Some restaurant menu items have the same amount of saturated fat you'd consume if you ate more than 30 pieces of bacon. When we develop recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen that use bacon, we use it sparingly; 1 medium strip of bacon has 43 calories and 1.1 grams of saturated fat.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting intake of saturated fats to less than 7 percent of daily calories. (That’s 16 grams, if you’re consuming 2,000 calories.) That’s because saturated fats raise levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol in the blood, damaging the heart and arteries, triggering inflammation that may eventually leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Here's we look at how much bacon you'd have to eat to get the amount of saturated fat in some popular restaurant menu items, plus healthier alternatives to order and recipes you can make at home.
—Hilary Meyer, associate food editor for EatingWell
Menu Item & Nutrition: Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza, 770 calories, 55 grams fat, 18 grams sat fat
Number of bacon slices you'd have to eat to get this amount of saturated fat: 16
Better Option at Uno: Farmer's Market Deep Dish Pizza, 540 calories, 35 g fat, 9 g sat fat
Make It Healthier at Home: Sausage, Pepper & Mushroom Pizza and More Healthy Homemade Pizza Recipes »
Menu Item & Nutrition: Shiner Bock BBQ Ribs at Chili's "as served," 1,750 calories, 84 g fat, 29 g sat fat
Number of bacon slices you'd have to eat to get this amount of saturated fat: 26
Better Option at Chili's: Grilled Salmon with Garlic and Herbs "as served," 620 calories, 27 g fat, sat fat 9 g
Make It Healthier at Home: EatingWell's Pulled Pork & BBQ Pulled Chicken Recipes
Menu Item & Nutrition: Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara, 1,440 calories, 88 g fat, 38 g sat fat
Number of bacon slices you'd have to eat to get this amount of saturated fat: 35
Better Option at Olive Garden: Venetian Apricot Chicken, 380 calories, 4 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat
Make It Healthier at Home: Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables and More Low-Cal Pasta Recipes in 30 Minutes