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Bacon remains one of our favorite breakfast foods. We’ve cooked it up to add into breakfast burritos. We’ve fried it to put atop a breakfast sandwich. We’ve spread it out on an English breakfast tray bake. And of course it’s fine to have saddled next to eggs, toast, pancakes, waffles, French toast, or anything else we concoct for the first meal of the day.
There’s a problem: bacon isn’t all that healthy. Like many processed meats, bacon poses some health risks, particularly when eaten in excess. One of those risks is linked to its high sodium content. It’s for this reason that we tend to eat bacon only in moderation. It’s a sometimes food.
Bacon processors can’t erase all the health problems. Some do sell lower sodium versions, though, allowing for bacon lovers on a strict low sodium diet to continue to eat bacon within the limits their doctor has set for them. Many grocers now carry low sodium pork bacon.
Appleton Farms Lower Sodium Bacon is an Aldi Regular Buy. That means you can find it in stores all the time. It’s found in the store’s refrigerated section with the other meats.
At the time of this post, a 16-ounce packet of this bacon costs $3.99. That’s about the same price as other Aldi bacon options. It’s also considerably less than the lower sodium options I can find at Walmart.
Nutritionally, it looks mostly similar to other Aldi bacon options, including Appleton Farms Premium Sliced Bacon. The ingredients are the same, the calories are similar, and the fat and cholesterol content are nearly identical. The sole difference is the lower sodium count. And it is lower: this lower sodium bacon has 50% to 60% of the sodium content of Aldi’s regular bacon options.
Frying it up is the same as with other bacon. Frying it is the most common way to cook it up, but I really like baking my bacon. For this review, I preheated my oven to 425 degrees, placed the bacon on a parchment paper-lined tray, and baked the strips for about 13 minutes or so. They cooked up just about right.
If your palate is used to regular bacon, you’re going to notice the less salty taste this bacon has. Because the saltiness is such a core part of the bacon flavor, this has a blander taste than the traditional kind. Of course, if you’re on a lower sodium diet, this may be a worthwhile tradeoff, since it lets you get your bacon fix with lower sodium. What’s more, if you don’t like the salty flavor of regular bacon — or if you have a recipe where you’d rather have less salt flavor from the bacon — this will accomplish that.
From a texture perspective, though, it hits all the marks. It’s crisp and flaky and has all the versatility of traditional bacon.
If you’re in the market for a lower sodium traditional bacon, this checks off the boxes. It’s inexpensive and fries up the way bacon should. It’s got a crisp texture that you would expect.
If you’re an old hand to low sodium bacon, you should feel right at home here. If not, it’s probably going to be an acquired taste. For my money, I’m probably preferential to turkey bacon, which doesn’t quite have the same taste as traditional bacon but I think is more flavorful than this lower sodium version, and with a similarly low sodium count. But if low sodium and pork bacon is atop your list, Aldi does about as well here as you could ask for.
Not that bacon, but another one from Aldi’s. The least expensive one from Appleton. I grabbed it went off. I should have looked at it before buying. 55% was normal. 45% was all fat, so I tossed it. The good half made two delicious BLTs.
I’ve tried the Appleton Farms lower sodium bacon and here’s my thought. If you’re having bacon and eggs, a BLT or a bacon burger, you’ll notice a slight difference in taste but if you’re looking for a low sodium option, this hits the mark. IF you are using it in cooking (i.e. a quiche, green beans, breakfast casserole, etc.), it is great because it’s not the ‘star of the show’ but rather, a supporting player and you’re likely adding other ingredients that have salt, or are adding salt & pepper to whatever you’re making so you can make up for the lower sodium.
The quality of this and the regular sodium bacon is hit or miss. Usually it’s pretty good, but sometimes the fat to meat ratio is off or the taste isn’t quite right.