The smell of bacon has the power to lift even the stubbornest sleepyhead out of bed. When we pig out to bacon, we indulge in a guilty pleasure that may be comparable to nirvana, but are the crispy, sizzling bacon strips really that unhealthy? Can a slice of bacon with a considerable amount of fat, sodium, and cholesterol still be a part of a healthy diet?

America’s obsession with bacon has only escalated; U.S. bacon sales climbed 9.5 percent in 2013 to an all-time record of about $4 billion, according to MarketWatch. Humans' innate craving for foods that contain salt, sugar, and fat may be to blame for the nation getting so wrapped up in bacon.

A single slice of bacon is only 41 calories and contains 3 grams (g) of fat (one saturated), 3g of protein, and 188 milligrams of sodium. Once bacon is paired with maple syrup or a sweetener of choice, it will then satisfy all three of the innate cravings, making it the ideal food for our taste buds. Moreover, it has also been found to have an umami flavor, which is enhanced by the salt and smoking of bacon.

Click “View Gallery” to see which surprising “health” foods are actually worse for you than bacon’s copious amounts of sodium and fat.