As among the many polarizing foods on the planet, people tend to have actually a strong opinion as soon as it concerns Spam.

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While part love it for its distinctive flavor and also versatility, rather dismiss it as an unappetizing mystery meat.

This article looks in ~ the nutritional file of Spam and also determines even if it is it’s good for your health.

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Spam is a canned cook meat product do from floor pork and processed ham.

The meat mixture is linked with preservatives and also flavoring agents, such as sugar, salt, potato starch and sodium nitrite, and also then canned, closed and vacuum-sealed.

The product originally got traction during human being War II as a cheap and convenient food to feeding soldiers overseas.

Today, Spam is sold approximately the world and has become a household ingredient favored because that its versatility, lull of preparation, long shelf life and also convenience.


Spam is a popular canned meat product made with ground pork, ham and various flavoring agents and also preservatives.

Nutrition that Spam

Spam is high in sodium, fat and calories.

It also provides a small protein and several micronutrients, such together zinc, potassium, iron and copper.

One two-ounce (56-gram) serving of Spam includes (1):

Calories: 174Protein: 7 gramsCarbs: 2 gramsFat: 15 gramsSodium: 32% that the Reference day-to-day Intake (RDI)Zinc: 7% the the RDIPotassium: 4% of the RDIIron: 3% that the RDICopper: 3% of the RDI

In enhancement to this nutrients, Spam provides little amounts the vitamin C, magnesium, folate and calcium.


Spam is high in calories, fat and sodium but additionally contains part protein, zinc, potassium, iron and copper.

very Processed

Processed meat is any type of meat that has actually been cured, canned, smoked or dried to boost its shelf life and also enhance that taste and texture.

Spam is a kind of handle meat, alongside, for example, warm dogs, bacon, salami, beef jerky and also corned beef.

Eating processed meats has actually been linked with a lengthy list that adverse wellness conditions.

In fact, one examine in 448,568 adults showed that eating processed meat was linked to a greater risk of both diabetes and also coronary heart condition (2).

Similarly, numerous other big studies have found that eating much more processed meat might be associated with a greater risk that colorectal and also stomach cancer (3, 4, 5, 6).

Plus, handle meat has been tied to a higher risk of other conditions, consisting of chronic obstructive pulmonary an illness (COPD) and high blood pressure (7, 8).


Spam is a form of handle meat, and thus eating it might be connected with a higher risk that diabetes, love disease, COPD, high blood pressure and also certain varieties of cancer.

consists of Sodium Nitrite

Spam includes sodium nitrite, a usual food additive the is used to protect against the development of bacteria and also improve the flavor and appearance of the final product.

However, as soon as exposed come high heat and in the visibility of amino acids, nitrites can be converted right into nitrosamine, a danger compound connected with a number of negative health effects.

For example, one evaluation of 61 studies linked a high intake of nitrites and nitrosamine come a greater risk that stomach cancer (9).

Meanwhile, another large review tied nitrite intake to a greater risk that both thyroid cancer and brain tumor formation (10).

Other study has discovered that there may be a link in between nitrite exposure and an boosted risk of kind 1 diabetes — despite results have actually been mixed (11).


Spam contains sodium nitrite, a food additive that might be associated with a greater risk the certain species of cancer and form 1 diabetes.

Loaded v Sodium

Spam is really high in sodium, packing practically one-third of the recommended day-to-day amount into a single serving (1).

Some research shows that some civilization may be more sensitive come the results of salt (12).

People with high blood pressure may especially advantage from reducing salt intake, together studies display that cutting under on salt can help lower blood press (13, 14).

High salt intake may additionally impair the blood flow in salt-sensitive individuals, which can reason issues like bloating and also swelling (15).

What’s more, a testimonial of 10 research studies in end 268,000 people associated a higher intake that sodium through a higher risk the stomach cancer end a duration of 6–15 year (16).


Spam is high in sodium, which may be an concern for people with a sensitivity to salt and also for those with high blood pressure. High sodium intake may also be attached to a greater risk that stomach cancer.

High in Fat

Spam is very high in fat, with about 15 grams in a solitary two-ounce (56-gram) offer (1).

Fat is significantly greater in calories than protein or carbs, v each gram of fat containing around nine calories (17).

Compared to other sources the protein favor meat, poultry, fish or legumes, Spam is significantly greater in fat and calories but offers tiny else in regards to nutrition.

For example, gram-for-gram, Spam has 7.5 time the quantity of fat and nearly twice as countless calories together chicken, no to mention less than fifty percent the quantity of protein (1, 18).

Frequently indulging in high-fat foods items like Spam without making adjustments to various other parts of her diet could potentially increase your in its entirety calorie intake and also contribute to weight obtain in the long run.


contrasted to various other protein sources, Spam is high in fat and also calories however low in protein. Generally eating Spam there is no adjusting your diet and also calorie entry could cause weight gain.

Convenient and also Shelf-Stable

One of the best benefits of Spam is the it’s convenient and easy to prepare when running short on time or with restricted ingredients available.

It’s additionally shelf-stable, which renders it less complicated to share up on compared to perishable protein foodstuffs like chicken or beef.

Because Spam is currently cooked, it deserve to be consumed straight indigenous the can and also requires minimal preparation prior to eating.

It’s additionally highly versatile and also can be included to a wide selection of recipes.

Some of the most well-known ways to gain Spam include adding it come sliders, sandwiches, pasta dishes and rice.


Spam is convenient, shelf-stable, extremely versatile and can be included to a variety of dishes.

The Bottom Line

Though Spam is convenient, straightforward to use and has a lengthy shelf-life, the also really high in fat, calories and sodium and also low in necessary nutrients, such together protein, vitamins and minerals.

Additionally, it’s very processed and contains preservatives like sodium nitrite that may reason several adverse wellness effects.

Therefore, it’s finest to minimization your intake of Spam.

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Instead, opt for healthy protein foods items like meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy product products and legumes as component of a nutritious and balanced diet.


Written by Rachael Link, MS, RD — to update on November 21, 2018

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