Bacon lovers, listen up!
If you’re a fan of Oscar Mayer’s bacon, you may be wondering whether it contains nitrates. After all, nitrates have been linked to health concerns like cancer, and many people are trying to avoid them in their diets.
The answer is a bit complicated, as Oscar Mayer offers several different types of bacon. Some contain nitrates, while others do not.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Oscar Mayer’s bacon products and help you determine which ones are right for you.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn everything you need to know about Oscar Mayer bacon and nitrates.
Does Oscar Mayer Bacon Have Nitrates?
As mentioned earlier, Oscar Mayer offers a variety of bacon products, and not all of them contain nitrates.
First, let’s take a look at their Naturally Hardwood Smoked Bacon. Despite the word “naturally” in the name, this bacon does contain sodium nitrite, an additive that has been linked to health concerns like cancer. So if you’re trying to avoid nitrates, this is not the bacon for you.
However, Oscar Mayer also offers a line of natural cold cuts and bacon that are made without nitrates or nitrites. Their Natural Smoked Uncured Bacon and Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon both contain no added nitrates or nitrites, except for those naturally occurring in celery juice and sea salt.
Additionally, Oscar Mayer’s Natural Smoked Uncured Bacon Slices have no artificial ingredients and are minimally processed. They also contain no added nitrates or nitrites, except for those naturally occurring in celery juice and sea salt.
So if you’re looking for bacon without nitrates, Oscar Mayer does offer options. Just be sure to read the packaging carefully to ensure you’re choosing the right product for your needs.
What Are Nitrates And Why Are They A Concern?
Nitrates are compounds made up of nitrogen and oxygen molecules that are found naturally in plants like leafy greens, beets, and celery. They are also added to processed meats as a preservative or to enhance flavor, color, and texture. While nitrates are essential compounds, they can become hazardous if they form nitrosamines, which are cancer-causing compounds. Nitrosamines can form when nitrates or nitrites are cooked at high heat, especially when they are in close proximity to proteins like amino acids.
Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats often contain high levels of added nitrates or nitrites, which can increase the risk for cancer. However, studies suggest that eating foods rich in natural nitrates can help reduce the risk of chronic health conditions like cancer. Vegetables like leafy greens are actually much richer in nitrates than cured meats.
It’s important to note that not all forms of nitrates are bad. In general, the naturally occurring nitrates in many types of produce are safe to consume. However, added nitrates like the ones found in processed meats should be limited or avoided altogether. It’s also important to read packaging carefully and choose minimally processed options without added nitrates or nitrites if you’re trying to avoid them.
Types Of Oscar Mayer Bacon That Contain Nitrates
If you’re a bacon lover who doesn’t mind consuming nitrates, then Oscar Mayer has a few options for you. Their Naturally Hardwood Smoked Bacon contains sodium nitrite, which is commonly used as a preservative in processed meats. This bacon is not recommended for those who are trying to avoid nitrates.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for bacon with a lower nitrate content, Oscar Mayer also offers a line of natural cold cuts and bacon. However, it’s important to note that their Natural Uncured Bacon and Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon still contain some naturally occurring nitrates and nitrites from celery juice and sea salt.
It’s also worth mentioning that Oscar Mayer uses a mixture of malt, birch, and beechwood from Northern Wisconsin to smoke some of their bacon products. While these woods do not contain nitrates themselves, they can contribute to the formation of nitrosamines – compounds that have been linked to cancer.
Types Of Oscar Mayer Bacon That Do Not Contain Nitrates
For those who want to enjoy the taste of bacon without the added nitrates, Oscar Mayer has a few options to choose from.
First, there’s the Oscar Mayer Natural Smoked Uncured Bacon, which contains no chemical ingredients, preservatives, or added nitrates or nitrites, except for those found naturally in celery juice and sea salt. This bacon is made with natural hardwood smoke for that classic smoky flavor.
Another option is the Oscar Mayer Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon, which also contains no added nitrates or nitrites, 58% less fat than regular bacon, no artificial preservatives, and no added hormones. This turkey bacon still has all the flavor you crave without any of the added chemicals.
Lastly, there’s the Oscar Mayer Natural Fully Cooked Uncured Bacon, which is 100% real uncured bacon with no artificial ingredients and is minimally processed with no nitrates or nitrites added except those naturally occurring in cultured celery juice and sea salt. This bacon is fully cooked and ready-to-eat, making it a convenient option for busy mornings or quick meals.
Are There Any Health Benefits To Consuming Nitrates?
Despite the potential health concerns associated with nitrates, there are also potential health benefits to consuming them in moderation. When we consume nitrates from plant-based sources, our bodies convert them into nitric oxide, which has been shown to have various benefits. Nitric oxide can help regulate blood pressure, improve circulation, and boost heart health. In fact, consuming at least 60 milligrams of nitrates from vegetables daily has been shown to significantly reduce the risk for heart disease.
Furthermore, nitrates can also improve athletic performance. A study conducted in 2021 found that active adult men who received nitrates derived from beet juice increased their muscle power output. Nitrate-rich plants also provide other health-promoting nutrients, such as antioxidants and potential anti-inflammatory compounds.
It’s important to note that the potential health benefits of nitrates are primarily associated with natural sources, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than added nitrates found in processed meats. To reduce the risk of health conditions associated with added nitrates, it’s recommended to limit processed foods like beef jerky and hot dogs and to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables instead.
Tips For Choosing A Healthier Bacon Option
If you’re looking to make a healthier bacon choice, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Look for uncured bacon: Uncured bacon is bacon that has not been treated with synthetic nitrates or nitrites. Instead, it is typically cured with natural alternatives like celery juice or sea salt.
2. Consider turkey bacon: Turkey bacon is a leaner option than traditional pork bacon, and many brands offer versions that are free of added nitrates and nitrites.
3. Choose high quality, higher priced bacon: While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest option on the shelf, higher quality bacon is often made with better ingredients and fewer additives.
4. Opt for center cut bacon: Center cut bacon is generally leaner than other cuts, making it a healthier choice.
5. Buy local if possible: Local bacon producers may have more control over their ingredients and production methods, making their products a potentially healthier option.
Remember, while these tips can help you make a healthier bacon choice, bacon should still be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Conclusion: Is Oscar Mayer Bacon With Nitrates Safe To Eat?
Based on the information provided, it is clear that consuming nitrates and nitrites in excess can be harmful to one’s health. These additives have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer. While some studies suggest that the amount of nitrates and nitrites found in processed meats like bacon may not be harmful in moderation, it is still recommended to limit consumption of these additives.
Oscar Mayer bacon products that contain nitrates should be consumed with caution, as they may increase the risk of health problems. However, the company also offers natural bacon products that do not contain added nitrates or nitrites, making them a safer option for those concerned about their health.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not they feel comfortable consuming bacon with nitrates. Those who choose to do so should do so in moderation and be mindful of their overall dietary habits.