Does bacon have protein?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Does bacon have protein?” and provide information on what exactly is bacon, its nutritional value as well as the protein present in them.

Does bacon have protein?

Yes, bacon has protein. Bacon is a very good source of protein. According to USDA, 3 slices of bacon (34.5 grams) can give around 12 grams of protein.

The protein present in non-vegetarian foods like bacon is also more bioavailable. This makes bacon an excellent protein source. It also has 9 essential amino acids.

What exactly is bacon?

Bacon is obtained from the stomach of a pig. It is properly cured with salt and then smoked before being transported to grocery stores.

Sugar can be sometimes added to bacon too. Bacon contains a lot of fat. When it is heated in a pan, the fat starts to melt. As a result, before being served, bacon can be placed on top of paper towels to drain the excess fat.

In the UK and Canada, bacon can be sometimes taken from the backside of a pig which can give a slight difference in flavor.

Bacon can taste sweet, savory, and salty. Furthermore, the curing process can improve the flavor of bacon. When bacon is cured, salt, herbs, and spices are added to them which can improve its flavor.

What is the nutritional value of bacon?

Bacon does not contain a lot of carbs. It has 0.6 grams of carbs even though sugar can be sometimes added for flavor. There is no fiber either.

3 slices of bacon can give around 160 calories. In the case of fat, bacon contains both saturated and unsaturated fats.

Fat content can change based on the cooking process of bacon. For instance, a slice of pan-fried bacon has 1 gram of fat whereas microwaved bacon can have 0.6 grams. 

What is the protein present in different types of bacon?

  • Slab bacon consists of uncut, cured, and smoked pork that has not been cut. Bacon can be purchased either in the form of slabs or strips. 14 grams of slab bacon (1 slice) can give 5 grams of protein.
  • Buckboard bacon is also called cottage bacon. It is made either from pork shoulder or pork butt. 1 ounce contains 8 grams of protein.
  • Canadian bacon is prepared from the back region of the pork. It is both cured and smoked which gives it a ham-like flavor. 2 slices have 12 grams of protein.
  • Irish bacon is also called English bacon. It has a fatty portion on its outer region. 1 serving can give 17 grams of protein.
  • Peameal bacon is prepared from the back area of the pork. However, it is cured with salt-containing brine. Crushed peas are added to further enhance their flavor. 1 serving can give 15 grams of protein.
  • Speck is bacon that is prepared from the hind legs of the pig. Spices along with juniper berries are added to season the bacon. 1 slice can give 5 grams of protein.
  • Pancetta is Italian bacon that comes in spiral shapes. Cloves or juniper can be added to them for enhancing the flavor. Pancetta can be added to appetizers and side dishes. One serving can give 1.5 grams of protein.
  • Guanciale is Italian bacon that has a higher curing and drying time. The bacon obtained can be soft and fatty. It is often used in carbonara. One serving gives 8 grams of protein.
  • Szalonna is Hungarian bacon that has a combination of garlic and paprika flavor. It can be either sliced or skewered on sticks. This can be roasted over the campfire and then eaten. A slice can give 3 grams of protein.
  • Lap yuk is Chinese bacon that is prepared from a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, soy sauce, and star anise. It can be then hung and air-dried for many days before being served. 4 ounces would give 11 grams of protein.
  • Streaky bacon is bacon that is prepared from pork belly. Salt and spices can be added to this bacon and then it is smoked. 1 serving of streaky bacon can give 7 grams of protein.

What are some disadvantages of consuming bacon?

Bacon is high in fat. It contains nitrates along with nitrites which are carcinogenic in nature. When heated, these nitrates and nitrites convert to nitrosamines which can increase the risk of causing cancer.

Bacon also contains high levels of sodium. Sodium can increase the risk of developing blood pressure. It contains high amounts of saturated fats as well.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Does bacon have protein?” and provided information on what exactly is bacon, its nutritional value as well as the protein present in them.