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Is Salami Healthy? Nutrition and Calories
Nutrition

Is Salami Healthy? Nutrition and Calories

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 12, 2022
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5 min

Is it recommended to eat salami daily? Let’s find out how it affects our health.

is salami healthy

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For all lovers of pork, beef, and other types of meat, salami is a popular meat product that leaves even the most disciplined “foodie” salivating.

It is a type of cured sausage made from a combination of fermented and air-dried meat. Back in the day, traditional salami came solely from pork meat. However, today’s versions utilize different types of meat, such as beef, lamb, duck, and venison, or a combination of these meats.

Since it undergoes quite a bit of process, many people often wonder if it is safe enough to include in their diets. This is because the World Health Organization and other relevant medical/dietary institutes advise people to shy away from processed meats (processed foods as a whole). Instead, they offer whole foods as they carry many benefits.

What are the health detriments? Stick around as we explore the world of deli meats. Today, we will look into the details and find out.

Is Salami Healthy?

Salami meat is a healthy option for you when eaten in moderation. Salami meat contains high amounts of protein, calories, sodium nitrate, and fat while maintaining a low carb content.

While its protein content is a plus for tissue and muscle growth, its fat content is a major problem. Three slices of salami contain a high percentage of saturated fat, which ultimately puts you at a higher risk of heart disease due to increased LDL cholesterol levels.

How Is Salami Made?

There are over 100 variations, with modern recipes accounting for the use of different types of meat (domesticated and wild meat) in creating this sausage. However, with the multitude of denominations, they all fall under one of two classes: cured salami or uncured salami.

Cured salami involves using sodium nitrite (a chemical additive) during the curing process. Uncured salami involves using naturally occurring sodium nitrate and other natural additives like celery powder during the curing process. The cure used is what is responsible for the long shelf life.

When it comes to making salami, you will need several things, including a meat grinder, sausage casing, ingredients, cure, and twine.

  • Cut your meat into varied sizes and feed it into your meat grinder.
  • Grind your meat into any consistency of your choice, toss it into a bowl, and add the cure based on the type of salami you want (cured or uncured salami). Add the seasoning mix, and mix until homogenized.
  • Allow your meat mixture to ferment for about 24 hours, and then stuff the meat mix into a sausage casing, removing trapped air while sectioning it using the butcher’s twine.
  • Hang the sausage links in a cool area and leave them to cure for as long as needed.

It is worth mentioning that this process allows for the growth of several bacteria. Some of these bacteria are good, while others are bad. So, you must be careful to breed only edible molds instead of harmful ones.

What Ingredients Does Salami Contain?

When it comes to pork-style salami, the main ingredients present are fermented and air-dried pork meat. However, a couple of other ingredients factor into its unique taste.

Most branded salami come from a wide array of ingredients, including meat, sea salt, nonfat dairy milk, fresh garlic, sodium nitrite, lactic acid, red wine, live starter culture, black peppercorn, and a host of herbs and spices.

In practice, however, there are different methods of making salami. Some people might choose to go with a barrage of spices and ingredients, depending on the level of flavor they want to attain. Others might choose a simpler route. This diversity can affect the overall nutritional value per serving portion.

Nutrition Facts

To understand the placement value of salami in our meal plans, we must first take into account the dietary composition.

Nutritional table per 100g

The nutritional value per 100g serving of salami is as shown in the table below.

Calories/NutrientAmount
Calories (kcal)393
Net Carbs (g)0
Fiber (g)0
Fats (Total, g)28.6
Protein (g)28.6
Cholesterol (mg)107

High in vitamins and minerals

Eating salami gives you access to good amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. This includes vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and vitamin B12 (cobalamin). These micronutrients found in salami are crucial for proper cell development and brain function. They also play key roles in metabolism, energy production, and energy utilization.

Salami also contains good amounts of zinc, iron, and sodium, with zinc being a key mineral that helps with maintaining immune health and DNA synthesis.

As for its sodium content, salami contains about 1,610mg per 100g serving, which is on the high side. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people aged 14 and above to stick to a daily limit of 2,300mg.

Excessive sodium intake leads to excessive water retention, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

High in protein

When it comes to the protein level, a 100g serving of salami provides you with 28.6g of protein. This makes it a good addition when it comes to building and repairing muscles and tissues.

High in fats and calories

Salami is high in fats and calories, carrying 28.6g of total fats and 393kcal per 100g serving.

The fat content in salami is mostly saturated fat, which is extremely harmful in high quantities. High consumption of saturated fat leads to an increase in LDL cholesterol levels, which, in turn, raises your chances of suffering from heart disease.

Likewise, with a high-calorie content, you need to be careful with your consumption in order not to exceed your daily calorie intake, especially if you are on weight management.

High in cholesterol

High cholesterol foods typically increase your chances of suffering from heart disease. Salami, like bacon, hotdogs, and all processed meats, ranks among foods high in cholesterol. Hence, experts advise that you avoid them totally or consume them in moderation.

Low in carbohydrates

When it comes to net carb content, salami contains 0g of net carbs. For this reason, people on the keto diet consider adding a few portions of salami to their meaty meal plans.

FAQs

How many calories are in a slice of salami?

A slice of salami (28g serving) contains 110kcal.

How much protein does one salami slice contain?

A slice of salami contains 8.01g of protein.

Is Genoa salami healthy?

Yes, Genoa salami is healthy. It also has a wonderful, tangy flavor because of the added wine.

How many calories are in hard salami?

Oscar Mayer’s hard salami contains 386kcal per 100g serving.

How much salami is too much?

It all depends on your dietary needs. Your serving portion should translate your health needs with the known nutritional value.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

When it comes to healthy eating, you should always employ caution because it may contain several drawbacks that you cannot go around irrespective of the food’s nutritional benefit.

The positives revolve around its B vitamins, zinc, and iron content with salami. However, the drawbacks include a high level of saturated fats and sodium nitrates.

It helps facilitate the curing of raw meat and, if consumed heftily, leads to the formation of a compound called nitrosamine. High sodium diets increase your chances of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.

Conclusion

Whether you should eat salami or not depends on how willing you are to fit it into your diet. For what it’s worth, salami comes with several health benefits.

It is also important to consider your nutrient needs before putting together your favorite recipes. Weight loss, sodium intake, and cholesterol levels should be at the top of your priority list.

By only consuming in moderation, you can gain from the pool of benefits while limiting the bad aspects.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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