Read most guides on how to lose weight, and they will often tell you to steer clear of certain meats. You will almost certainly be told to wean yourself off of the beef. Some guides will tell you that chicken is healthy (it is when cooked properly). But very few talk about ham. So, is ham good for weight loss?

Yes. Ham can be good for weight loss. When the fat is trimmed off of ham, it is very low in fat. This reduces the number of calories. Ham is also high in protein and a whole host of other nutrients. This can be beneficial to weight loss. However, as with everything, you are going to need to eat that ham in moderation. 

Is Ham Healthy?

Somewhat. Now, we are not going to go out of our way and say that ham is as healthy as feasting on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. It isn’t. However, if you absolutely must eat meat for your protein intake, then ham is going to be better than most other meat options, except for chicken. 

So, yes. Ham is healthy in the world of meats. In the world of other foods? Not so much. 


The Benefits Of Ham For Weight Loss

There are several benefits to eating ham when you are losing weight.

Low Calorie 

For starters, if the fat has been trimmed off of the ham, then it is going to be ridiculously low in calories. Low calories can equal weight loss.

High in Protein 

Ham is also high in protein. This can assist in your weight loss in several ways. For instance, a high protein diet is good for the metabolism. Study after study has shown that high protein diets result in the metabolism being sped up. This, essentially, means that you are going to be burning off calories far quicker. 

Protein also helps you to feel ‘full’. When you feel full, you are much less likely to snack. Of course, if you are much less likely to snack, you are going to be consuming fewer calories. This leads to quicker weight loss.

Protein is also important when you are working out. It assists with the repair and growth of muscles. This is important. When you are losing weight, you want to be shedding excess fat. At the same time, you want to be building up your muscles. Protein will help you to recover after a workout, while also ensuring that your muscles grow. 

High In Beneficial Nutrients 

Ham is one of the richest sources of selenium. This doesn’t assist with weight loss. However, it can help to repair bodies that have been ravished by years of unhealthy eating. For example, selenium can help to reduce blood pressure, repair the heart muscle, and boost your immune system.

Ham is also high in potassium. This is vital for keeping your muscles functioning correctly. It will also assist in turning protein and carbs into something usable by your body.

Ham is also high in iron. This can help you to feel far more energetic. It can also help with blood flow around your body. Iron helps to ensure that oxygen gets to your muscles. This ensures that you can work out longer and harder. Again, this is going to lead to rapid weight loss. 

It Is Tasty

Ok. Not a weight loss benefit. However, a lot of people find the more traditional weight loss foods to be somewhat bland. This can cause them to become demotivated about losing weight. Eating a little bit of ham can spice up a diet and show people that even good-tasting foods can help with weight loss. 

The Downsides of Ham For Weight Loss

At the end of the day, ham is still meat. Yes. It has fewer calories than other meats. Yes. It has nutrients. However, there are a few reasons why you may want to avoid using it for weight loss.

Processed hams, for instance, can be high in salt. High salt is always going to be bad, whether you are losing weight or not. Studies have also shown that processed ham can lead to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. We can’t imagine that you will be too thrilled to end up suffering from any of that.

Unless you need the protein, it is probably going to be a lot better to eat more fruits and vegetables. Maybe throw in some beans in there. It will be a lot more nutritious, and you don’t have to deal with the issues that you normally get with processed ham.

Losing Weight? You Can Eat Whatever You Want…In Moderation

We encourage you to stop thinking about whether something is healthy to eat or not. Even the healthiest of foods can be unhealthy if you consume too much of them. Ham can be good for you, but only when consumed in moderation. 

We suggest that you start thinking about the number of calories that you are ingesting. The secret to weight loss (not a real secret!) is to consume fewer calories than you are burning. That is all there is to it.

You should be thinking less about what is healthy/unhealthy. Instead, you should be thinking about getting the right nutrients into your body without ingesting too many calories. Ham can be highly beneficial there. It is packed with nutrients, tasty, and gives you tons of protein. 


Ham is good for weight loss when eaten in moderation. While processed ham can be somewhat high in sodium, it is going to be low in fat and high in protein. If you can slide a bit of ham into your weight loss diet, it is probably going to help you more than it hurts you.