Is Ham Healthier Than Bacon? See Similarities & Differences

Ham is a versatile lump of meat used in most American homes for breakfast, launch, and dinner. Bacon, on the other hand, is incorporated into many dishes. But is ham healthier than bacon?

Yes, it is. Ham is considered to be healthier than bacon because it has a lower amount of calories and fat content. It also has a higher amount of protein than its counterpart.

That being said, let’s look at a more concise comparison of both types of meat.

What is ham?

Ham is a lump of meat from a pig’s hind or leg that is salted and cured without smoking. However, some brands sell smoked ham, but they are not as common as dry-cured and wet-cured ham.

The name ham originated from the old English word, “Hamm or hom”, meaning hollow or bend of the knee. These were the names being used to refer to the cut of pork from the hind of a pig, however, it changed over time.

Ham can be eaten raw and can also be cooked further to preference. Although it is not the healthiest processed meat, ham does have a fair amount of nutrients to offer.

The following is the nutritional information on a 100-gram serving of ham, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

  • Calories: 145
  • Protein: 21g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Sodium: 1203mg
  • Potassium: 287mg
  • Cholesterol: 53mg
  • Carbohydrate: 1.5g

It also contains saturated fat, iron, cobalamin, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin D.

What does ham taste like?

The taste of ham is best described as sweet, salty, and savory. Although when it is cooked further, the taste may vary depending on the dish it is cooked in.

Some describe ham to be chewy, and this is because it has a fleshy texture to it. Whether it is smoked, oven-baked, or even sliced thin, ham has a steady thickness to it.

Is ham healthy?

Yes, it is. If eaten in moderate proportions, ham provides several health benefits. It contains a fair amount of protein which is needed to grow, develop, and maintain healthy muscles.

Ham also contains several vitamins that are needed to keep the body healthy.

For example, vitamin B12 is essential for energy metabolism and adequate brain functioning. The zinc and iron found in ham are also important for efficient immune functioning.

What is bacon?

Bacon is meat got from the belly, back, or sides of pigs that is then cured, dried, pickled, or smoked. It consists of mostly fatty parts of a pig; however, there are kinds of bacon made of lean cuts of meat such as turkey and beef.

Bacon dates back to the early 1500s when it got its name bakkon, which means back meat. It is a proto-Germanic name that was later turned into the term bacon. Bacon is mostly used to make dishes such as eggs, soups, or sandwiches.

The following is the nutritional information on a 100-gram serving of bacon, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

  • Calories: 541
  • Fat: 42g
  • Protein: 37g
  • Sodium: 1717mg
  • Carbohydrate: 1.4g
  • Potassium: 565mg
  • Cholesterol: 110mg

It also contains a moderate amount of iron, calcium, cobalamin, magnesium, saturated fat, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B6.

What does bacon taste like?

The taste of bacon is described as salty, sweet, fatty, and often smoky. Although certain things may make its taste differ, ranging from the breed of pig used, what the pig eats, or the curing process used.

Is bacon healthy?

Bacon is a healthy dish to add to your diet; however, you should also monitor your portion sizes. Below are some of the benefits of eating bacon;

Firstly, the vitamin B nutrient in bacon is crucial for boosting brain energy. It is also needed to help prevent brain deficiency.

Also, studies show that a moderate intake of bacon has shown an increase in Vitamin D absorption. Vitamin D which is used to reduce excessive intake of food as it helps keeps you filled.

Bacon is also helpful in maintaining heart health. Since it contains a fair amount of monosaturated fat, which is known to contain oleic acid. This oleic acid plays a very important role in preventing heart-related diseases.

Similarities between ham and bacon

1. They are both processed meat

Processed meat is meat that has been modified to improve both its taste and shelf life. Both ham and bacon are considered to be processed meat.

2. They can both be incorporated into dishes

Both ham and bacon can be used to complement various dishes. This is why they are called go-to meat.

What is the difference between ham and bacon?

1. The cut used

Ham is cut from the hind or legs of a pig, whereas bacon is cut from the belly, back, or sides of a pig.

2. Usage

Ham is precooked and can be eaten raw or can also be cooked further to preference. Bacon, on the other hand, is raw and cannot be eaten until it is cooked.

Although few people practice eating bacon raw, it is not advisable as it is linked to several health conditions. Also, ham is served cold, while bacon is served hot.

Is ham healthier than bacon?

Yes, it is. Ham is healthier than bacon. It has a lower amount of calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol than bacon.

Although, healthier types of bacon like turkey and beef bacon offer a lower amount of calories and fat. These include turkey bacon and beef bacon.


What are the best serving sizes for ham and bacon?

The best portion size for ham and bacon is between 50 – 70g, which is approximately half the size of your palm.

How can you make your ham healthier?

The best way to make your ham healthier is by adding whole grains and vegetables.

Are ham and bacon halal or haram?

Both ham and bacon are considered haram because they are made from pork which is forbidden by Islamic law. However, you can go for halal turkey bacon.

Is ham processed meat?

Yes, it is. Any meat that goes through curing, smoking, salting, or fermentation is processed meat.

Is turkey bacon healthier than pork bacon?

Yes, it is. This is because turkey bacon is made with turkey, which is a healthier lean meat option.


Ham is a healthier alternative to bacon because of its low fat and calorie content. However, if consumed in moderation, they are both healthy meats to add to your diet.

Thanks for reading.

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