Does turkey bacon have cholesterol

Turkey: Good for High Cholesterol?

Could a Thanksgiving favorite be the answer to lowering your cholesterol?

If you are watching your cholesterol levels, you know that it is important to look at the cholesterol content, as well as saturated and trans fats, in the foods you consume. Turkey can be an excellent choice if you’re looking to limit your saturated fats, but, of course, it’s all in how you prepare it.

Obviously, if you fry a turkey in high-fat oil, this will raise the fat content of the meat. Whether or not it raises the saturated or trans fat content is determined by the type of oil you fry in. On the flip side, if you roast the meat and let the fat drip into a separate pan, you can cut the level of fat in the turkey.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 3-ounce serving of roasted turkey with skin contains about 22.5 grams of protein, 4.7 grams of fat, and 1.3 grams of saturated fat. Eating that amount of white meat only (i.e., without the skin) gets you 27 grams of protein, just over 2 grams of fat, and 0.6 grams of saturated fat.

Roasted dark meat — including both meat and skin — has just over 22 grams of protein, about 5 grams of total fat, and about 1.5 grams of saturated fat. Dark meat without skin has 21.7 grams of protein, nearly 9.2 grams of fat, and about 2.7 grams of saturated fat.

How Much Cholesterol Should I Have?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a person’s daily cholesterol intake should not exceed 300 mg. Based on that, a 3-ounce portion of light meat without skin gets you 16 percent of that, and skinless dark meat gets you 22 percent. If you eat the skin, you take in another 3 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Have high cholesterol or an existing heart issue? In that case, the AHA says you should have no more than 200 mg of cholesterol a day.

Learn More: Do Avocados Contain Any Cholesterol? “

Dark vs. White Meat

Is white meat healthier than dark meat? Usually, doctors say yes. But according to a 2012 study, taurine, a nutrient found in dark meat, can lower the risk of coronary heart disease in women with high cholesterol. Doctors say the nutrient also may protect people from high blood pressure and diabetes.

In the study, women who had high cholesterol as well as high taurine levels were 60 percent less likely to develop or die from coronary heart disease than those women who had low taurine levels.

In addition to the choice between white or dark meat, choosing a healthier cut can help lower the meat’s fat content. Look for lean or extra lean varieties of turkey. For example, ground turkey will be marked with the fat in the meat on the nutrition label, enabling you to make a more informed purchase.

Get Cooking

Try some of these heart-healthy turkey recipes from around the web!

Heart-Healthy Turkey Chili

The Chunky Chef offers up this heart-healthy turkey chili recipe. To remove more fat from the ground turkey, you can drain it after cooking. Alternatively, choose ground turkey that is made from 100 percent turkey breast. The blogger has some good recommendations for healthy toppings, including avocado, which can raise levels of good-for-you high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Spicy Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

An impressive combination of ground turkey and heart-healthy tomatoes, topped over spaghetti squash, highlight this recipe. This is a low-carb meal as well as one that is heart-healthy, especially if you do not add cheese. Get the recipe!

Turkey Lasagna

In addition to making some healthy substitutions — think low-fat cheese instead of regular full-fat cheese — this recipe uses ground turkey breast instead of ground beef.

Turkey Santa Fe Zucchini Boats

In addition to using meats with less fat content, many people looking to lower their cholesterol try to incorporate more vegetables into their diet. This recipe does just that, and can be made even healthier by using a non- or low-fat variety of cheese.

Italian Turkey Burger Soup

If you’re bored of eating the same old turkey burgers, try turning them into soup. No, really! This healthy turkey soup makes use of fresh herbs for a flavoring that’s savory, but not dry.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

For a low-carb take on Asian favorites, try using lettuce as a wrap. With peppers, ginger, and garlic, these lettuce wraps are bursting with flavor — and healthy nutrients. Get the recipe!

Sriracha Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

Baker by Nature brings you this flavorful recipe that incorporates turkey into Sriracha meatball bowls. This recipe uses Panko breadcrumbs, which typically are lower in sodium than regular breadcrumbs.

Ground beef vs. ground turkey – which comes out on top?

It’s myth-busting time. There are a lot of common misconceptions about beef, and we’re here to change that. When it comes to ground beef and turkey, people often assume one is the healthier option without doing their homework.

We hear and read that if we want to eat healthier, we should replace ground beef with ground turkey. It’s almost ingrained into our minds. But have you ever stopped to read the nutrition labels?

Here are the facts when comparing USDA’s data on 3 oz. servings of 93% lean/7% fat cooked patties:

Ground beef has more:

  • Essential micronutrients, such as Iron, Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin B12
  • Protein

Ground beef has less:

  • Calories
  • Total fat
  • Cholesterol

If you want to save a few dollars and buy the 80% lean/20% fat blend of ground beef, but would still like less fat and calories, check out our post on making ground beef leaner. It’s as easy as rinsing the fat off after browning!

Now that we’ve shared how the nutrition benefits of ground beef, let’s not forget its convenience and versatility. Most ground beef recipes can be done in 30 minutes or less and are super kid-friendly. Check out some of our favorite ground beef recipes to try in your own kitchen! It’s also fantastic for batch cooking.

For tips on shopping for ground beef, click here.

High cholesterol food

Some foods contain cholesterol, but surprisingly they don’t make a big difference to the cholesterol in your blood.

That’s because most of us eat less than 300mg of cholesterol per day – a small amount compared to the amount of saturated fat we eat.

Cholesterol is made mainly in the liver. But it’s also found in animal foods such as eggs, shellfish, meat and dairy products.

Do I need to cut down on dietary cholesterol?

Most people don’t need to cut down on the cholesterol that’s found in foods- so you can still enjoy eggs and shellfish.

It’s much more important to cut down on foods which contain saturated fats. That’s because saturated fats affect how the liver handles cholesterol. So, eating saturated fats can raise your blood cholesterol. Try to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats which are better for your heart.

For some people – those with FH, those who have high cholesterol, and those who are at high risk of or have cardiovascular disease – the recommendation is to limit cholesterol in food to no more than 300mg a day. In the case of FH ideally less than 200 mg a day. Even though dietary cholesterol only has a small effect on blood cholesterol, people with high cholesterol and FH already have high levels of blood cholesterol, so it seems sensible not to eat too much cholesterol in food.

Which foods are high in cholesterol?

All animal foods contain some cholesterol. But by cutting down on the animal foods that contain saturated fats you will be keeping the cholesterol in your diet in check too.

Foods that contain cholesterol and are high in saturated fat.

Full fat dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and cream.

Animal fats, such as butter, ghee, margarines and spreads made from animal fats, lard, suet and dripping.

Fatty meat and processed meat products such as sausages.

There are some foods which are low in saturated fat but high in cholesterol. These include eggs, some shellfish, liver, liver pate and offal. Most people don’t need to cut down on the cholesterol that’s found in these foods.

Foods that contain cholesterol but are low in saturated fat.

Lean meat, especially offal, such as liver, kidney, sweetbreads, heart and tripe

Prawns, crab, lobster, squid, octopus and cuttlefish.

Eggs (the cholesterol is in the yolk).

For people with FH, or who have high cholesterol, or are at high risk of or have cardiovascular disease, you can still eat some of these foods, but you need to be more careful about how often you eat them to ensure you’re keeping within the guidelines. For example, you could eat three or four eggs a week, and shellfish such as prawns up to once or twice a week.

You should avoid liver and offal altogether because they are very rich sources of cholesterol.

The table below shows the amount of cholesterol in these types of foods:-


Cholesterol (mg)

Per Portion


· 1 very large

· 1 large

· 1 medium

· 1 small






· Lamb, raw (100g)

· Calf, raw (100g)

· Chicken, raw (100g)

· Pig, raw (100g)





Liver Pate (40g)



· Pig, raw (100g)

· Lamb, raw (100g)




· 1 Lamb’s heart, raw (191g)

· 1 Pig’s heart, raw (266g)




· Prawns, raw (140g)

· Canned crab in brine (100g)

· Fresh crab meat, cooked (100g)

· Half a cooked lobster (250g)





Some shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters, scallops and clams are all low in cholesterol and in saturated fat and you can eat them as often as you like.

A word about eating liver

Liver is a lean meat which is high in cholesterol. It’s low in saturated fat and high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and vitamins A, B and D.

It’s generally a very healthy food to eat, but it’s so high in vitamin A that it’s best not to eat too much of it. For some people, eating liver often could mean that vitamin A builds up in the body, causing health problems.

The government recommends eating no more than one portion per week of liver or liver pate. If you do eat liver, avoid any supplements that also contain vitamin A in the form of retinol.

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, avoid liver, liver pate and supplements which contain retinol completely.

Women who have been through the menopause should limit liver to no more than once a week.

Foods which don’t contain cholesterol

Cholesterol is only found in foods that come from animals, there is no cholesterol in foods that come from plants. So, there is no cholesterol in fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, beans, peas and lentils.

If you had told Pearl Cantrell that bacon was bad for her, she probably would have laughed. Pearl died just shy of her 106th birthday after eating bacon every day, and she was physically active and loved to dance right up to the end of her life. Pearl regarded bacon as the secret to her long life, and she told Texas TV station KRBC she would eat it at every meal if she could.

Bacon love is at an all-time high, and consumption has skyrocketed in recent years. Americans consume 1.1 billion servings of bacon a year, and 65 percent of us support naming bacon as our national food, the NPD Group reports. But is all this bacon healthy for you?

Overconsuming any processed meat can have adverse health effects, but according to University of Zurich researcher Sabine Rohrmann, these adverse effects can be reduced by eating no more than 0.7 ounces of meat per day (equal to one strip of bacon). She adds that bacon alone will not increase health risks if you maintain an otherwise healthy lifestyle. Not only that, but eating bacon in moderation can bring you some important benefits.

Bacon Has Healthy Fat That Lowers Cholesterol

A medium slice of bacon contains about 3.34 total grams of fat, which includes 1.10 g of saturated fat, 1.48 g of monounsaturated fat, and 0.38 g of polyunsaturated fat, according to FatSecret. Saturated fats do not raise the small, dense type of LDL “bad cholesterol” that is associated with heart disease, but they do raise HDL “good cholesterol,” which fights bad cholesterol. This means that bacon can actually help fight bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Bacon Is Low-Carb

If you’re concerned about carbohydrates, another piece of good news is that bacon is low in carbs. A medium slice of bacon contains 0.1 g of carbs, according to CalorieKing. This amounts to less than 1 percent of the recommended daily allowance, so eating a slice of bacon for breakfast leaves you plenty of room to get your daily carb intake the rest of the day.

Bacon Stops Food Cravings

Do you ever notice how full you feel after having bacon and eggs for breakfast? The saturated fat in bacon has another beneficial side effect: It helps curb junk food cravings. Saturated fats help stabilize blood sugar levels, eliminating the symptoms that lead us to crave sugar and starch. If you’re looking for bacon recipe ideas to help fill you up so you won’t crave junk food, search for some mouthwatering pictures to stimulate your imagination.

Bacon Packs Protein

When bodybuilders discuss diet, one debate that inevitably comes up is whether or not to eat bacon. That’s because bacon is packed with protein. One slice of bacon contains 3 g of protein, according to The Bacon Page. That means 7 thick slices of bacon contain almost as much protein as 5 large hardboiled eggs. An average adult only needs about 0.8 grams of protein a day per kilogram of body weight, equivalent to your weight in pounds times 0.36, according to The Physicians Committee. So if you start your day with a slice of bacon, you’ve got a great start toward meeting your daily protein intake.

Other Benefits of Bacon

Bacon also supplies an impressive array of other essential nutrients. Bacon provides 89 percent of your daily supply of selenium, according to Authority Nutrition, which is important for a healthy thyroid and useful for preventing degenerative eye diseases, hair loss, arthritis and heart disease. Bacon also supplies 53 percent of your daily phosphorus, which builds DNA, fuels muscles with ATP, and helps form strong bones and teeth. Finally, bacon provides niacin, critical to body metabolism, and choline, vital to brain health. Eggs are also a great supply of choline, literally making bacon and eggs a smart breakfast choice.

Is Turkey Bacon Better?

You might be wondering whether turkey bacon is healthier than pork bacon. The answer depends on what health issues you’re concerned with. Turkey bacon is lower in calories with less fat, including less saturated fat, and it also has more iron, phosphorus and folate. However, pork bacon has less sodium and more healthy fat, as well as more protein, zinc, selenium, choline and niacin. What does it all mean? Turkey bacon is better if your main concern is cholesterol, but if you’re more concerned about your blood pressure and sodium intake, go for the pork bacon.

By: Laura Jeffers, MEd, RD, LD

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Some calorie- and fat-conscious eaters choose turkey bacon as a healthy alternative to the pork variety that traditionally graces breakfast tables. But, this substitute is still high in saturated fat and sodium and doesn’t carry as many health benefits as many believe.

In fact, opting for turkey bacon as the “healthier” choice can have a negative impact on your health.

Believing it’s the better option, you may eat too much. I tell my patients to limit bacon products – including turkey bacon – to less than one serving per week in their diet.

Pork bacon comes from the belly of a pig. Turkey bacon is dark and light meat turkey seasoned like bacon and pressed into bacon form.

As with bacon made from pork, turkey bacon is high in saturated fat and sodium – two substances that put you at greater risk for developing heart disease. And the similarities don’t stop there.

Pork vs. turkey: Bacon by the numbers

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.

Calories: Turkey bacon contains fewer calories than pork bacon, but the difference per 2-ounce serving is small – 218 vs. 268 calories.

Fat: The overall fat content in turkey bacon is significantly lower than pork bacon – 14 grams vs. 22 grams. The level of saturated fat is still high, however, with 4 grams vs. 8 grams, respectively. High saturated fat content contributes to heart disease.

Sodium: If you don’t select reduced-sodium bacon, just a few slices can max out your daily recommended intake of salt – less than 1,500 milligrams according to the American Heart Association. Two ounces of turkey bacon has more than 1,900 milligrams of sodium. The same amount of pork bacon contains roughly 1,300 milligrams. In addition to increasing your risk of heart disease, high sodium intake raises the likelihood of kidney stones.

Vitamins: Turkey and pork bacon both provide vitamin B complex nutrients, but pork bacon offers more. Pork also contains more selenium, a mineral that activates certain proteins associated with preventing cancer. Turkey and pork bacon contain roughly the same amount of zinc, which helps control gene activity.

Choose the best turkey bacon

If you choose turkey bacon, follow these tips for the healthiest outcome:

  • Select reduced-sodium varieties.
  • Don’t add salt during the cooking process.
  • Use an indoor grill that allows fat to drip off (don’t pan-fry).
  • Don’t add oil or butter during cooking.
  • Drain cooked bacon on a paper towel to absorb excess grease.

With any food that claims to be healthier, it’s important to be armed with the facts. Portions are always an important consideration as well as the nutritional details.

Diets to balance cholesterol

High blood cholesterol leads you to heart diseases and one of the risk factors of high cholesterol level is being overweight. Overweight might be caused by improper fat disposal by the body, which raises the level of LDL and triglycerides. Hence, losing some extra pounds of the weight will lower cholesterol amount in the bloodstream, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases simultaneously. One effective ways of losing weight are choosing the right diets and exercising.

Saturated fats and sugar are the most common culprits of elevated cholesterol level in human body. Thus, cutting down our consumption of these two substances might be helpful in reducing body weight, which does not only contribute to a better physical appearance, but also to the entire health. Diets which are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol are recommended to maintain proper level of cholesterol in the body. Foods with low cholesterol, high fiber, low saturated fat, and high antioxidants are recommended for healthier heart.

Bacon as a daily diet menu

Bacon has been a popular choice of food for years, especially for breakfast. The most common kind of bacon is made of pork—the meat of pigs, although some other kinds of meats, such as turkey, can also be processed as bacons. These meat go through a curing process for preservation by being soaked in solution of salt and other ingredients.

Bacon contains nutrition which is similar to olive oil—50% monosaturated fats with a large part of oleic acid. Commonly, 10% of pork bacon content is polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can be harmful for the heart. This amount will be higher depending on what diets consumed by the animal whose meat processed into bacons. Hence, if you decide to put bacons into your daily menus, choose one which is processed from pastured pigs, instead of commercially-fed ones, as they are fed a large number of soy and corn.

Is turkey bacon bad for cholesterol?

While bacons derived from pork are often associated a cholesterol raising agent, bacon from turkey is considered as “more friendly” to the blood cholesterol. Hence, this kind of bacon is chosen by those people watching the amount of calories and cholesterol in their diets. Compared to pork bacon, turkey bacon is considered healthier, as it contains lower level of bad fats and food-based cholesterol. Some illustrations are as below:

  • Pork and turkey bacons contain almost similar amount of protein, which is around 20 gram per serving, while the calorie content between the two is slightly different, with turkey bacon containing the lower one.
  • Overall, fat content between the two kinds of bacons is quite distinguishable with turkey bacon containing the lower one. However, both kinds of bacons contain slightly high amount of saturated fats, which may contribute to high cholesterol and heart disease.

Hence, when compared to pork bacons, turkey-made bacons contain lower fats, protein, and calories. Despite this, bacons are highly processed, and highly processed products tend to have higher glycemic index, which means the foods will release sugar to the blood very quickly, heightening the risk of raising cholesterol level.

Salt-preserved foods also add the level of sodium on the bloodstream, which in excessive consumption together with cholesterol will increase the risk of heart diseases. Hence, adding turkey bacons into daily diets—although lower in cholesterol than the pork ones, needs to be thought wisely.

Consuming turkey bacons safely

Whatever foods we decide to consume, moderation is the key point. Avoid consuming certain foods excessively as it may contribute to higher cholesterol level which increases the risk of heart diseases. When consuming turkey bacons—and other meat bacons, you might want to consider some things, such as:

  • Avoid adding salt while cooking, as the bacons have been preserved with a large amount of salt.
  • Consume the bacon with low-cholesterol diet and combine it with green leafy vegetables to suppress the amount of cholesterol.
  • Use only a small amount of oil when frying bacons to reduce the total amount of saturated fats in the menu.
  • Drain cooked bacon on a paper towel after cooking to reduce excess grease. This will reduce fat amount in the entire bacon dish.

Nutrition Low Cholesterol – Daily Food Guide: Meats

TLC Daily Food Guide to Lower Your Cholesterol
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

To lower your blood cholesterol level, choose only the leanest meats, poultry, fish and shellfish.

  • Choose chicken and turkey without skin or remove skin before eating.
  • Some fish, like cod, have less saturated fat than either chicken or meat.
  • Since even the leanest meat, chicken, fish, and shellfish have saturated fat and cholesterol, limit the total amount you eat to 5 ounces or less per day.


In general, chicken and turkey are low in saturated fat, especially when the skin is removed. When shopping for poultry remember:

  • You can buy chicken and turkey pieces with the skin already removed. Or buy pieces with the skin on and remove it yourself before eating . . . it’s easy to do. Remember, the white meat itself always contains less saturated fat than the dark meat.
  • Limit goose and duck. They are high in saturated fat, even with the skin removed.
  • Try fresh ground turkey or chicken that is made from white meat like the breast.
  • Remember that some chicken and turkey hot dogs are lower in saturated fat and total fat than pork and beef hot dogs. There are also “lean” beef hot dogs and vegetarian (made with tofu) franks that are low in fat and saturated fat.

Fish and Shellfish

When shopping for fish and shellfish remember that:

  • Most fish is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than meat or poultry.
  • Shellfish varies in cholesterol content. Shellfish have little saturated fat and total fat. Even shrimp can be enjoyed occasionally on a TLC Diet provided you eat less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol a day. For example, 3 ounces of steamed shrimp has 167 milligrams of cholesterol.

Meat Substitute

Dry peas and beans and tofu (bean curd) are great meat substitutes that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Dry peas and beans also have a lot of fiber, which can help to lower blood cholesterol. Try adding a ½ cup beans to pasta, soups, casseroles, and vegetable dishes. Tofu takes on the flavor of marinades well. Try marinating tofu in a nonfat dressing or a tangy sauce and grilling or baking for a heart healthy dish. For more, please read the TLC Daily Food Guide to Lower Your Cholesterol.

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