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Example of bacon in a diabetic meal. Salad with bacon chunks and egg.

How To Enjoy Bacon As A Diabetic

Bacon has a valued role in a healthy diet for many people, but medical professionals agree that it is a complicated dietary choice for diabetics. Its high fat content and salt levels can cause spikes in blood sugar and serious health problems if eaten to excess. But eighty-one percent of Americans need their bacon kick, and diabetics are no exception. Thankfully, there are still ways for those with diabetes to enjoy America’s most beloved breakfast meat without impacting their health. 

Understanding The Problem

According to experts, it’s the “processed” part of meat that poses a problem for people with diabetes, as well as the high salt and saturated fat content. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who eat bacon, sausage and other processed meats have a 19 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, processed meat can cause a cornucopia of diabetic comorbidities, including deep vein thrombosis. The Caring for Diabetes Blog identifies weight control as a preventative measure against deep vein thrombosis, as well as managing blood sugar levels – and reducing your bacon consumption sadly plays a part in this. So how can you still get your bacon fix if you live with diabetes?

Bacon In Moderation

One useful approach is to reframe your idea of bacon: rather than thinking of it as the main part of a meal, consider using it as a condiment or garnish. Because of its intense flavor, a little goes a long way, and a high quality bacon can be used sparingly to deliver the umami hit you crave without spiking your blood sugar. Homemade bacon bits can be made by cutting up a few slices of bacon to service several meals. The bacon can be spread out over days and sprinkled over salads, potatoes, rice, soup, and even vegetable dishes. 

To reduce fat, the website either bake bacon in the oven or even microwave it rather than frying it. When microwaving, the bacon should be cooked over paper towels; when baking, the bacon should be placed on an elevated rack. Aim for crispy bacon that will crumble easily over your meals and deliver an intense hit of flavor. 

Increase The Fiber

While a daily bacon sandwich should probably remain off the cards for people with diabetes, everything can be enjoyed in moderation. You can reduce the spike in your blood sugar by combining a moderate amount of high quality bacon with high fiber, low GI foods. Research shows that fiber plays a valuable role in controlling blood sugar: simply making your sandwich using whole wheat bread will minimize the blood sugar spike. 

By including a piece of fruit or some oatmeal in your breakfast, you can further increase your fiber intake, balance your meal and reduce the bacon’s impact on your blood sugar. If you live with diabetes, you already know that monitoring your food intake is key: simply make room for a piece of bacon in your daily calculations and adjust the rest of the day’s diet accordingly.

If you live with diabetes, it’s important to be mindful of what you eat, and unfortunately, bacon carries some risk for you. However, by choosing high quality bacon, opting for leaner cuts, combining it with high fiber foods and using it in moderation, you can still get the bacon hit you crave.

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Jon Jakoblich
Founder & CEO of Bacon Scouts

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