Consumer Reports: Bacon flavored everything and alternatives

October 9, 2013 4:00:18 PM PDT
Bacon, it isn't just for breakfast anymore. The crispy, salty treat is showing up everywhere, in pizzas, salads, entrées and even in non-food products.

But beware eating bacon can also be a health-buster.

So Consumer Reports helps you find which brands are worth the splurge.

Bacon, it seems, is enjoying its 15 minutes of fame!

You can add some sizzle to your toothbrushing with bacon toothpaste. Satisfy your salty-sweet crave with bacon frosting. There's even bacon soap and bacon bandages. It feels like there's bacon in the air, everywhere!

But after testing 15 different bacons, experts at Consumer Reports want to remind us that it is not exactly a health food. Just two slices of pork bacon can have about 80 calories and between two and four hundred milligrams of sodium.

"Some of the bacon we tested is made out of turkey, and while that is a healthier option, it is not going to fool your taste buds into thinking it's the real thing," said Adam Kaplan with Consumer Reports.

Instead, try Kirkland Signature pork bacon from Costco. It is the only one that rates excellent for taste.

It crisps up nicely and consistently has a balanced blend of fat and meat flavors, with just the right amount of smoky sweetness.

"Kirkland only comes in a giant four-pack, but you can freeze unopened bacon for several months," adds Kaplan.

Consumer Reports says two very good alternatives are Oscar Mayer Thick Cut bacon, which has a wood-smoke flavor with some sweetness, a nd Great Value Lower Sodium bacon from Walmart which is a smart choice if you are watching your sodium.

Consumer Reports also tested pre-cooked pork bacon but found the ones they tried tended to be tough and chewy.

Consumer Reports wants to remind us that if you're going to eat the good stuff, eat it less often. So instead of having pork bacon strips with breakfast, try mixing bits of it into eggs. The intense flavor means a little goes a long way.