Calorie Equations

Shocking Bacon Calorie Equations

BK’s porktastic new sundae? Not as caloric you’d think. Sarah Hedgecock on when bacon makes sense.

AP Photo; Corbis (2)

AP Photo; Corbis (2)

Burger King announced on Thursday its newest dessert (or is it breakfast?) offering: the bacon sundae. This marks the latest in a long list of bacon-based confections that have popped up on American menus in the past few years. But what are the consequences of bacon mania? Surveying everything from bacon burgers to bacon vodka, we look into the nutritional value of a food trend that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

AP Photo

Burger King bacon sundae = 3/4 cup of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream (510 calories)

The latest entry into America’s bacon lexicon, Burger King’s bacon sundae packs an impressive caloric punch for a small dessert. If you wanted more frozen goodness for your caloric budget, you could reach for a serving and a half of Chubby Hubby instead—but where’s the novelty in that?

Adrianna Williams / Corbis; Jamie Grill / Corbis

3 medium bacon slices = 1/2 yogurt parfait (120 calories)

When it comes to breakfast sides, it seems obvious that a yogurt, fruit, and granola parfait is a good choice. But while the average parfait is loaded with sugars, bacon is just, well, bacon. So go ahead: there’s no shame in putting a few slices of pop culture’s favorite meat on your plate. 

jamieanne / Flickr; Corbis

1 maple bacon cupcake = 2/3 Panera blueberry muffin (300 calories)

When choosing among baked treats, you may be inclined to reach for a fruit-packed muffin. But with a maple bacon cupcake logging fewer calories than the antioxidant-loaded “healthier” option, indulge your childhood fantasy and have dessert for breakfast.

Urbanfoodie 33 / Flickr; Rachel Kramer Bussel / Flickr

1 piece chocolate-covered bacon = 2 fried Oreos (210 calories)

Ah, the state fair, the only place where the typical is fat, fried, and on a stick. But don’t be fooled: some silly fairway foods have more merit than others. Choose a fried Oreo, which comes in at half the calories of the even weirder sounding chocolate-covered bacon, and feel more freedom to stuff your face with funnel cake later.

baconnaise.com; Kai Schwabe / Corbis

1 tbsp. regular Baconnaise = 1 tbsp pesto (80 calories)

For everyone who has ever wished bacon were a condiment, we have good news: Baconnaise! (It’s exactly what it sounds like.) Even better, with a calorie count identical to that of healthier-looking pesto, the bacon-lovers’ choice of what to spread on a sandwich has never been easier.

Tracey Thompson / Corbis; McDonald's

BLT = Big Mac (550 calories)

With such a straightforward name, the bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich sounds like a pretty healthy salad-on-bread. Unfortunately, if it comes from one of many fast-food joints, the tomato and lettuce make up for the calories of the butter used to grill the sandwich and, yes, the bacon. You might as well go with a Big Mac.

bakonvodka.com; Like the Grand Canyon / Flickr

1 shot Bakon Vodka = 1 bottle Budweiser Select (100 calories)

Yes, bacon vodka exists. But at 100 calories per shot, all it really has going for it is its weirdness factor. If you’re not really compelled to tell your friends you’ve tried bacon-flavored alcohol, better to go with a low-calorie beer instead.

Wendy's

Wendy's Baconnator = Wendy's BLT cobb salad (660 calories)

If you’ve ever felt torn between Wendy’s greasy Baconnator and its more socially acceptable (but still moderately bacon-y) Cobb salad, anguish no more! As it turns out, the fact that something is a salad does not necessarily mean it is less of a calorie bomb than a giant cheeseburger. Who knew?

5 bacon mints = 3 Tic Tacs

The jury’s still out on whether bacon mints can do anything to actually improve your breath, but we do know one thing: if you’re so serious about counting calories that every breath mint matters, Team Bacon wins again.

baconpop.com; Dan Saelinger / Corbis

1 bag BaconPop popcorn = 2 corn dogs (420 calories)

Bacon-flavored popcorn (from the makers of Baconnaise) sounds like the pork-loving movie fan’s dream. But its calorie count is about twice that of another, more filling pork-based product: the humble corn dog. Non-bacon meats need some love, too.

baconpeanutbrittle.com; Glowimages / Corbis

4 oz. Sir Francis Bacon peanut brittle = 2 oz. creamy peanut butter (340 calories)

In the snack-time face-off between bacon-based candy and this classic sandwich spread, it’s surprising that the bacon brittle has substantially fewer calories. Lesson learned: bacon, in moderation, is a force of good.