Yes, you can eat spam raw. They are usually cooked before they are put in the can. So, canned food doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely raw; buying canned tomatoes doesn’t mean you bought raw tomatoes.
You can eat them raw, but they aren’t all that healthy, and It would be best to moderate your intake or opt for other more nutritious alternatives.
Spam is primarily famous because they require no preparation. You can choose to eat them directly from the can or cook them further for your own preference.
In this article, I will discuss spam, if it can be eaten raw, any potential risks in eating spam, and some healthy alternatives.
What is spam?
Spam is the product of processed pork and ham. The mixture is then mixed with flavoring agents and preservatives, such as salt, sodium nitrate, sugar, and potato starch, after which it is sealed, canned, or bagged.
Spam was invented in 1937 and was a means to sell pork shoulders as they did not usually sell well on the market.
This product mainly gained attraction during World War II, and this was because they were cheap and convenient food for feeding the soldiers.
To this day, spam is still a well-recognized product because of its versatility and ease of preparation.
Nutritional information on spam
According to the USDA, a 56 gram serving contains;
- Calories: 174
- Carbohydrate: 2g
- Protein: 7g
- Fat: 15g
They also contain sodium, zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, folate, calcium, vitamin c, and potassium.
Can you eat spam raw?
Yes, you can. The process of preserving spam takes a certain level of cooking, meaning they are not necessarily raw.
In all cases, canned spam products are usually heated to specific points where all the microorganisms or bacteria die. This is to make sure they are safe for eating.
The ability to eat spam raw made it an excellent choice for most places where fresh meat is hard to get. Spam became the best to-go meat because it can be eaten raw or cooked and are very affordable.
SEE: Can You Eat Raw Pasta or Not
Is raw spam healthy for you?
It is an occasional healthy addition to your diet, but like every other heavily processed meat, excess intake may have an adverse effect on your health.
Some of the risks of eating raw spam are;
1. Highly processed meat
Spam is a highly processed meat, and they aren’t a healthy choice to eat on frequent occasion. This kind of meat has been associated with a variety of health complications, such as coronary health diseases and diabetes.
Studies also show that highly processed meat has been associated with colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, high blood pressure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
2. High level of sodium nitrates
Sodium nitrates are used as additives in processing can products, and they help improve the flavor and prevent bacteria growth. They also improve the final appearance of the product.
However, when this sodium nitrate is exposed to heat or in the presence of amino acid, it turns into nitrosamine. This compound is considered dangerous and may have a number of side effects on your health.
Studies show that people with high nitrosamine intake are linked with stomach cancer, thyroid cancer, and brain tumor formation.
3. High level of sodium
Spam is loaded with sodium or salt, and a single serving holds up to 30% of the daily recommended intake. Excess intake may impair the flow of blood for salt-sensitive people.
A high intake of sodium can reduce the kidney’s ability to remove excess water from the body. This may cause kidney disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure.
4. High level of fat
Compared to other meat protein sources, fish, and poultry, spam is significantly higher in fat. It is also lower in overall nutrients.
Frequent intake of high-fat foods like spam will do no good to your waistline, especially if other adjustments are not made to your diet to match the high fat intake.
SEE: Does Rice Make Your Belly Fat?
What are some healthy alternatives to spam?
There are a number of alternatives that are considered healthier. They include;
Treet is meat made from pork and chicken that has been finely grounded. They are a lot similar to spam but have a slightly lesser flavor.
2. Corned beef
Corned beef is considered one of the perfect replacements for spam. Although they have identical texture and flavor they are more affordable.
Corned beef is also more nutritious, with more protein to offer and less fat, and you can find them in almost all grocery stores.
Ham is meat cut from the hind or leg of a pig, and they are an affordable replacement for spam. You can find ham in most grocery stores in different varieties.
4. Bologna sausage
Bologna sausage is another healthy alternative, and an excellent source of protein and adds extra flavor to your meal. They are usually made with pork but can also be made with beef, lamb, or turkey, and they can be smoked, cured, or fresh, just like ham.
SEE: Are Sausages Gluten-Free?
What are the best ways to enjoy spam?
Some of the best ways to enjoy spam are adding them to sliders, rice, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.
What is the best way to reduce fat and sodium content in spam?
Baking is one of the best ways to lower the fat and sodium contents in spam.
Can you eat spam when pregnant?
Yes, you can. But you should never forget to eat in moderate quantities as excess intake may be risky.
Is canned spam raw?
No, they are not. They are already precooked to kill microorganisms before they are put in the can.
Can you cook spam?
Yes, you can. You can cook your spam to your preference, for 10 minutes per pound.
Conclusion: Can you eat spam raw?
Yes, you can. Just because they are signified as raw doesn’t mean they are actually raw meat. They have been precooked before being stored in cans, so they are safe to eat.
Spam remains a popular to-go meat made from ground pork, ham, and various additives. Because of its price, shelf-life, ease of preparation, and versatility, it is a typical dish in many American homes.
However, excess intake of spam may have some health risks asserted to them. It would be best if you moderated your intake or went for the other healthier alternatives listed above.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you did, you should also see if humans can eat raw meat.
Thank you for reading this article.