Q: Can you ever eat bacon?
Oz Says: Yes, you can!
All right, I've never prescribed a daily dose of bacon to a patient — and I'm not about to start now — but that doesn't mean there's no room for it in a healthy diet. Bacon has an impressive superpower: It can make just about anything taste delicious, even foods you dislike or aren't in the mood for. If a serving (that's two strips) gets you to eat something healthy that you wouldn't otherwise — say, crumbled over a big salad on a day when greens seem meh — go for it. Just balance out the sodium and calories with everything else you're eating.
Did you know? Picking turkey bacon over pork saves only about 20 calories, so just choose whichever kind you like most.
Pro tip: Naturally cured bacon is best, says Marisa Moore, R.D.: "Artificially cured bacon usually contains nitrates, which have been linked to health problems."
Three Oz-Approved Ways to Eat Bacon
The trick with bacon is to use it as a seasoning, not the main event of your meal. So cook a strip or two until it's crispy, crumble it up, and then…
- Add it to roasted veggies; like our broccoli recipe here (also good: cauliflower, asparagus, carrots).
- Mix it into a leafy green salad with your favorite raw vegetables (we like avocado and tomato).
- Stir it into a bowl of veggies and whole grains, like brown rice or farro.
This story originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.