Consuming ham offers many health benefits due to its high content of protein, vitamin B, and minerals such as iron or zinc. This food fits perfectly into a healthy and balanced diet and contributes to improving our cardiovascular health thanks to its healthy fats.
For athletes, we all know that protein is an essential nutrient in their diet as it is responsible for building muscle tissues. Additionally, ham is a food that provides us with quality protein. Therefore, if you are an athlete and wondering whether you can eat ham, the answer is definitely YES.
Next, we'll tell you about the role that ham plays in your diet as an athlete.
Ham as a Protein Source
In the diet of a person who engages in sports, protein is essential for building tissues such as muscles. Foods that contain the most protein can be classified as animal-derived foods, which include meats, fish, cheeses, and eggs; and plant-derived foods such as legumes, grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
The proteins found in animal-derived foods are generally of better quality and more easily assimilated by the body. That doesn't mean you can't absorb proteins from plant-derived foods; in fact, a balanced diet also requires plant-based proteins for the proper functioning of the body.
Ham is among the top products with the highest quality protein content. Eating ham allows us to easily and quickly absorb this type of nutrient. Therefore, if you are an athlete, adding ham to your healthy recipes will always be a good way to consume quality protein.
In conclusion, considering the need for our bodies to include protein from both plant and animal sources in all meals, as recommended by Harvard Medical School, as shown in the image, it's evident that ham can be one of the best options as an animal-derived protein source for our daily meals. Some ideas could include a ham sandwich for breakfast or a snack, or complete dishes for meals like beans with ham, scrambled eggs with potatoes and ham, ham salads, etc.
Source: The Nutrition Source - Harvard University
Eating Ham Doesn't Mean Excessive Fat
There is a general fear of fats, as they are often seen as responsible for all our health problems and/or weight gain. The truth is, our body needs healthy fats to function properly.
When it comes to ham, there are two types of fat: internal and external. The fat we should maximize is the internal fat, which we call marbling fat. This refers to the small streaks of fat visible within the slices. These streaks don't provide excessive or unhealthy fats; in fact, they consist of healthy, unsaturated fats that are infiltrated into the muscle and offer numerous health benefits.
On the other hand, if we talk about external fat, it serves a protective and preservative function for the ham, and it shouldn't be consumed in excess. This fat is the one that surrounds the ham, and it should be removed when slicing; at most, a very thin edge should be left.
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A Great Combo: Quality Proteins and Healthy Fats
This combination makes consuming ham beneficial in many ways. On one hand, it serves structural functions for the body, thanks to the protein's role in tissue construction. Simultaneously, its content of healthy fats enables the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and supports the proper functioning of the immune system, among other functionalities.
Of course, in the diet of an athlete or any individual, not only protein and healthy fats are necessary, but each nutrient has its own functions in the body. Therefore, the diet should be comprehensive and balanced.
The foundation of a healthy diet should focus on consuming real and quality foods, as these provide macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, as well as micronutrients like vitamins and minerals that contribute to our well-being.
If You're Looking for a Low-Calorie and Low-Fat Diet, We Have the Solution
Enrique Tomás Zero Zero Ham
If you follow a specific weight loss diet or a high-protein, low-fat diet for athletes, and you don't want to give up a delicious product like ham, you can opt for Enrique Tomás Zero Zero Ham, specially crafted for people like you by our expert ham cutters using artisanal methods. This ham is extracted from the boned center of the ham, from the part closest to the bone where external fat doesn't exist.
After a study conducted by our experts, we found that the qualities of Gran Reserva Ham and the two Iberian ham types, both the field-raised Iberian and the 50% Iberian acorn-fed, allowed us to obtain ham with the necessary nutritional qualities to call it Zero Zero Ham.
So, we worked to provide our customers with what they need to continue enjoying ham, without guilt or remorse. This ham can be consumed by anyone who wants to watch their weight or follow a strict diet with low fat and high protein content.
It's a ham with very low levels of fat and sugar and very high in protein. It's a well-cured ham that has all the advantages to be easily incorporated into a strict diet for health reasons or sports performance.
And all of this without forgetting its delicious flavor!