Many people who live the keto lifestyle wonder if salami is okay for a ketogenic diet. This deli meat is delicious, it’s versatile, it’s readily available, and it’s affordable. But is it something you can eat when you’re watching your carb intake? Let’s find out.
Salami is cured sausage that is both dried and fermented. It’s usually made of pork, but it can also be made with a combination of pork and beef. To make it, fat and lean portions of meat are blended together with spices and other seasonings, like pepper, salt, and vinegar.
After everything is blended together, the mixture is fermented, injected into a casing, and then hung in a room to dry. The temperature is usually adjusted from warm to cold to speed up the fermentation process. Salami-makers watch the pH carefully, too. As the salami ferments, it produces lactic acid, which prevents bacteria from growing, a key part of the fermentation process.
In most cases, yes, salami is okay for keto dieters.
Dried natural salami is definitely keto-friendly. It’s low in carbs and high in fat and protein, making it a perfect addition to the keto diet.
That said, be careful with the prepackaged types of salami you find in the refrigerator or deli section of the supermarket. A lot of these mass-produced brands are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Though they may not have many net carbs, they’re still not the best choice.
To find the best salami slice for keto, ask at the deli counter or look in the specialty meat section of your grocery store. If you’re lucky enough to live near an Italian deli or grocer, check out their salami selection for something authentic and extremely tasty.
Again, it depends on how the salami is made. Natural salami with no sugar added usually only has about 0.1g of carbs in one slice. This is a good rule of thumb to follow for any natural salami, including Genoa salami, which has more fat than other types of salami.
Because salami is fermented, it’s a good source of healthy bacteria, which can help support gut health. As with most keto-friendly foods, it’s high in protein, which not only makes you feel less hungry but also helps your body build and repair tissue. Salami is also loaded with vitamins B1 and B12.
One of the big downsides of salami is that it contains a lot of saturated fat. Not all fats are bad, but eating too much saturated fat can lead to many complications, including increased LDL or bad cholesterol. As long as you eat salami and other processed meat in moderation, this should not be a problem.
Salami also contains a lot of salt, which leads to complications, especially for someone who has pre-existing heart problems.
There are many ways to add salami to a keto diet. It makes a great addition to a charcuterie board filled with other deli meats and tasty cheese. If you want to get a little more creative, swap salami into recipes that call for ham or bacon or cut it into small salami chips and add it to a cheese omelet.