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Is Uncured Bacon Healthier or Hype?

The short answer from a dietitian

bacon for breakfast

Q: Is uncured bacon healthier or just hype?

A: If you’re a bacon aficionado, you’re probably tempted by that uncured bacon in your grocer’s meat case.

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Uncured bacon is a misnomer. It’s still cured (or preserved) using natural nitrates found in celery instead of artificial nitrates, but that doesn’t mean you should fry up a sizzling stack.

Evidence is still conflicting whether plant-based nitrates are less harmful than synthetic sodium nitrite. Cooking bacon at high temperatures releases chemicals that the World Health Organization says increases colon cancer risk, too. So, don’t burn your meat and flip it often while cooking.

If you do decide to have a slice, consider serving it alongside a natural dose of vitamin C found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli and more. This vitamin C can block formation of carcinogenic substances during those very occasional indulgences.

Be aware that bacon is the dessert of meats. It should be saved for special occasions, cooked properly and presented alongside a juicy orange to keep your dietitian happy.

— Registered dietitian Ryanne Lachman, RDN, LD

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