Can you eat spam on keto?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat spam on keto?” and discuss should you include spam in the keto diet?

Can you eat spam on a keto diet?

Yes, you can eat spam on keto. Spam is a processed meat product that contains a high amount of fat and reduced amount of carbohydrates and therefore suitable for individuals following a Ketogenic diet. 

Is it okay to eat Spam on any type of Keto Diet?

Yes, it is okay to eat spam on any type of keto diet, if you restrict your portion of spam to 7 per day. 

The ketogenic diet, a specific low-carb diet, has gained immense popularity during the last decade. Classic ketogenic diets are defined as high in fat (90%) and low in carbohydrates (restricting daily carbs to 4%) and proteins (6%). A modified Atkins diet does not restrict energy content and allows 65% fat, 5% carbohydrate, and 30% protein. 

Another ketogenic diet is the very low-energy ketogenic diet which allows 13% carbohydrates, 44% fat, and 43% proteins and provides a total energy intake of <800 kcal/day. The consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods, mostly cereal-based foods, fruits, and vegetables is limited during a ketogenic diet, yet it is not a carbohydrate free diet (2).

In a classic ketogenic diet you are allowed to eat up to 20 g of carbohydrates daily and each portion of spam contains 2.58 g of carbohydrates. Eating 7 portions of spam daily you will totalize 18 g of carbohydrates per day. However, how much you can eat per day depends on the carbohydrate intake from the other sources of carbohydrates of the diet.

In addition, you should be aware of the sodium amount of spam. One portion of 56 g (one slice) contains 790 mg of sodium, corresponding to 34% of the recommended daily sodium intake for Americans. The daily recommendation of sodium is 2,300 mg, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (4).

Should I include spam in my Keto Diet?

Yes, you should include spam in your keto diet, as long as you do it with moderation. As mentioned earlier in this article, spam contains only 2.58 g of carbohydrates in a 56 g slice and is a suitable option in a keto diet.

However, due to the high amount of sodium, you should eat spam with moderation. Although spam is a good source of fat and proteins and contains low amounts of carbohydrates, including large quantities of spam in the diet means to include large quantities of sodium in the diet. 

Salt is included in spam to create special physical properties, such as increased water binding in the muscle tissues, leading to increased yields (more product to sell) and greater tenderness; and to reduce the risk of microbial growth, increasing its shelf life at room temperature.

However, the ingestion of sodium through the ingestion of processed meats may lead to elevated blood pressure (hypertension), which is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease (e.g., stroke and coronary heart disease) (4).

In addition, high consumption of processed meat products has been associated with adverse health effects such as coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus and cancer. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that they classified processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans”, based on sufficient evidence that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer in humans (5).

What is the Nutrient Content of Spam?

The nutrient content of spam are mainly fat and proteins, as spam is a processed meat product. Spam is usually a combination of beef or pork shoulder, salt, sodium nitrate, potato starch, and water, has a long shelf life and does not require refrigeration (3).

The main ingredients of spam are:

  • Pork 
  • Salt 
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Starch derived from potatoes (to preserve moisture and bind the ingredients)
  • Sucrose Nitrate of sodium (preservative)

Although potato starch and sugar are not recommended on a keto diet, they would rarely be a disadvantage due to their reduced amounts in this food.

The following are the nutritional facts and values for 100 grams of original spam, approximately, according to the USDA:

  • 4.6 g of carbohydrates
  • 13.4 g of protein.
  • 26.6 g of fat.
  • 0.64 mg of iron
  • 14 mg of magnesium
  • 1.59 mg of zinc
  • 22.9 micrograms of selenium
  • 1410 mg sodium
  • 315 calories

Other FAQs about Spam that you may be interested in.

Can you eat spam out of the can?

Can you eat spam raw?

Can you eat Raw Spam?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat spam on keto?” and we discussed should you include spam in the keto diet?


  1. Sreenivasan Tantuan, Sandhya, and Christopher D. Viljoen. Determining the presence of undeclared animal species using Real-time PCR in canned and ready-to-eat meat products in South Africa. J Food Sci Technol, 2021, 58, 2699-2704.
  2. Gasparre, Nicola, et al. Nutritional Quality of Gluten-Free Bakery Products Labeled Ketogenic and/or Low-Carb Sold in the Global Market. Foods, 2022, 11, 4095.
  3. Fretts, Amanda M., et al. Associations of processed meat and unprocessed red meat intake with incident diabetes: the Strong Heart Family Study. Am j clin nutr, 2012, 95, 752-758.
  4. Boon, Caitlin S., Christine L. Taylor, and Jane E. Henney, eds. Strategies to reduce sodium intake in the United States. 2010.
  5. Shan, Liran Christine, et al. Consumer preferences towards healthier reformulation of a range of processed meat products: A qualitative exploratory study. Brit Food J, 2017.

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