{"id":555786993737,"title":"Is SPAM Bad For You? Why We Think it Is","created_at":"2021-08-15T23:43:33-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Is SPAM Bad For You? Why We Think it Is\",\n \"keywords\": \"is spam bad for you, spam classic, spam lite\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD reviews the ingredients in SPAM, explains why we think it’s bad for you based on medical research, and suggests some healthier grab-and-go meat alternatives.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-spam-bad-for-you\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_SPAM_Bad_For_You_Thumbnail.jpg?v=1642458803\",\n\"width\": \"1826\",\n\"height\": \"1826\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/26633248\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31246081\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/food\/nutrition-education-resources-materials\/sodium-your-diet\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/16792218\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/fish-oil-supplements-vs-fish-consumption\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"pork\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"sodium\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"nutrition\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"added sugar\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2021-11-03\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ], \n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cimg width=\"750px\" height=\"167px\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/IsSPAMBadForYouArticleHeaderImageOptimized.png?v=1629086379\" alt=\"Illuminate Labs Is SPAM Bad For You Article header image\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eS\u003c\/span\u003ePAM has been a staple in American households for decades, but with an increasing consumer focus on health, its ingredients are coming under the microscope. The meat comes in a can and is convenient, but may not be the best for your health.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review the ingredients in SPAM, explain why we think it’s bad for you based on medical research, and offer some healthier grab\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eand\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ego meat alternatives.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhat Does SPAM Stand For?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eInterestingly enough, the company actually doesn’t disclose this! On their website they state that the origins of the company name are “only known by a small circle of Hornel Foods executives.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhat is SPAM Made Of?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/SPAM_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1635912701\" alt=\"SPAM ingredients list\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSPAM now has several different products, but the most popular is called SPAM Classic and has used the same six ingredients since the company’s inception: pork, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePork obviously makes up the majority of SPAM, while the other ingredients are mostly for taste and preservative function. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne can of SPAM Classic contains 1,080 calories, 42 g protein, 6 g added sugar and 4,740 mg sodium. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe serving size is listed as only 2 ounces, which we feel is deceptively low. Food companies often list a very small serving size because it makes the dosage of certain ingredients look better on the label. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor example, many Americans are watching their sodium intake, so by splitting a can of SPAM into 6 “servings” the company gets to report that a serving only contains 790 mg of sodium. Realistically the vast majority of consumers will eat more than ⅙ of a can in one serving, and consume a lot more sodium than 790 mg.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs Spam Bad for You?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/SPAMNutritionFactsOptimized.png?v=1629085881\" alt=\"SPAM Classic Nutrition Facts label\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSPAM doesn’t provide very much nutrition value for the calories it contains. As evidenced by the Nutrition Facts label, there aren’t many vitamins and minerals and you can attain a much higher dose of these by eating a healthier meal like a salad or beans and rice.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne of the main reasons we believe that SPAM is bad for you is because it’s primarily composed of processed meat. We know \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/26633248\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003efrom medical research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e that processed meat consumption is associated with increased risk of various types of cancer.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSPAM also contains added sugar for taste. Added sugar has essentially zero nutritional value and is one of the few ingredients that’s nearly universally considered to be harmful \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31246081\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ein medical studies\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. Generally you want to avoid added sugar as much as possible and even reduce its intake to 0. Natural sugars from fruits and vegetables in moderation are fine.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother reason we consider SPAM to be an unhealthy food is because of its salt content. 4,740 mg of sodium is a very high amount for one can, and so even if you only eat half the can (6 oz) you still get 2,370 mg of sodium. That’s more sodium than is recommended for an entire day \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/food\/nutrition-education-resources-materials\/sodium-your-diet\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebased on RDA guidelines\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSodium intake and health is a complex topic and sodium isn’t necessarily bad, but we believe that this high of a potential intake in one sitting isn’t a healthy choice, especially considering so many Americans have high blood pressure and metabolic disorders.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs SPAM Lite Healthier Than SPAM Classic?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMany consumers think that SPAM Lite is healthier than regular SPAM because it has lower calories, but we would disagree with that assessment.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSPAM Lite is mostly formulated with processed, conventionally\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-raised mea\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003et just like SPAM Classic, and actually has more preservative ingredients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIt does have slightly lower sodium, but overall we would say that SPAM Lite is no healthier than regular SPAM.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHealthier Alternatives\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003eGrass-fed Jerky\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIf you’re set on eating a ready\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eto\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-go mea\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003et product, we recommend considering a grass\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-fed jerky without\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e added nitrates.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eGrass\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-fed mea\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003et products are more nutritionally dense \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/16792218\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eand healthier\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e than conventionally raised animal products.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAdded nitrates, which are preservatives, are thought to be one of the reasons why processed meat is associated with increased cancer risk, but the research on this is still early.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eConsumers who have issues with blood pressure may want to look for a jerky which is lower in sodium, but specific dietary guidelines are best discussed with your doctor.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003eCanned Sardines\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSardines are another prepared option which are convenient and a lot healthier than SPAM in our opinion. As we discussed at length in our article on \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/fish-oil-supplements-vs-fish-consumption\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003efish oil supplements\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, whole fish products are extremely high in omega\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-3 fa\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003etty acids (much more so than meat).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOmega\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-3s are associa\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eted with reduced inflammation and reduced cholesterol, which are two issues many Americans battle with.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe recommend sardines in water rather than in oil or salt. Another health benefit of sardines is they’re quite high in calcium due to the bones of the fish.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe believe that SPAM is bad for you, because it’s low in essential nutrients, high in preservatives and sodium and formulated with conventionally raised meat and nitrates.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are significantly healthier options for consumers on\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ethe\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ego, like canned sardines and grass\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003efed beef jerky.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe generally believe that canned meat products should be avoided by health\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e-\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003econscious consumers.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2021-11-03T00:12:31-04:00","updated_at":"2022-10-23T01:35:51-04:00","summary_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"Polaris-Card_yis1o\"\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"Polaris-Card__Section_1b1h1\"\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"Sd8DF\"\u003eWe review the ingredients in SPAM, explain why we think it’s bad for you based on medical research, and suggest some healthier grab-and-go meat alternatives.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e","template_suffix":"","handle":"is-spam-bad-for-you","tags":"_related:nutrition"}

Is SPAM Bad For You? Why We Think it Is

Is SPAM Bad For You? Why We Think it Is


| |
| |


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Illuminate Labs Is SPAM Bad For You Article header image

SPAM has been a staple in American households for decades, but with an increasing consumer focus on health, its ingredients are coming under the microscope. The meat comes in a can and is convenient, but may not be the best for your health.

In this article we’ll review the ingredients in SPAM, explain why we think it’s bad for you based on medical research, and offer some healthier grab-and-go meat alternatives.

What Does SPAM Stand For?

Interestingly enough, the company actually doesn’t disclose this! On their website they state that the origins of the company name are “only known by a small circle of Hornel Foods executives.”

What is SPAM Made Of?

SPAM ingredients list

SPAM now has several different products, but the most popular is called SPAM Classic and has used the same six ingredients since the company’s inception: pork, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate.

Pork obviously makes up the majority of SPAM, while the other ingredients are mostly for taste and preservative function. 

One can of SPAM Classic contains 1,080 calories, 42 g protein, 6 g added sugar and 4,740 mg sodium. 

The serving size is listed as only 2 ounces, which we feel is deceptively low. Food companies often list a very small serving size because it makes the dosage of certain ingredients look better on the label. 

For example, many Americans are watching their sodium intake, so by splitting a can of SPAM into 6 “servings” the company gets to report that a serving only contains 790 mg of sodium. Realistically the vast majority of consumers will eat more than ⅙ of a can in one serving, and consume a lot more sodium than 790 mg.

Is Spam Bad for You?

SPAM Classic Nutrition Facts label

SPAM doesn’t provide very much nutrition value for the calories it contains. As evidenced by the Nutrition Facts label, there aren’t many vitamins and minerals and you can attain a much higher dose of these by eating a healthier meal like a salad or beans and rice.

One of the main reasons we believe that SPAM is bad for you is because it’s primarily composed of processed meat. We know from medical research that processed meat consumption is associated with increased risk of various types of cancer.

SPAM also contains added sugar for taste. Added sugar has essentially zero nutritional value and is one of the few ingredients that’s nearly universally considered to be harmful in medical studies. Generally you want to avoid added sugar as much as possible and even reduce its intake to 0. Natural sugars from fruits and vegetables in moderation are fine.

Another reason we consider SPAM to be an unhealthy food is because of its salt content. 4,740 mg of sodium is a very high amount for one can, and so even if you only eat half the can (6 oz) you still get 2,370 mg of sodium. That’s more sodium than is recommended for an entire day based on RDA guidelines.

Sodium intake and health is a complex topic and sodium isn’t necessarily bad, but we believe that this high of a potential intake in one sitting isn’t a healthy choice, especially considering so many Americans have high blood pressure and metabolic disorders.

Is SPAM Lite Healthier Than SPAM Classic?

Many consumers think that SPAM Lite is healthier than regular SPAM because it has lower calories, but we would disagree with that assessment.

SPAM Lite is mostly formulated with processed, conventionally-raised meat just like SPAM Classic, and actually has more preservative ingredients.

It does have slightly lower sodium, but overall we would say that SPAM Lite is no healthier than regular SPAM.

Healthier Alternatives

Grass-fed Jerky

If you’re set on eating a ready-to-go meat product, we recommend considering a grass-fed jerky without added nitrates.

Grass-fed meat products are more nutritionally dense and healthier than conventionally raised animal products.

Added nitrates, which are preservatives, are thought to be one of the reasons why processed meat is associated with increased cancer risk, but the research on this is still early.

Consumers who have issues with blood pressure may want to look for a jerky which is lower in sodium, but specific dietary guidelines are best discussed with your doctor.

Canned Sardines

Sardines are another prepared option which are convenient and a lot healthier than SPAM in our opinion. As we discussed at length in our article on fish oil supplements, whole fish products are extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids (much more so than meat).

Omega-3s are associated with reduced inflammation and reduced cholesterol, which are two issues many Americans battle with.

We recommend sardines in water rather than in oil or salt. Another health benefit of sardines is they’re quite high in calcium due to the bones of the fish.

Get our most popular articles straight to your inbox
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We believe that SPAM is bad for you, because it’s low in essential nutrients, high in preservatives and sodium and formulated with conventionally raised meat and nitrates.

There are significantly healthier options for consumers on-the-go, like canned sardines and grass-fed beef jerky.

We generally believe that canned meat products should be avoided by health-conscious consumers.




Illuminate Labs is a proud member of

Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/search-bar.liquid