Is Iberian Ham beneficial for the health?
The Iberian Ham is one of our gourmet delicacies par excellence, present in our daily routine. But, while for some it is a natural and reliable food, others have questions about it and only see a source of animal fats. Is it healthy? Today we tell you more about it.
Yes, it is true a leg of Iberian Ham is a source of animal fats. Iberian bellota pig fats have more than 55% oleic acid (monounsaturated). These fats has been shown in different scientific studies, produce a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol, increasing the beneficial one (HDL) and reducing the bad one (LDL). It is a heart-healthy food, only surpassed in properties by our virgin olive oil.
In addition to acting over cholesterol, Iberian Ham provides vitamins B1, B6, B12 and folic acid (beneficial to the nervous system and the proper functioning of the brain). It is also rich in vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) and in minerals such as copper, essential for bones and cartilage. It contains calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium, the latter closely linked to anti-aging processes.
It is also an excellent substitute for red meat, 100 grams of Ham contain 43 grams of protein, and provide less than 250 kcal.
We could say that, among all these benefits, the only negative point of consuming Iberian Ham is salt. The WHO recommends consuming a maximum of 5 grams of salt per day to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, although the global average is between 10 and 12 grams. Unfortunately, we cannot do without salt in the elaboration of ham, it acts as a flavor enhancer and is a fundamental element for its curying. Even so, what we can tell you is that Iberian Ham is the one that contains the least salt of all (between 2.5% and 4.5%). If we compare it with other products, it would be at the same level as Roquefort cheese or olives, for example, and would be less salty than Serrano Ham (5%), Bayonne (5.5%) or Parma (5,7 %).
You already have all the information, and now, who wants a good tapa of Iberian ham?