Is Chorizo Healthier Than Bacon? A Close Look at Two Beloved Pork Products

When it comes to breakfast foods, few are quite as common as sausage and bacon. Although most people have a preference for taste, what most people don’t actually know is which is healthier.

Whether you want to eat a healthier breakfast (or brunch), are just curious about whether sausage or bacon is better for you based on your health goals and nutrient needs, we’ve put together all the information you need on these breakfast staples.

Chorizo and bacon are two of the most beloved pork products around. But when it comes to nutrition, is one better for you than the other?

An Overview of Chorizo and Bacon

Chorizo is a spicy, cured Spanish sausage usually made with pork and pork fat, along with garlic, paprika, spices, and vinegar. The two main types are Spanish-style chorizo and Mexican-style chorizo.

Bacon is a cured and smoked pork product made from pork belly or the pork loin. It’s a staple of American and British cuisines, commonly used in dishes like BLTs, breakfast sandwiches, baked potatoes, and more.

Both chorizo and bacon are processed meats, meaning they have been altered to extend their shelf life or enhance flavor. This processing involves curing, smoking, and the addition of preservatives like nitrates/nitrites.

Nutritional Profile

Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts of chorizo versus bacon:

Chorizo (85g)

  • Calories: 221
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Sodium: 729mg

Bacon (85g)

  • Calories: 553
  • Fat: 48g
  • Saturated Fat: 18g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Sodium: 1,482mg

Bacon is significantly higher in calories, fat, and sodium compared to an equal serving of chorizo. It provides more protein, while chorizo contains a small amount of carbohydrates.

So in terms of overall nutrient profile, chorizo has a slight edge over bacon.


One of the biggest health concerns with processed meats like bacon and chorizo are the preservatives nitrates and nitrites

These compounds can form carcinogenic nitrosamines when exposed to high heat. Studies link nitrates/nitrites to an increased risk of colon cancer and other health issues.

Most chorizo contains nitrates or nitrites. But bacon nearly always contains these compounds at higher levels than other cured meats.

So if minimizing nitrosamine exposure is a priority, chorizo may be a better choice than bacon.

The Verdict: Is Chorizo Healthier Than Bacon?

When comparing chorizo and bacon side-by-side, chorizo comes out slightly ahead in terms of nutrition and potentially harmful compounds:

  • Chorizo is significantly lower in calories, fat, and sodium than bacon.

  • It contains nitrates/nitrites, but lower amounts than standard bacon.

  • Both meats are classified by the WHO as “carcinogenic” due to nitrosamine exposure. But the risk is lower with chorizo.

However, for those following low-carb or keto diets, bacon may be preferred since it contains zero carbs. Ultimately, both foods should be eaten in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet.

To reduce any potential risks, look for nitrate/nitrite-free bacon and chorizo options, or make homemade versions without these additives.

In conclusion, chorizo is probably a slightly healthier choice than bacon. But as with any processed meat, it should not be consumed in large quantities on a regular basis.

is chorizo healthier than bacon

With more calories, comes higher fat and protein values

Using Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage products for reference, sausage contains 9-13 grams of total fat per serving, depending on whether or not your prefer sausage patties or links, with 3-4.5 grams of saturated fats. Yet, a two-slice serving of bacon contains only 5 grams of fat, two of which are saturated fats.

Some fats are good for you, but when choosing the best breakfast meat for you, think about your goals. Based on fat content alone, bacon is the healthier option.

Compared to its competition, bacon is the lower-calorie option

If you are trying to gain, lose, or keep the same amount of weight, you might want to keep these breakfast favorites in mind when you are counting calories. Advertisement.

Highly Processed Meat Danger? It’s not what you think…


Is chorizo good or bad for you?

Chorizo is Not a Health Food Delicious as it is, chorizo is a high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium food. It is low-carb, though—and it fits into a ketogenic diet.

Is chorizo a processed meat?

Processed meat is any meat that’s been treated to make it last longer, or taste better, by adding chemical preservatives such as nitrates. This could be through smoking, curing, or salting the meat. Processed meat includes ham, bacon, corned beef, and some sausages like salami, chorizo and hot dogs.

Is chorizo OK for weight loss?

A: Chorizos can be a rich source of nutrients. It contains high-quality protein and animal fat. If you’re on a low-carb diet or the keto diet for weight loss, chorizo will be fine to go on your weekly meal list. Chorizos are also loaded with vitamin B12, thiamine, and selenium.

Which is healthier bacon or sausage?

Overall, bacon is lower in calories and saturated fat and by trimming visible fat you can lower this again, so from a nutritional stand bacon wins. However, as discussed all processed meats should be eaten in moderation due to their links to cancer.

Is chorizo good for You?

Since the main ingredient is pork, the sausage offers the same beneficial nutrients as found in the fresh meat. Chorizo provides a good source of B vitamins, and it is particularly high in vitamin B1 and vitamin B12. B vitamins play a crucial role in energy production, and they help to produce energy from the food we eat ( 1 ).

Taco vs Burrito: Which is healthier?

Taco and Burrito both are traditional Mexican dish consisting tortilla topped with different fillings. But the major difference is Tacos are small whereas Burritos are large meal. Both of these can be stated healthy if they are made without excess cheese and fats like cream. Better options are adding lots of greens and healthy fats like avocado.

Is chorizo a high calorie food?

In the tables below, you can see the full nutritional values for chorizo per 100 grams. The source of the nutrition data is the reliable NCC Food and Nutrient Database. As shown in the table, chorizo is a high-calorie food that offers large amounts of fat and protein. Does Chorizo Have Any Health Benefits?

Is chorizo a good source of B vitamins?

Chorizo provides a good source of B vitamins, and it is particularly high in vitamin B1 and vitamin B12. B vitamins play a crucial role in energy production, and they help to produce energy from the food we eat ( 1 ). As shown in the nutrition facts section, chorizo supplies more than 24 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Is chorizo a good source of probiotics?

Perhaps surprisingly, chorizo is a source of probiotics in the form of lactobacillus bacteria ( 8, 9 ). Probiotics like lactobacillus are thought to improve gastrointestinal health and, potentially, reduce the risk of obesity and disease ( 10, 11 ).

Is chorizo good for salt-sensitive people?

Therefore, chorizo may not be suitable for these salt-sensitive individuals. With 1235 mg sodium per 100 grams, which is equal to more than three grams of salt, chorizo is a significant source of sodium. Key Point: Chorizo contains substantial amounts of salt, which could be a negative issue for some individuals.

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