Home / friendly / meat / processed / Is Ham Keto-Friendly?

Is Ham Keto-Friendly?

Ham on a kitchen counter

Looking to add variety to your ketogenic diet and wondering if ham is a good fit? The short answer is yes, ham is indeed keto-friendly.

But there's more to the story.

In this article, we’re going to dive deeper, providing a detailed breakdown of the carbs in ham, guidelines on incorporating it into your keto meal plan, and an understanding of its nutritional benefits.

We'll also explore some of the potential health implications, and even suggest some keto-compatible alternatives.

So, if you're curious about the role ham can play in your keto diet, you're in the right place.

Let's get started!


  • Yes, ham is keto-friendly due to its low carb and high protein content.
  • Ham also offers nutritional benefits, including essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Discover various ways to incorporate ham into your keto diet further down the article.

Is Ham Keto-Friendly?

Yes, ham is indeed keto-friendly. Based on nutritional data, ham contains 2.33g of net carbs per 100g, aligning with the low-carb requirements of a ketogenic diet.

The keto diet is characterized by high fat, adequate protein, and low carbohydrate intake. Ham fits snugly into this framework, providing essential protein and fats without pushing the carbohydrate limit. The 2.33g of carbohydrates in ham per 100g is low compared to many other foods, making it a viable choice for those adhering to a ketogenic lifestyle.

Can You Have Ham on a Strict Keto Diet?

As stated earlier, ham is indeed keto-friendly and can fit into a ketogenic diet plan. This includes being suitable even for a strict keto diet, which typically requires one to consume less than 20g of carbs per day.

Given that ham contains about 2.33g of net carbs per 100g serving, it can easily be incorporated into a strict keto diet without exceeding the daily carb limit. However, it's essential to consider the serving size and the total carb intake from all meals throughout the day to ensure you stay within this limit.

Even for those following a less strict keto or low-carb diet, where the daily carb intake can be between 30-50g of net carbs per day, ham can still be a viable option. In both cases, care should be taken to ensure that ham is paired with other low-carb, high-fat foods to maintain the balance of macronutrients required for ketosis.

Carbs In Ham

Ham contains 2.33g of net carbs per 100g serving, making it a low-carb food suitable for a ketogenic diet. This relatively low carb content allows ham to fit into the daily carb limit of both strict and less strict ketogenic diets.

Net carbs are the total carbohydrates in a food minus its fiber content, and it's this number that those following a ketogenic diet focus on, as fiber is not digested and does not impact blood sugar levels.

Ham Nutrition Facts

A 100g portion of ham provides a comprehensive range of nutrients. It delivers 22.3g Protein and 3.3g Fat, including both Saturated Fat (1.1g) and Monounsaturated Fat (1.5g). These macronutrients are crucial for body functions like tissue repair and hormone production.
Ham also contains 0.42g Carbohydrates, a modest amount that makes it suitable for low-carb diets. Note that it does not offer any dietary fiber.
Beyond macronutrients, ham is a good source of various micronutrients. It provides 9mg Calcium, 0.5mg Iron, and an impressive 365mg Potassium. These minerals support various bodily functions, such as bone health, oxygen transport, and muscle contractions, respectively.
Moreover, it is rich in Vitamins B6 (0.4mg) and B12 (0.7µg), which are essential for brain function and red blood cell production. However, it's worth noting that ham does have a high Sodium (1,260mg) content, which is something to consider for those monitoring their salt intake.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs2.33g
Carbohydrate, by difference3.63g
Fiber, total dietary1.3g
Total fats8.8g
Sodium, Na814.0mg
Potassium, K287.0mg
Magnesium, Mg22.0mg
Calcium, Ca24.0mg
Vitamin B-60.33mg
Vitamin B-120.42ug
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid4.0mg
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)0.7ug
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.08mg
Copper, Cu0.09mg
Iron, Fe1.02mg
Phosphorus, P153.0mg
Selenium, Se20.7ug
Zinc, Zn1.35mg
Manganese, Mn0.56mg
Pantothenic acid0.44mg
Folate, total7.0ug
Choline, total81.9mg
Aspartic acid1.15g
Glutamic acid1.93g
Fatty acids, total saturated0.5g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated4.35g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.79g
Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Ham on a Keto Diet

Ham is a rich source of several essential nutrients, including protein, and vitamins like Vitamin B6 and B12. It also offers minerals such as iron, zinc, and selenium, which are crucial for many bodily functions. This makes it a valuable addition to your diet from a nutritional perspective.

Incorporating Ham into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Ham can be an easy and tasty addition to any keto meal. Whether it's a part of a hearty breakfast omelet, a filling in a lettuce wrap for lunch, or baked and served with a side of low-carb vegetables for dinner, it's versatile and easy to incorporate.
  2. Get creative with recipes. Consider dishes like ham and egg cups for a quick breakfast, a cobb salad with diced ham for a nutritious lunch, or a ham and cauliflower casserole for a comforting dinner. The possibilities are endless.
  3. While enjoying ham in your meals, remember to watch your portions. Since ham is low in carbs but high in protein, it fits well within a keto diet, but like anything, should be consumed in moderation.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Ham

  1. Turkey: If for any reason, you want to switch up your protein sources, turkey is another keto-friendly option. Just like ham, it's high in protein and low in carbs. You can use it in salads, wraps, or even roast it with some low-carb vegetables for dinner.
  2. Chicken: Chicken, particularly the breast or thigh, is another great alternative to ham. It's high in protein and has zero carbs, making it a perfect fit for keto diets. Consider making a chicken Caesar salad, or a chicken stir-fry with a variety of low-carb vegetables.
  3. Beef: Beef is not only delicious but also keto-friendly due to its high protein and extremely low carb content. It's a versatile choice that can be incorporated into numerous dishes, from a classic steak with a side of asparagus to a hearty beef stew using other keto-friendly ingredients.
  4. Fish: Fish like salmon is not only low in carbs but also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be beneficial for heart health. Incorporate it into your meals by grilling it with some lemon and dill, or even making a salmon salad.

Concluding Thoughts on Ham and Keto

From what we've covered, it's clear that ham can comfortably fit into a ketogenic diet, given its low carb content and high protein value. This makes it an ideal food choice for those seeking to maintain ketosis while enjoying a versatile and tasty protein source.

In addition to its keto compatibility, ham also brings some beneficial nutrients to the table, including vitamins and minerals, thereby enhancing its value within a healthy, balanced diet. However, do consider its sodium content, which may warrant moderation and balance in consumption.

Integrating ham into your keto meal plan can be an exciting culinary journey. Experiment with creative recipes, pair it with other low-carb foods, or even try alternatives such as turkey, chicken, beef, or fish to keep your meals varied and interesting.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

Is Salami Keto-Friendly
Is Beef Jerky Keto-Friendly
Are Processed Keto-Friendly

Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, ham is keto-friendly due to its low carb and high protein content.

Ham is not only high in protein but also contains key vitamins and minerals, contributing to its overall nutritional value.

Absolutely, ham is versatile and can be incorporated into a range of dishes from breakfast to dinner.

Most varieties of ham are suitable for a keto diet, just ensure to check the nutritional information for any added sugars or carbs.

Keto-friendly alternatives to ham include turkey, chicken, beef, and fish, each offering its own unique set of nutrients and flavors.