No more nitrates

No more nitrates

Bacon, sausage, deli meats, jerky, smoked salmon—they’re all tasty ways to get the protein your body needs. Just be sure to get the nitrite-free versions. Here’s why:

Some chemicals with that bacon?

Ever notice the scary-long expiration dates on regular versions of these cured meats? That’s because they’re pumped with artificial nitrites (or nitrates). These chemical preservatives slow the breakdown of fat in the package—and unfortunately, in your body too.

Another reason to skip artificial nitrites: Your liver has to waste its valuable time breaking them down and flushing them from your body. You want to free up your liver to boost your metabolism, burning fat all day, every day, rather than wasting it’s time processing chemicals.

Luckily, it’s easy to find nitrite-free versions of just about everything. Just look for the words “naturally cured” or “no added nitrates or nitrites” on the label. Major brands like Oscar Meyer and Hormel make nitrite-free stuff now, so you’ll find them in pretty much every supermarket these days. Applegate, Coleman Natural, Niman Ranch, and Trader Joe’s are other easy-to-find brands that never add artificial nitrites. Try local organic meat producers, too—they often sell nitrite-free versions.

Nitrite-free meats taste just like the regular kinds, but they’re cured with natural foods like sea salt and celery juice (which contains naturally occurring nitrates that your body easily breaks down).

Always buy nitrite-free:

• Jerky—perfect for your lean-protein Crash Stash. Trader Joe’s carries inexpensive turkey and buffalo jerky with no added nitrites. Or, get creative and make your own with beef, salmon, or any meat you like.

• Bacon (including turkey bacon)

• Sausage (including chicken and turkey sausage)

• Deli meats

• Smoked salmon

Just remember that nitrite-free meats don’t have an artificially inflated shelf life, so keep these frozen until the day before you’re ready to eat them.

Links included in this article will sometimes direct you to the website, where you can learn more about and purchase many of the products mentioned. Please know that Haylie Pomroy has a financial interest in anything that is sold from

49 thoughts on “No more nitrates

  1. I live in Southeast Idaho and the only grocery store in my town is Walmart and Ridleys. 30 miles away is Fred Meyer and Winco but not much else. I am having a really hard time finding nitrate free meats. Any Help? The Nearest Trader Joe’s is more than 300 miles

  2. The Trader Joe Jerky has 5 gram of sugar AND soy sauce that includes wheat, PLUS YOU MUST EAT THE WHOLE PACKAGE-4 oz @ $5.49 per package!!

    • I’d really love to know the answer to this. I had the same question after reading the ingredients in the jerky at Trader Joe’s.

  3. I would love to know where I can get nitrate free meats/foods. I live in Louisville, KY. We have a trader joes and whole foods but couldn’t find any food that says “NITRATE FREE”. Please help.

  4. What brand of nitrate-free turkey bacon are y’all getting? I wish I could use the US Wellness bacon in Phase III…. it IS nitrate-free and sugar-free…..

  5. All the jerky at trader joes has 5g of sugar in it. What is the oz. measurement of a single serv. or snack of jerky? I’m a bit confused about phase 3 and the protein/fat. Do I want one of each or split the difference?

  6. I invested $60 in a Nesco food dehydrator and now make my own turkey and beef jerky. I dont like the Turkey BACON that is out there… anyone know of a brand that tastes good and is nitrate free.

  7. I noticed that most of these have sugar listed as one of the ingredients. Is it still okay to eat them on the plan?

  8. Hi! I live in mexico and according to “PROFECO” laws, there should not be nitrate free foods like turkey deli and such. What can i do about this?

  9. I’m concerned about what chemicals I can and can not have in food! I have 6 days left of the 28days fast metabolism diet, so I am trying to plan ahead with regards to eating and drinking normally!
    I found I site that said some chemicals are good bad and ugly, would you agree? (If that is allowed) Please see the link.

    Thank you

    • Haylie always recommends foods with as few ingredients as possible, and really limiting your use of processed and packaged foods. She does not have a big list like this — although quite a few things on the “good” list she would not like because they are derived from corn.

  10. Can we have nitrate free pork bacon? And if so for which phases

    I brought APPLEGATE ORGANIC Uncured Sunday Bacon. It has no nitrates or nitrites and is gluten and casein free. How does this measure up?


  11. I am on day 1 of phase 3 in week 1 and am doing well with my food selections BUT I am having trouble finding jerky. I have bought a LOT of Nick’s Sticks jerky at Debra’s Natural Foods in Concord MA but really want to find the strip kind of jerky. The Trader Joe’s jerky is nitrate free but has suger and soy… I can’t have it, correct? I would love some suggestions as to maybe some brands I could find online. Thanks so much!!

  12. I have found deli meat that doesn’t have sodium nitrate in it, but it does have sodium phosphate. Is the sodium phosphate OK?

    • Sodium phosphate is a type of salt used instead of nitrates in the curing and preserving process. But it’s much safer than nitrates, and sodium phosphate is on the list of safe additives at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

  13. Costco sells uncured Canadian bacon that is nitrite and nitrate free from Jones Dairy Farm. It has 1 gram of sugar per 3 slice serving. It’s not less than 1 gram sugar, but pretty close, and delicious!

    • Applegate and Wellshire Farms are two brands. Both are nitrate-free. Both have a small amount of sugar in them, which just seems unavoidable. Look for a brand that has “0 grams” of sugar per serving.

  14. I live in a very small town in the midwest. I’m not sure if I can find nitrate free meat where I live. The closest Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods are 4 hours from where I live. While I really want to make this work for me I’m just not sure if I can find nitrate free meat. Would the local butcher be a possibility?

    • Hi. The nitrate-free requirement is for deli meats and turkey bacon. It doesn’t apply to items that aren’t cured. So it’s not an issue to cook your own turkey breast or chicken, or even buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. So if you can’t find nitrate-free lunch meats, then it’s fine to just not use them. You can use the other proteins on the phase.

  15. I’m having a real hard time finding a nitrate free smoked salmon w/ no added sugar. I went to Sprouts today and only found a brand by the name of “Echo Falls”. It’s traditionally smoked and it says it is naturally smoked. It has no added sugar and in the ingredients it states natural hardwood smoke. Can I use this on the Fast Metabolism Diet ? I live in Corona, Ca. Does anyone know anywhere I can buy smoked salmon appropriate for this diet ? Thanks !

  16. Are nitrite/nitrate free, no antbx, no growth hormone or stimulant, vegetarian fed beef hot dogs okay?

    • Haylie includes no sausages on the diet except for chicken or turkey sausage. She tells us that pork and beef sausages are highly processed, and she prefers not to use them.

  17. Christine, are we allowed to have any other deli meats besides the chicken, turkey and roast beef that are listed in the book?

      • Thank you very much! That’s what I thought, but I forgot about the corned beef because it is listed in a different place. Some people are eating/questioning other meats and I wanted back up for my comments to them! I’ll paste/copy this for them.

  18. I am highly allergic to celery. Is there a truly nitrite free jerky that doesn’t cheat by adding “natural” nitrite sources like celery juice?

  19. Does rule #9 (Meats must be nitrate-free) include nitrites too? Some nitrites occur naturally in some foods like celery powder. I notice the blog mentioned both. I would like clarification if possible.

    I am a firm believer in homemade jerky. It isn’t hard to make and taste better than store bought. It makes phase 2 easier for me.

    Thanks ,

    • Hi. Celery juice is fine — that is a natural nitrite (the proper term is nitrite but the common term has become nitrate). It’s the chemical-based nitrite/nitrates you want to avoid. When packaging says “nitrate-free” they mean it’s free from chemical nitrates. It likely still have naturally occurring nitrates from celery juice.
      The homemade jerky is the BEST

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