The quest for the best low sodium bacon

The Quest For The Best Low Sodium Bacon

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Bacon – the sizzling, savory staple that has captured the hearts and taste buds of millions around the world. Its irresistible aroma and crispy texture make it a beloved breakfast item. A flavorful addition to sandwiches, and even a versatile ingredient in various recipes. In the US, the average person consumes 18 pounds of bacon per year.

Those following a low sodium diet, the high sodium content in traditional bacon can be a concern. Enter the quest for the best low sodium bacon.

The Sodium Dilemma

Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body in small amounts.  Humans only need 500 mg of sodium a day to carry out essential functions. However, excessive sodium intake, often found in processed and pre-packaged foods like bacon, can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

The US department of agriculture (USDA) offers general nutrition advice by releasing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every 5 years. The USDA recommends the daily value of sodium intake be less than 2,300 mg in their daily diet.  For individuals aiming to consume less sodium in their diet, opting for lower sodium bacon varieties becomes crucial.

Decoding Lower Sodium Bacon

When navigating the world of low sodium bacon, it’s essential to understand how to read labels and identify the best options. Here are some key factors to consider:

Sodium Content

Check the nutrition label for the sodium content per serving. Use the daily values as a reference on how much of a nutrient to not exceed in a day.  Lower sodium bacon typically contains around 80-160 mg of sodium per slice. Compared their original bacon counterpart, which can contain upwards of 300-400 mg or more.

It’s also important to reference the serving size on the food label. The amounts of nutrients that are listed for this particular size serving of food. Packages can place certain claims on the label. Below is a table from the FDA on what they mean:

FDA Sodium Claims


Look for bacon made from high-quality pork and minimal additives. Some manufacturers offer lower sodium options by using natural curing processes to achieve the desired flavor without excessive salt.

Regular bacon contains sodium phosphate and sodium nitrite. For those needing limit phosphorus, be sure to avoid the ingredients of sodium phosphates on the foods label. To avoid nitrites and nitrate, choosing uncured meat products will be your best bet. 


Certain certifications, such as “Heart-Check Certified” by the American Heart Association can help identify products that meet specific sodium criteria for heart healthy diets. 

American Heart Association Heart-Check Certified logo

Flavor and Texture

While reducing sodium is a priority, flavor and texture shouldn’t be compromised. The best lower sodium versions maintain the perfect balance of great flavor and satisfying crunch that bacon enthusiasts crave.

Is Turkey Bacon Better?

I get this question a lot so let’s break it down in the table comparison below.

Turkey bacon vs. regular bacon comparison table.

As you can see, turkey bacon is lower in calories, total fat, and saturated fat. But higher in cholesterol and about the same amount of sodium. If we’re looking at saturated fat intake, turkey bacon will save you about 10% less saturated fat consumption.

As far as sodium goes, it’s pretty similar. So choosing a lower sodium turkey bacon would reduce the sodium content. It’s important to note that different brands will offer various amounts of nutrients like saturated fats and sodium. So use the food label to help you make your decision.

Top Picks for Lower Sodium Bacon

  1. Butterball Lower Sodium Turkey Bacon: This has 80 mg of sodium per slice. Note that it contains sodium phosphate and sodium nitrite.
  2. Aldi Never Any! Hickory Smoked Uncured Bacon: This bacon is seasoned with a blend of spices and does not contain any added sugar. This makes it a great choice for those watching their sodium and sugar intake. It has 120 mg per slice. It also doesn’t contain sodium phosphate or sodium nitrite. 
  3. Trader Joe’s Uncured Turkey Bacon: For those seeking a lower calorie diet and lower sodium option, turkey bacon can be a suitable alternative. Trader Joe’s offers a turkey bacon variety with 35 calories and around 180 mg per slice. No sodium phosphorus or nitrites.
  4. Hormel Black Label Lower Sodium Bacon: Hormel produces bacon with a rich, smoky flavor and approximately 100 mg per slice. No added phosphates but has sodium nitrite. 
  5. Smithfield Lower Sodium Bacon: Has the lowest amount of sodium per slice at 70 mg. It contains added sodium phosphate and nitrite.

Portion size is important to keep in mind here as the serving size we’re comparing is 1 slice.

My overall pick would be Aldi Never Any! Hickory Smoked Uncured Bacon because it’s lower in sodium plus no added sodium phosphates or nitrites.

Plant-based Options

If you’re seeking a plant-based or vegan bacon versions, I haven’t found one that is low in sodium just yet. But the recipe below is a great alternative and easy to make. You might also like to make these easy low sodium biscuits!


Lower sodium bacon allows bacon lovers to indulge in their favorite breakfast treat without compromising their health goals. By paying attention to sodium content, ingredients, certifications, and flavor, consumers can make informed choices when selecting the best lower sodium bacon for their needs.

Whether enjoyed on its own, crumbled over salads, or added to savory dishes, this alternative offers a delicious solution for those looking to maintain a balanced diet without sacrificing flavor. So go ahead, sizzle up a batch of lower sodium bacon and savor every crispy, savory bite guilt-free!

A white plate full of healthy tempeh bacon

Low Sodium Tempeh Bacon

Tempeh is a great plant-based alternative for those seeking to reduce animal meat. This recipe for low sodium tempeh bacon is a great way to enjoy the flavor of bacon without compromising your health. My favorite way to enjoy this tempeh bacon is on a sandwich like a BLT. You can also add it to soups, beans, salads or any other dish that you want that classic bacon flavor to come through. Enjoy!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 105 kcal


  • 1 pan medium size


  • 8 ounce tempeh
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • Slice tempeh into 1/4 inch slices and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients to make marinade.
  • Line the tempeh on the bottom of a baking dish and pour marinade evenly over the tempeh strips. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or over night.
  • Heat medium pan. When hot add in tempeh in a single layer. Fry each side for 4 minutes until brown and crispy.


Calories: 105kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 224mgPotassium: 154mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 32IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg
Keyword low sodium bacon, low sodium tempeh bacon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

1 thought on “The Quest For The Best Low Sodium Bacon”

  1. The turkey bacon info was helpful thank you and it was a good try with the plant based option, but with I enjoy vegan and vegetarian cooking I am not a fan of imitation meats. I haven’t been able to find one that I enjoyed and tend to focus one making plant based dishes that take advantage of the flavors of they’re ingredients instead of trying to copy something that shouldn’t be part of their composition. Thank you anyway it was and interesting article.

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