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Consumer Reports names best and worst bacon

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Bacon isn't just for breakfast anymore.

The crispy, salty treat is showing up everywhere these days.

But beware: Eating bacon can also be a health-buster. So our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine have just released a comparison, finding what brands are worth the splurge.

Bacon Everywhere These Days

Bacon, it seems, is enjoying its 15 minutes of fame. You can add some sizzle to your tooth-brushing with bacon toothpaste. Satisfy your salty-sweet crave with bacon frosting. There's even bacon soap and bacon bandages.

Remember "Bacon Scope?" It turned out to be a hoax, but many people eagerly clicked on and shared every story about it.

But after testing 15 different bacons, experts at Consumer Reports warn that it is not exactly a health food. Just two slices of pork bacon can have about 80 calories and between 200 and 400 milligrams of sodium.

And lower fat bacon may leave you craving the real thing.

"Some of the bacon we tested is made out of turkey, and while that is a healthier option, it is not going to fool your taste buds into thinking it's the real thing," said Adam Kaplan of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports Top Picks

Consumer Reports top pick is: Kirkland Signature pork bacon from Costco. It is the only one that rates excellent for taste. It crisps up nicely and consistently and has a balanced blend of fat and meat flavors, with just the right amount of smoky sweetness.

One downside: "Kirkland only comes in a giant four-pack, but you can freeze unopened bacon for several months," said Kaplan.

Consumer Reports says two very good alternatives are Oscar Mayer Thick Cut bacon, which has a wood-smoke flavor with some sweetness and Great Value Lower Sodium bacon from Walmart, which is a smart choice if you are watching your sodium.

The magazine did not test any regional Cincinnati brands, such as Hillshire Farm.

Consumer Reports also tested pre-cooked pork bacon but found the ones they tried tended to be tough and chewy.

Consumer Reports wants to remind us that if you're going to eat the good stuff, just eat it less often.

That way you stay healthy, and you don't waste your money.

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