Starting the keto diet can be an overwhelming and lonely process, especially when you can’t turn to your favorite comfort foods for reassurance.
However, this does not always have to be the case, as there are many delicious snacks that you can eat that are both nutritious and ketogenic.
Of course, one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to the keto diet is recording the number of carbohydrates you consume, which can make it difficult to eat canned meats and fast food.
So if you have ever wondered if spam is ketogenic, then you have come to the right place.
In the following article, we have gathered some important information concerning spam and its ketogenic status, so that you can learn more about processed meat and its notable ingredients.
We have also showcased the other spam flavors available and how they could impact your keto diet.
So if you want to know if you can eat spam on keto, this article has everything you need to get started.
If you have ever wondered if spam is keto but don’t have the time to read this article, then we have provided a condensed answer in the section below:
The short and simple answer to this question is yes, spam is considered ketogenic, as the meat is low in carbs and contains a moderate amount of protein.
However, this does not mean that all spam flavors are keto, as some boast a different macro profile to the original recipe.
You also have to consider if spam has any nutritional value, for while it could be classed as ketogenic, the product is also processed and high in fat.
If you want to learn more about spam and its ingredients, then we have compiled some interesting information in the following section…
What Is Spam?
Spam is a canned meat product that was first released in 1937, where it was commonly eaten as a cheap alternative to fresh meat.
Since then, the company has produced several kinds of spam, which can still be found in supermarkets across the country.
While spam has grown into a well-known brand, the original recipe still remains the most popular and contains the following ingredients:
- Pork shoulder
- Ham (the cured leg of a pig)
- Potato starch (to maintain moisture and shape)
- Sodium nitrate (to keep the meat preserved)
While some might contest the ketogenic status of spam, the final decision will often come down to your preferences and personal approach to the diet plan.
So now let’s take a look at how spam is made and how this could impact your ketogenic journey.
How Is Spam Made?
In the following instructions, we have outlined the factory method used to make spam, from the collection of the meat to the final canning process:
- The first step is to separate the meat from the bone and mash it up using a meat grinder.
- When the meat has been grounded, the other ingredients are added to the mixture and everything is chilled.
- This raw cold meat paste is then pressed into rectangular cans and vacuum-sealed for extra freshness.
- These cans are then transported to another part of the factory, where they are cooked and allowed to cool down.
- The finished product is then labeled and packaged, and the spam is ready to eat with a long shelf life.
Because of its long shelf life and manageable size, spam has become a popular product among campers and hikers, as it can be eaten warm or cold.
So now that you understand how the meat is made, let’s take a look at the macro profiles of each spam product.
(The macros per 2-ounce serving)
- Calories – 180
- Net Carbs – 01
- Fat – 16
- Protein – 07
As you can see from the information above, the macro profile of spam is surprisingly good, which means it can be used in any keto meal.
Nowadays, there are at least 15 different varieties of spam available, although they each contain around 7 – 9 grams of protein per serving.
What Makes Them Different?
Because of spam’s questionable ingredients, there have been many attempts to create a healthier version of the product containing less fat and sodium – this would lead to the release of spam lite in the early 2000s.
Beyond this, the company also wanted to give their product a more distinctive flavor, which saw the release of canned meats such as spam bacon and spam tocino.
However, this does not mean that all of these products are ketogenic, as the flavored varieties will commonly contain more sugar and carbs than the original recipe.
(the macros per 2-ounce serving)
- Calories – 110
- Net Carbs – 01
- Fat – 08
- Protein – 09
During the production of spam lite, the ground ham and pork is combined with chicken, as this helps to make the meat leaner and reduce the fat content.
Because of this, the product could be considered too lean for a ketogenic diet, even though it contains medium protein and low-carb macros.
So if you are searching for something more substantial and nutritious, then we recommend choosing the original recipe as the best option.
Not only does classic spam contain more fat and protein, but it also has fewer preservatives, which makes it a healthier choice than other varieties.
When it comes to flavored spam products (such as spam bacon) you will notice that the macros are very similar to the original recipe.
However, this does not mean that the same can be said of spam tocino and spam teriyaki, which contain 7 grams and 5 grams of net carbs per serving.
(The macros per 2-ounce serving – spam tocino)
- Calories – 170
- Net Carbs – 07
- Fat – 13
- Protein – 07
As you can see from the information above, flavored spam products are not ketogenic, as they contain a much higher number of carbs and a significantly higher amount of added sugar.
Can Spam Be Considered Healthy?
While the macro profile of spam should be commended, this does not necessarily mean that the product is healthy.
For example, spam is processed food with a long shelf life, which should already raise alarms about its nutritional value.
Beyond this, the meat product also contains vast amounts of sugar and potato starch, which also confirm it as an unhealthy snack.
However, spam does not contain a decent source of protein and fat, which makes it an acceptable (if not healthy) option for any keto dieter.
So is spam keto? Yes – but that doesn’t mean it’s a healthy product that should be made a permanent fixture of your diet.
While the macro profile of spam could be considered ketogenic, the ingredients and production don’t really fall under this classification, which means the decision comes down to preference and your personal approach to the keto lifestyle.
On the other hand, spam lite is not as ketogenic as the original recipe, as it contains more unhealthy ingredients.
So if you are willing to eat spam on your keto diet, we recommend that you only eat the classic brand, as it contains less sugar and fewer preservatives.