pork belly. You may see it called "streaky bacon" in other countries, because it has more fat stripes than, say, British bacon. The first step to making bacon is to cure it with a mix of salt, sugar, and seasonings.
Sometimes preserving agents like potassium nitrate and sodium nitrite are added during this step to prevent bacterial growth. Brands that cut corners will inject bacon with this blend in a process called "pumping" , which cuts down on the production time.
Once curing is complete, it's onto smoking. The traditional smoking process can take several days, while a larger-scale production may use a smoke flavoring agent with a convection oven, which cuts down on time. Generally, the two chemical compounds are talked about negatively when it comes to products like bacon. These compounds are often added to processed meats during the curing process, but can be potentially harmful to humans.
That's because nitrosamines, the compounds formed when proteins are broken down in the presence of nitrates and nitrites, have been linked to na increased risk of cancer. However, few people know that even vegetables contain these compounds, which occur in them naturally based on the soil they're grown in.
If you want to avoid these compounds, look for a label that reads "uncured bacon, no nitrates or nitrites added," according to USDA guidelines. But let's be clear—there's no need to automatically demonize any brand or small producer using these in their product. Naturally occurring nitrates and nitrites, like ones in beets and celery, may have health benefits. If you're looking for a distinction on what types on nitrates and nitrites were used, the label "no chemical nitrites and nitrates added" will tell you the compounds in the product are derived from vegetables.
That means, there is "convincing evidence" it may cause cancer. While we don't fully understand the process, we do know that in the natural breakdown of proteins combined with nitrites, nitrosamines are formed. These compounds may be linked to carcinogenic risk and are formed in the highest amounts at high temperatures. General government guidelines for consuming processed meat is to "limit or avoid".
This Whole Foods—exclusive brand uses vegetarian feed for their pigs, and doesn't use crates or cages. The ingredient list is much shorter than that of other bacon brands—it only includes pork, water, brown sugar, salt, vinegar, citrus extract, pomegranate, and rosemary extracts. With only 35 calories and 2 grams per slice, this is the most calorie- and fat-conscious bacon of the line up.
Available at some grocery stores and online, the Vande Rose Farms bacon is essential to mention for its top ratings across many publications and taste tests. This Iowa-based group sources heritage Duroc breed pork known for its flavorful meat and natural marbling from several farms.
They use vegetarian feed and hand-inspect each animal to ensure ideal weight and size. After processing, the bacon is dry-cured for six days and smoked for 12 hours over applewood chips. While the ingredients do contain sodium nitrite and sodium erythorbate for accelerated curing and color development , the company's process shows this is not a "pumping" method. Is this the best nutrition profile when it comes to calories and fat?
But based on dozens of 1 rankings, combined with only mg of sodium per serving which, at 33 grams, is two to three times larger than some other brands' , this pick is the perfect example that calories aren't everything.
Applegate is a brand that prides itself on natural and organic meats, with percent vegetarian diets for their animals and humane farming methods. This bacon contains no fillers, no GMO ingredients, and no chemical nitrates or nitrites.
Remember, celery powder is still naturally high in nitrates. The low calories for a two-slice serving is a major plus if you like plenty of slices for breakfast, but mind the milligrams of sodium. This Target brand bacon has reasonable sodium levels, but slightly higher levels of fat than other brands.
The ingredients do contain curing accelerators and color development enhancers, nitrites and sodium phosphates to retain moisture. So, nutrition-wise this option isn't bad, but the ingredient list does reveal that this brand uses shortcuts in their production methods. Smithfield is the largest pork producer in the world now owned by a Chinese company so it's no surprise they have a wide variety of bacon products available.
This pick doesn't contain added nitrates or nitrites, but does use celery juice which naturally contains the same compound. You'll find turbinado sugar and sea salt on the ingredient list, which may sounds fancier but it's still just sugar and salt.
At milligrams of sodium and only 80 calories per serving, this is one of the better nutritional picks of the bunch. Smithfield's current practices may not align with your personal philosophies, but they do claim to be working toward certain sustainability goals outlined in a sustainability statement.
This thick-cut bacon is almost double the weight of other brands, and contains substantially more sodium. At calories for two slices, be mindful of how much you're consuming four slices in a sandwich is calories in bacon alone. The Hormel bacon contains sodium nitrite but also sodium erythorbate, which is a cure accelerator and stimulates color development in cured meat. Not ideal. You'll find nitrites and sodium ascorbate on the ingredient list of this bacon. Sodium ascorbate is an addition mandated by USDA when bacon goes through the process of "pumping", and the presence of this ingredient is a good signal that subpar production practices were used.
Add to that milligrams of sodium per serving, and the final product is pretty unhelathy. While the nutrition facts on this bacon don't differ too much from some of the better picks, it's the ingredient list that reveals some reason for concern. You'll find sodium phosphates retain moisture , sodium erythrobate color and curing accelerator , and sodium nitrite on the list. That, along with water as the first ingredient, indicates you are getting a lower quality "pumped" product.
A peek at the customer reviews reveals complaints about a lack of consistency in the thickness of slices from super thin to super thick. If you have to eat bacon, get something slightly better than this. Bacon is a controversial food for many, so choosing a top quality option is important. We may earn a commission for anything you purchase through links on this page.
Pricing and availability are accurate as of the piece's initial publication. One serving : 1 slice 11 g , 35 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 2 g protein. One serving : 1 slice 33 g , calories, 13 g of fat, 5 g saturated fat, mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 6 g protein. One serving : 2 slices 14 g , 70 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fats, mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 6 g protein.
One serving : 2 slices 15 g , 90 calories, 7 g fat, 2. One serving : 1 slice 15 grams , 80 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 4 g protein. One serving : 2 slices 24 g , calories, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 8 g protein.
One serving : 2 slices 19 g , 90 calories, 7 g fat, 2. Read more. Read This Next. Groceries 14 Best and Worst Frozen Meatballs Arm yourself with facts before hitting the freezer aisle.
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