General Question

Cosmos's avatar

American bacon vs English bacon : which is healthier?

Asked by Cosmos (648points) June 8th, 2015

American bacon (referred to as ‘streaky’ in the UK) is a different cut to English bacon. Is one healthier than the other?

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19 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You’re asking if bacon, of any kind is healthy? It’s pork belly, cured with nitrates. I don’t know about English bacon, but I’m guessing about the same health factor. But god it is good.

majorrich's avatar

While bacon by any other name would taste as sweet. I found this a very interesting read on the differing styles of bacon. I will stick with my streaky bacon thank you very much thanks to articles such as this And because it is so darned yummy.

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Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

American here who spends several months a year in England. This is a GQ.

Like @majorrich, I ran across the 1st article quoted and found it very interesting. Unfortunately, the information doesn’t include nutritional differences. Thus, I turned to an online shopping website which provides some basic nutritional statistics.

@Adirondackwannabe is correct. Streaky bacon and the preferred bacon in the UK are basically the same. The number of calories in streaky bacon typically runs higher, most likely due to the fat content. Here is an example of each:
Streaky Bacon
UK Bacon

There are other cuts that have less fat. The difference is that, unlike streaky bacon, it is easier to remove the thin strips of fat that surround the meat on “UK bacon”.

jerv's avatar

Bacon isn’t for for those who want to be healthy; it’s for those that want to enjoy the limited time we have between the womb and the grave. If you are worried about which is healthier, you do not know how to bacon.

That said, English “bacon” is basically ham that they didn’t take the fat off of. English and Canadian “bacon” are from an entirely different section of the pig (the loin) than American bacon (the belly), the difference between them being that English “bacon” leaves the fat on and is cured like American bacon, making it about halfway between ham (Canadian “bacon”) and actual bacon.

English “bacon” still has less fat than American bacon, making it marginally healthier, but the actual numbers really vary so much by portion size, curing, and other variables that hard numbers are hard to find.

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JLeslie's avatar

What I remember about the UK is the bacon was not cooked as crisp as we do in America. I figure the UK strip of bacon has way more fat, because they don’t give the fat time to cook off.

It’s odd, because other cuts of meat, like a steak (beef steak) I found the Brits “overcooked” to my expectations as an American.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Isn’t English bacon what we in America call Canadian bacon? just read @jerv‘s answer…

JLeslie's avatar

When I was in the UK (many years ago) I remember getting “American” bacon. I didn’t remember English bacon might be like Canadian bacon. LOL. It gets confusing. My MIL recently ordered breakfast with Canadian bacon not knowing it was different than what she is used to in America (and Mexico for that matter) and she was quite disappointed that it was basically ham.

trailsillustrated's avatar

English ( and Australian) bacon is like skinny pieces of ham, if it’s long cut then you have to cut off the fat, and it’s gross and in the winter even worse. ” streaky” bacon is lovely and crisps up which the other kind doesn’t do.

JLeslie's avatar

@trailsillustrated Then it is similar to Canadian bacon. Do the Australians serve the streaky bacon less done than we do in America? When I cook bacon for my Scottish BIL I do it less done for him too. It tastes like a big blob of fat to me when it’s cooked like that.

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trailsillustrated's avatar

@JLeslie it’s hard to find and is never served as far as I can tell. I have found it! At a shop that has all sorts of international food. The bacon here doesn’t crisp cause it’s basically a piece of ham.

JLeslie's avatar

@trailsillustrated I had no idea it was such a difficult thing to find. Sounds like you could make a fortune importing it! Ha!

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