The #1 Best Bacon for High Cholesterol, Says Dietitian
Cholesterol gets a bad rap, but our bodies actually need certain levels of it in order to create hormones and cell membranes. The reason this fatty substance in our blood has a negative connotation attached to it is that many people in the U.S. have cholesterol levels that are too high, which can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.
According to the American Heart Association, high cholesterol can come from "unhealthy" lifestyle choices—including our daily diet. While it's normal to assume that foods high in cholesterol are the leading causes of high cholesterol in our bodies, foods that are high in saturated fats, added sugar, and sodium are more to blame for increasing LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) levels in the body.
Because of this, it's often suggested that those trying to lower their cholesterol should steer clear of processed red meats like sausage, deli meat, or bacon—but are there alternatives to these red meat products that are healthier for those with high cholesterol?
To learn more, we asked Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, about a type of bacon she recommends for those needing to manage their cholesterol.
"I recommend Applegate Naturals Uncured Turkey Bacon because it is free from saturated fat, free from added sugars, and it only contains 150 milligrams of sodium per serving, which is far less than the 1,500-milligram limit of sodium that the American Heart Association suggests."
According to the National Health Society, cutting down on saturated fat and eating healthier, unsaturated fats can help improve your cholesterol significantly. Most regular pork bacon products are extremely high in saturated fat, so it's helpful to stay away from your typical types of bacon when you can. But this turkey bacon only has 1.5 grams of total fat and zero grams of saturated fat.
Too much added sugar is another common culprit of higher cholesterol levels, and some people don't realize that many bacon options have sugar added to them. Thankfully, this Applegate option has zero added sugar.
"Applegate Turkey Bacon is also made with zero antibiotics, the animals are humanely raised, and it contains no fillers," says Manaker, "so as long as the bacon is consumed as part of an overall heart-healthy diet, including this variety will be your best bacon choice for healthy cholesterol."