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Is Ham For Breakfast Healthy

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Breakfast hamHam is one of the three classic breakfast meats, the other two being bacon and sausage. Though, less calorie dense than its counterparts, it is considered as an unhealthy diet choice by many. Before you curtail your desire for having some flavorful proteinous at breakfast, let’s first analyze the possible health benefits and hazards of consuming ham for breakfast…


Nutritional evaluation

Ham can be defined as cured meat obtained from the hind legs of a pig. Ham is available in a number of varieties, with honey baked ham, smoked ham, and sliced Deli ham being the favorites for breakfast. A number of cooking techniques can be used to prepare breakfast ham, including baking, roasting, grilling, frying, and at times boiling. The nutritional composition of the ham, especially the calorie and fat content of the meat will vary depending upon the type of ham and cooking method used. Below is the typical nutritional value of common varieties of breakfast ham



Dry Smoked Ham

Regular ham Roasted

Sliced Bone-in Ham


100 Kcal

200 Kcal

200 Kcal

Total fat

4 gm

14 gm

5 gm

Saturated fat

1.5 gm

5 gm

2 gm


50 mg

58 mg

90 mg


18 gm 

20 gm

33 gm


900 mg

950 mg

1000 mg



eggs benedictHealth benefits of eating Ham for breakfast:

  • Ham is one of the richest sources of protein. Each serving of ham gives a minimum of 18gm of protein. Several studies have shown that having a high protein breakfast prevents mid morning sluggishness and improves mental alertness.
  • Ham is rich in several minerals and vitamins including iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, and vitamins B1 and B2. Also, these nutrients are available in a more absorbable form as compared to other dairy and plant sources.
  • Ham has a high satiety value i.e., you will stay full for a longer time after consuming ham. As a result a ham for breakfast will help you curb your mid morning snacking habits.
  • When compared to other processed meats ham seems to have much less fat and cholesterol content making it a better choice.


Disadvantages of Ham:

The high sodium content of ham is a major disadvantage of consuming this meat regularly. Apart from sodium, nitrites – an additive used in the processing of the meat, are known carcinogens. Regular consumption of ham has been proved to increase the risk of CVD, diabetes, cancers, and COPD. Certain recent studies have linked regular ham consumption to ED in men and PCOD and fibroids in women.


To sum it all, it is not ham per say that is unhealthy, rather the way  it is consumed that needs to be corrected. If you use low fat cooking techniques, include high fiber veggies, and low sodium accompaniments, you need not worry much about the ill effects of preparing ham for breakfast. However, remember moderation is the key to healthy living and consuming ham daily may not be advisable. Restrict cured meat consumption to less than 2 or 3 servings a week.  


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Is Ham For Breakfast Healthy