You probably know Spam as that curious box of meat sitting on the shelf at supermarkets. But what is it and how should it be eaten? Is Spam even healthy for you? The good news is that if you love to eat hot dogs, you should have no problem eating Spam. The ingredients for both are similar; both are made from parts of the pig that were difficult to sell – don’t ask. There are only six ingredients in Spam: pork with ham meat, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite.
History of Spam
This canned meat was first invented during World War II as a type of cheap meat during a meat shortage. Homemakers and soldiers alike added spam to their everyday dishes, just like they would regular meat. And today, the tradition lives on. Many places, like Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, and other US-influenced places still use Spam regularly in their dishes.
There are an endless number of dishes that you can make with Spam. Basically, anything that’s enhanced by salted meat is a dish that invites the addition of Spam. You can make Spam stew, Spam fried rice, Spam ramen, Spam hot pot, and even Spam sushi, thanks to the Hawaiians!
But is Spam healthy for you? Probably not, especially if its the only thing you’re eating. However, Spam can be added to dishes that are rich with fresh vegetables and complex carbohydrates. The high fat and high salt content mean that it’s probably a good idea to limit your Spam intake to a few times a week. Sodium nitrite, the preservative ingredient, gives some people headaches, which makes them unable to eat large quantities of Spam.
You want to treat Spam like you would a hot dog. It’s great as a treat or for a barbeque every now and then, but making it the main staple of your diet, with no other nutritious foods, is probably a bad idea.