Nutritional Properties of Iberico Ham

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Undoubtedly,the main reason for the success of Iberico ham in Spain and worldwide is its flavor and the pleasure millions take in eating it.

But while we often think that anything we like must be bad for us, that's not true of Iberico ham. Rather, it's one of the healthiest foods you'll meet and its excellent nutritional qualities have seen it recommended by nutritionists as an ideal part of a healthy balanced diet.

The unique nutritional qualities of Iberico ham

The first thing we need to understand is that not all Spanish hams offer the same features. Just as they taste different, so they have different nutritional properties too.

Iberico ham offers very different nutritional profiles from other hams, because of the breed of pig used but also because of the raising and fattening regime. Meat from pigs fed on acorns and wild grasses is very different nutritionally from other hams.

To be specific, Iberico ham is especially rich in protein and minerals, offering Vitamin B and E in high amounts. It's also highly digestible making its nutritional content easier for the body to access.

propiedades nutricionales del jamón ibérico guijuelo

Iberico ham from Guijelo

Rich in proteins and good fats

Both Serrano ham and Iberico ham are rich in proteins and good fats, though Iberico hams are of higher quality.

This is because the level of amino acids per gram of protein is higher, resulting in improved nutritional qualities for the amount of food eaten. Furthermore, the curing process to which they are exposed initiates a process called "proteolysis," which aids digestion.

This is very important because with a higher digestibility quotient nutrients are assimilated much better.

The high content of intramuscular fat is an important source of fatty acids, especially unsaturated fatty acids, while the saturated fat level is well below that found in meats from white pigs.

These parameters show that regular consumption of Spanish ham increases the "good" cholesterol and decreases the "bad" cholesterol in the bloodstream.

For years now, nutritionists have been pointing to this effect of the Mediterranean diet as one reason why it seems to prolong life and improve heart health.

Nutritional differences between Serrano and Iberico ham

It's also notable that in terms of organoleptic properties like flavor and aroma, Serrano and Iberico hams are quite different.

Therefore, we'd expect to find nutritional differences, and this is is exactly what we do find. Due to everything from curing methods to pig breeds, as well as the raising and fattening methods, Iberico ham is significantly more nutritious than ham from white pigs.


Nutritional information: Iberico ham

Per 100g


27,08 mg


0,10 g


375 Kcal


157,5 mg


22,4 g


3,35 mg


157,5 mg


153 mg


43,2 g


1110 mg

Vitamin B12

15,68 µg

Vitamin E

11 µg

Also noteworthy is the importance of the wild grass and acorn "montanera" feeding regime in causing the high Vitamin E content in Iberico ham.

This is very important because Vitamin E is involved in the maturation process and oxidation of the ham, which means it's one reason it's possible to make Iberico ham with such relatively low salt content compared to other hams.

Alongside these excellent properties, Iberico ham is also a great source of magnesium, phosphorus, iron and Vitamin B1 and B12.

Ham: A health food

All the above factors lead to the conclusion that the nutritional properties of Iberico ham are ideal for maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, as well as providing specific dietary benefits.

For instance, Iberico ham's high protein content makes it ideal for building muscle so nutritionists recommend it for the underweight or for pregnant women.

On the other hand, the high levels of Vitamin B make it a good choice for those struggling to overcome depression or stress, or for periods of convalescence from injury, illness or an operation. Stomach problems can also benefit from Iberico ham's high degree of digestibility.

propiedades nutricionales del jamón ibérico salud nutrición

Iberico ham: a health food

This is not an optimistic or wishful view: rather, it is the opinion of medical professionals whose multiple studies in recent decades all point to Iberico ham as a food that can offer significant health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet.


  1. Types of Iberico Ham
  2. How to Consume Iberico Ham
  3. How to Cut Iberico Ham | Carve Iberico Ham
  4. How to Preserve and Store Iberico Ham
  5. Pairing of Iberico Ham
  6. Quality Laws for Iberico Ham | The New Law 2014
  7. The Dehesa | The Meadow
  8. DOP Protected Source of Origin of Iberico Ham
  9. Nutritional Properties of Acorn-fed Iberico Ham
  10. Recipes with Spanish Ham
  11. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Serrano Ham
  12. Differences Between Shoulder and Iberico ham
  13. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Iberico Shoulder
  14. Iberico Ham and its Competitors Around the World
  15. Nutritional Properties of Iberico Ham
  16. Protected Denominations of Origin of Iberico Ham
  17. Production Areas of Spanish Ham and Iberico Ham
  18. Spanish Ham – Machine cut or Hand cut
  19. Museums of Iberico Ham Worldwide
  20. Inside Secrets of Iberico Ham Tasting
  21. Tourist Trails for Iberico Ham Aficionados
  22. Acorn-fed Iberico ham and the ideal pairing
  23. The Production Process of Iberico Sausages
  24. History of Iberico Sausages
  25. VAT and Spanish Ham: Frequently Asked Questions
  26. Spanish Ham in Great Spanish Literature
  27. Curiosities of Iberico ham
  28. How to Store Your Serrano Ham
  29. Regulations and the Quality of Serrano Ham
  30. Preparation of Serrano Ham
  31. Denomination of Origin of Serrano Ham
  32. Nutritional Properties of Serrano Ham
  33. Recipes With Serrano Ham
  34. Types of Serrano Ham
  35. Pairing of Serrano Ham
  36. How to Consume Serrano Ham
  37. How to Cut Serrano Ham | Carve Serrano Ham
  38. All the Secrets of Pata Negra Ham Tasting
  39. Choosing a Good Ham Holder
  40. Pata Negra Ham and Pasture
  41. The secrets of pairing pata negra ham
  42. What is the best para negra ham?
  43. Is the term pata negra correct?
  44. How can you know which ham to buy?
  45. Why is good ham so expensive?
  46. How to buy ham from online stores
  47. Myths and Truths, Benefits and Prejudices of Ham
  48. Is Iberian ham fattening?
  49. What to do with the ham bone?
  50. Why do we usually hang ham?
  51. Ham and Pregnancy: Can Iberian ham be included in pregnant women’s diets?
  52. The Role of Ham in a Child’s Growth and Develeopment
  53. Tips for Preserving Ham
  54. What is ham shaping and why is it done?
  55. New Technologies and Ham – MRI in Ham Tasting – Spectral Images
  56. The Iberian Pig Begins to Migrate
  57. Cured Sausages: Origin, Composition and Classification
  58. Production of Hams and Pork Shoulder Hams
  59. Iberian Ham Tasting Guide
  60. Quality: Differential Elements Between Ham and Iberico Cured Meats

Ham carving manual

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