Spam is a highly processed meat packed in cans. It is typically made with six ingredients, pork and ham being the main.

Many people take spam foods in the United States with up to 30% of households using it as a convenient food and 123 million cans of spam bought. This may easily sway one into thinking that Spam foods are perfectly healthy. While it has an amazing flavor and taste according to many users, some loathe it and regard it as an unappetizing type of food. Researchers have also associated Spam with an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.This article will let you know if the consumption of Spam is healthy or bad for you.

What Is Spam?

Spam is meat made by cooking and processing meat then packing them into cans. Pork and ham are used in this context. Other ingredients are used to give the meat a desired taste and flavor. These include salt, sugar, potato starch, sodium nitrite, and water. This meat is then put in vacuum-sealed cans.Spam gained popularity during World War 2 when it was used to feed soldiers. This is because it was cheap and convenient. The manufacturer used pork shoulder to make this product. Currently, many people around the world use Spam. It has a longer shelf life than many processed types of meat. Nutrition Profile of Spam

Spam does not contain many nutrients. It is rather loaded with calories, fat, and sodium. Despite being meat, Spam contains less protein. Iron, zinc, potassium, and copper are some of the macronutrients provided in spam.According to Self-NutritionData, 56 g of Spam provides the following nutrients:174 calories, 15 g of fat, 2 g of carbs, 7 g of proteins, 32% of the recommended daily value (RDV) of sodium, 7% of the RDV of zinc, 4% of the RDV of potassium, 3% of the RDV of iron, and 3% of the RDV of copper. It also contains a fair amount of magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B9 (folate).

Spam Is Highly Processed

Just like any other processed food, processed meat is the one that has been smoked, cured, or dried to increase its taste, texture, and extend its shelf life. There are several types of processed meats Spam being one of them. Others are salami, hot dog, corned beef, bacon, and beef jerky.Several studies have consistently found that consuming processed meat can increase your risk of severe health problems. One study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information examined 448,568 healthy adults. At the end of the study, it was observed that there was an increased risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes with the consumption of processed meat.

Additionally, one can easily have cancer of the colon, rectum, or stomach when they regularly eat processed meat, according to some studies published in PubMed.Furthermore, eating processed meat can also predispose an individual to high blood pressure and respiratory problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Spam Is Loaded With Sodium Nitrate

Many food products contain sodium nitrate as an additive. Many manufactures include this additive to give the food the desired flavor an appealing appearance and to inhibit the growth and multiplication of bacteria.Since Spam is highly heated when processing, sodium nitrate easily gets converted into nitrosamine. Sodium nitrate is unstable in the presence of amino acids and extreme heat, and so it gets converted. Nitrosamine is thought to be a harmful compound to your health.

According to researchers at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there could be an increased risk of stomach ulcers with a large intake of nitrosamine. Another study also found that a high intake of nitrosamine can increase the risk of brain tumors and thyroid cancer.Plus, intake of nitrates or exposure to them has been associated with a higher risk of type 1 diabetes.

Spam Is High In Sodium

Spam provides up to 32% of the daily recommended value of sodium in just a single serving. A high intake of salt may pose some health problems to people who are sensitive to it.Some published studies have shown that a reduced intake of salt may help prevent the severity and control high blood pressure. In people who are sensitive to salt, high intake may complicate bloating.A recent study that examined 268,000 people by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, found that taking salt in large amounts may predispose one to stomach cancer.

Spam Is High In Fat

Spam contains lots of fats. In fact, just a single serving weighing 56 g provides 15 g of fat. As compared to being in proteins and carbs, fat is high in calories to an extent that one fat contains nine calories.This does not mean that fat in calories is bad. Some protein sources like legumes, poultry, and fish contain calories and fats that are definitely good and healthy for you. But that found in Spam tells another story. High and regular intake of foods high in unhealthy fats like Spam, may increase your weight which in turn will increase your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Has Long Shelf Life And Is Convenient

One reason why Spam is a winner of numbers and is popular is that it is convenient and affordable. Its preparation takes a shorter time and doesn’t require many ingredients or spices. Similarly, Spam may last longer before it goes bad especially when it has been stored in good conditions. This makes it better than other canned foods like beef or chicken.You can simply eat Spam directly from the can or just lightly prepare it if you want to cook it. This is because it has already been cooked. Plus, you can eat Spam with a variety of other dishes or add it to various recipes.


Spam is processed meat made from pork and ham. Other ingredients like salt and sugar are to increase its taste and texture. Generally, Spam is not healthy as it is high in sodium, fat, and it has been highly processed.

Julia Davis

Mental health expert MS, University of Latvia I am deeply convinced that each patient needs a unique, individual approach. Therefore, I use different psychotherapy methods in my work. During my studies, I discovered an in-depth interest in people as a whole and the belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and the importance of emotional health in physical health. In my spare time, I enjoy reading (a big fan of thrillers) and going on hikes.