Iberian ham is a food that is practically impossible to resist, and it's normal, especially after a period of indulgence, to wonder if Iberian ham makes you gain weight.
If you find yourself in this situation, at Enrique Tomás, we have good news: the answer is NO, and we'll explain why.
Can I eat ham when I'm on a diet?
It's evident that Iberian ham has more calories than other types of meat, such as turkey, but that doesn't mean you have to completely give it up. According to a study carried out by the Endothelium and Cardio-metabolic Medicine Unit of the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, regular and moderate consumption of ham can be beneficial. However, like everything in life, it should be eaten in moderation.
This study involved tracking a total of one hundred men and women aged 25 to 55 for six weeks, and at the end of this period, it was observed that none of the subjects had gained weight. Moreover, it was found that curing ham had actually been beneficial for cardiovascular health as it helped with blood pressure.
Regarding this, it's worth noting that ham is the healthiest cold cut with the least saturated fats, but it's not the same to eat serrano (a common type of ham) as Iberian ham. The caloric content of the latter is higher than the former, but it also contains more calcium, more B vitamins, and more folic acid. Therefore, your body receives more nutrients. For example, if you consume 100 grams of serrano ham, your body assimilates a total of 136 kcal., compared to the 375 kcal. of Iberian ham, but it also provides more protein.
From all of the above, it can be concluded that both products are healthy because they are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and minerals, but as previously explained, they should be consumed in moderation. It's never good to overindulge in anything, and our recommendation is to consume a maximum of 50 grams of Iberian ham per day. The caloric intake will be between 100 and 125 kcal., which is a suitable amount even in low-calorie diets. This small indulgence will make you feel better while taking care of your body and your waistline.
It's all advantages!
So, What Health Benefits Does Iberian Ham Have?
We've already explained that the study from Ramón y Cajal concluded that ham does not make you gain weight. However, this Madrid hospital didn't stop at this result when researching cured ham. According to the same institution, eating ham, especially if it's acorn-fed, leads to an improvement in blood pressure as it slightly reduces it and, at the same time, promotes blood circulation.
Regarding cholesterol, it's worth noting that researchers believe that Iberian ham does not increase triglycerides or bad cholesterol in patients. However, unlike other studies related to this delicacy, the trials at the aforementioned center did not observe an increase in good cholesterol from its consumption either.
Therefore, to conclude, Iberian ham does not make you gain weight, helps improve blood pressure, and does not affect cholesterol levels. As you can see, there's nothing to worry about!
Enjoy it in moderation whenever you want!