Is Spam Keto Friendly?

Spam is relevantly a popular food amongst all ages of people. Hormel Foods Corporation first introduced this canned pork food. Later on, it got its fame during World War II.  

Are you curious about this canned food’s popularity? Well, Spam was distributed in 41 countries throughout six continents by 2003. Furthermore, it was trademarked in more than 100 countries. And it has 16 different varieties.

Now the real question indicates, is Spam keto friendly? Spam is indeed a keto friendly meal. As we know, ketogenic diets require low carbohydrates. Each serving (1/6 container) of this food contains 1 gram of net carbs.

Similarly, the entire container consists of 6 grams of net carbohydrates. In this article, I will guide you through the benefits of Spam in the keto diet plan.

is spam keto friendly

Spam As A Keto Friendly Food

Spam is an easy food choice if you follow a keto diet plan. As we know, the ketogenic diet consists of high fat, medium protein besides low carbs. Spam food contains these substances in a keto friendly amount.

Spam is made initially of six different ingredients:

  • Ham with pork shoulder (cured leg of the pig)
  • Potato starch
  • Salt
  • Water (to keep the moisture balanced)
  • Sodium nitrate (used for preserving)
  • Sugar

Now, these ingredients may seem a little contradicting as ketogenic. These might not be suitable to add to a healthy meal as well. However, Spam is still considered a keto friendly meal because of its proportions of carbs, fat, and proteins.

Spam Classic

Spam’s substances of various ingredients make it a keto friendly food. Besides carbohydrates, this food is rich in fat and moderate in protein. 1 serving of Spam Classic has 1 gram of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of net carbs, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and 180 calories.

Nutritional Facts In Classic

The macronutrients in a 2-ounce portion are,

  • 180 calories
  • 1 gram net carbohydrate
  • 16 grams of fat
  • 7 grams of protein
  • 790 mg of sodium
  • 26 mg of calcium
  • 94 mg of potassium

This chart shows an impressive set of nutritional values for a ketogenic diet.

How Is It Made?

As we already know, the original Spam was made of six ingredients—pork, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, sodium nitrite, and ham meat. The pork and meat are counted as one as they get mixed.

The majority of the ingredients are straightforwardly used. According to the company, sodium nitrite is “a preservation to help maintain freshness,” component here. Based on Schend’s explanation, this sodium nitrate is a less reliable substance.

The company claims to use this ingredient to maintain quality. However, sodium nitrate can cause high blood pressure and various health concerns. So, experts do not like this product as a preserver in Spam.

Spam Lite

This Spam Lite was specifically created to make this food healthier. Even though the classic one is famous for its proportions of ingredients, the “Lite” version is renowned for its health purposes. Let’s take a look at their differences.

spam lite

What Is Different Than The Classic?

The main difference was to reduce the sodium variants in the lite version. It benefits consumers with reduce the risk of various heart diseases, high blood pressure, and similar medical issues.

The secondary purpose aims to provide taste and diversity to the meal. Users must thoroughly verify the sugar and carb levels of this product line. People with severe medical issues must consult with their nutritionists before consumption.

Nutritional Facts In Lite

The macronutrients in a 2-ounce portion are,

  • 110 calories
  • 1 net carbohydrate
  • 8 grams of fat
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 580 mg of sodium
  • 26 mg of calcium
  • 188 mg of potassium

How Is It Made?

The making procedure is somewhat similar to the original one. In addition, chicken is mixed with pork and ham. The reason is that chicken meat’s fat level is lower than pork flesh because it is leaner.

Which One Is More Keto Friendly?

If you are still wondering, is Spam keto friendly or not? This discussion with clear out your question. This part will clarify the differences between the two varieties.

keto friendly spam

This lite version may not be for you if you want to follow the ketogenic diet. If you are following a keto diet plan, you are looking for food rich in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs.

According to the proportions of Spam lite, it is not rich in fat. They have reduced the fat portion by adding the chicken mix to make it healthier. Hence, it hardly serves the purpose of a ketogenic diet plan.

On the other hand, Spam classic serves the purpose correctly. It consists adequate amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrate macros. So, this version is more suitable for keto diet plan followers.

Easy Consumption

What makes Spam popular in the current time? The answer is its portability and accessible consumption features. This food has a long shelf life. So, it makes it a good target for busy people. Not to mention, you can eat this food both cold and warm.

Let us see how a pressed can of Classic Spam food is made.

● The first step is to grind the meat after separating the bones.

● Then, they combine all the remaining ingredients with the ground beef and cool them off.

● They squeeze the raw, cold mixture into cans and seal the can with vacuum pressure.

● The meat gets cooked in the can. Then, they refrigerate it properly before serving it.

● Lastly, the cans get tagged and packed. Therefore, Spam is ready to consume and has a long shelf life.

Additionally, it is easy to carry because of its compact and lightweight size. Thus, Campers, hikers, and travelers love canned foods like Spam. Not to mention, these features help the keto diet followers to keep their diet in check.

Furthermore, keto-diet followers need to maintain a proper time for meal consumption. It is a part of the diet plan. Thus, Spam’s well-preserved and compact feature makes it easier to follow a dietary plan.

How Much Keto Friendly Is Spam?

how much keto friendly is spam

There is one thing that you need to keep in mind. Spam’s macronutrients might be keto friendly, but the ingredients might not. The sugar and potato starch that was initially used are not keto friendly.

On the other hand, the main issue remains in the dosage you are consuming. If you add Spam food with your other meals, the portions do not make many differences. However, if you are eating the entire can in one go, you are eating 6 grams of carbohydrates. So, this portion will ruin the ketogenic balance.

Ingredient Effect

Ingredients can vary significantly depending on the kind of can. There are times you can see the original Spam label with slightly different ingredients. The ingredient list directly comes from the spam website. They may have adopted a healthier option over time.

In any case, they’re all based on the same essential components. They are mostly pork and ham. However, the recent editions of the original Spam have adapted a “cleaner” ingredient list. They are,

  • Pork mixed with ham
  • Salt
  • Water for moisture balance
  • The new modified potato starch
  • Sugar
  • Sodium nitrates

This newly adapted list has added the “modified” potato starch. It increases Spam’s eligibility for keto diets. This ingredient is a minimal substance in Spam that does not provide a high amount of carbs.

On the other hand, the sugar level in this food is used in low portions. So, it does not bother the blood glucose level or effects the macros.

This change in properties and new modifications have not spread globally yet. So, other variants of Spam still include the original elements. However, those proportions are not that significant to affect your keto diet plan.

Now, is Spam keto friendly or not? It is up to you to decide. You can add this product to your list to have an easy keto diet plan. Otherwise, you can completely cut it off as a determined keto plan follower.

Different Types Of Spam For Keto Diet

As I have mentioned before, Spam food has 16 different varieties. Each contains different levels of carbohydrates. They come in various flavors and other types of canned meats.

The following table shows the various quantities of net carbohydrates for every type of Spam, single-serving and per container.

Type Of SpamNet Carbs In Single ServingNet Carbs Per Container
Spam Classic1 gram6 grams
Spam Lite1 gram6 grams
Spam Bacon1 gram6 grams
Spam Oven Roasted Turkey1 gram6 grams
Spam Hickory Smoke1 gram6 grams
Spam Hot and Spicy2 grams12 grams
Spam Jalapeno2 grams12 grams
Spam Teriyaki5 grams30 grams
Spam Black Pepper2 grams12 grams
Spam Chorizo4 grams24 grams
Spam Portuguese Sausage1 gram6 grams
Spam Tocino7 grams42 grams
Spam Garlic1 gram6 grams
Spam Cheese1 gram6 grams
Spam Mezclita2 grams12 grams
Spam Spread5 grams30 grams

To be precise, the teriyaki, tocino, and spread variants are not suitable for ketogenic diets. The reason is, these varieties consist of 5 grams and 7 grams of carbohydrates.

These Spam varieties are respectively dense in carbohydrates. The remaining variations contain just 1 or 2 grams of carbs. You can include them in your keto friendly list because of their low carb properties.

Some Delicious Spam Ideas

delicious spam ideas

The best thing about this food is that it can be mixed with various food items. For example,

  • Spam meatball garlic pizza
  • Spam velvet quiche with cheese
  • Spam egg scrambled rice
  • Spam fried rice
  • Spam Mexican cauliflower rice
  • Spam fries

This food has lots of potential that you can utilize and experiment with various dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. When was Spam first introduced?

Hormel invented Spam in 1937. It was made in response to a growing need for non-perishable protein foods. During World War II, this pork-based food became a standard diet for the troops.

Even though the Europeans disliked it, the British were quite fond of this food. However, those stationed on the Pacific front became captivated by it. That is how Spam got its fame.

2. How long can spam last?

Unsealed Spam usually lasts for 2-5 years. After you open it, the container will last for about 7-10 days in your fridge without getting stale. Before putting the container in your bug-out bag, make sure it is past its “best before” date.

3. What is the origin of the name “spam”?

Per the industry’s Spam Museum, Ken Digneau won a $100 naming contest with the moniker. It was a portmanteau phrase meaning “spiced ham.”

Ken was the brother of a Hormel executive. On July 5, 1937, they introduced Spam as a new product.

4. Which country has the highest spam consumption rate?

Spam consumption is the highest in the United States. After that, Korea comes in second. Moreover, the average Hawaiian consumes at least five Spam cans every year.

5. What does the term “spam” mean?

Spam is an abbreviation for “Special Processed American Meat.”

6. Is it necessary to keep Spam refrigerated?

Yes, after opening the can, you need to store it in a closed container and refrigerate it. You can enjoy the food within a few days of opening, similar to any other meat product.

The meat is thoroughly cooked in the can and ready to eat straight away. So, you must refrigerate after opening. However, if the Spam container isn’t opened, there’s no need to keep it refrigerated.

7. What are the ways of storing Spam?

You can store and refrigerate Spam according to the guidelines below:

● Slice up any remaining Spam.
● Make sure you have a Sealable Plastic Container.
● Place the remaining Spam in the plastic container.
● Place the container in the fridge.

8. How can you tell whether Spam went bad?

The simplest method to detect whether your Spam or other canned meats have gone bad is to observe the food. See if Spam has these issues,  

● The can’s top is rounded and dome-shaped rather than flat across.

● The meat has gone rotten, and the can might have molds.

In these cases, your Spam has gone bad. Make sure to throw the can after wrapping it with layers of newspaper or plastics. And be wary of the damaged can.

Final Thoughts

Spam is an excellent food for people with a busy schedule. This food is not only keto friendly but also suitable for meal intake for other dietary followers. Even though the classic one might not be the healthiest choice, different healthy varieties of Spam are available.

If you are still wondering, is Spam keto friendly or not? This article will guide you to find your answer. Hopefully, you will find a good usage of Spam in your daily keto diet routine.

Hey there. I am a registered doctor and founder of this site. The main goal of this site is to help individuals with good food habits, diet, and nutrition. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, exploring different food recipes and diets.

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