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Is Salami Keto Friendly?

I had forgotten what sandwiches were like before deli meat. Since they have become the norm, they have changed the culinary world for good! Deli meat can do everything, whether becoming a staple of a lunch board or adding flavor to bland wraps. And my favorite among them all is salami meat.

When I started my keto diet, I wondered if I could continue enjoying flavorful food by adding salami now and then. But, not everything is keto friendly.

Is Salami Keto Friendly

Is salami keto? It turns out that it is as it contains very few carbs! However, you must be careful about picking the correct type of salami from the right brand. Otherwise, it might not be keto-friendly as it may contain certain prohibited ingredients.

So, should you or should you not incorporate salami into your diet? Keep reading to find out more!

Say Hello: What is Salami?

Although I’m sure, most of you know what salami is, if you’re new to the world of Italian cuisine, you might be unaware of it. So, let’s begin by creating an equal footing for meat beginners and enthusiasts.

Salami is one of the many types of meat belonging to the Italian salumi family. Within the family, salami refers to a type of meat that is fresh, soft, cooked as well as dry-cured. It’s made into a cured sausage and can stem from air-dried meat of pork, beef, and chicken.

What is a cured sausage, you may ask? Well, a cured sausage is one that uses a salt-based concoction to preserve the meat, its color and its flavor. Overall, salami has quite low carbs but is equipped with a lot of protein, fat and beneficial vitamins B1 and B12.

Salami, Where Art Thou?

As you might have guessed from now, salami originated in Italy. That too during the Roman times! Apart from Italy, various Eastern, Southern, and Central European countries also have a salami-making tradition that dates back to historic times.

There are also a variety of types of salami out there. Over 150 types exist in Italy alone! And considering that Hungary, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are also major producers of the meat, I don’t think anyone has even compiled just how many options there are!

This is what makes it hard to know whether or not is salami keto.

The Making of Salami

Salami is made by using a variety of cuts of meat. The exact ones depend on the recipe you are following and the style of salami you are making. Then, you mix lean and fat proportions of the meat together, cure it, and add flavorings to it, as per your choice. This can range from garlic to herbs.

Once the meat has been cured and flavored, you chop it and stuff it into a sausage casing made out of animal intestines. After this, the meat is left to ferment and dry. This process can take a minimum of a few days and a maximum of years!

The fermentation process ensures that lactic acid and yeast can develop in the meat to improve its texture. These organisms are added to the environment via the use of cultures.

Salami: Nutritional Profile

Although I have briefly touched upon this, to understand why salami is keto-friendly (and beneficial), it is imperative to dive deeper into its nutritional profile. Since the nutritional profile will slightly vary depending on the meat used, let’s talk about the most authentic and popular type – pork-based salami.

Is Salami Keto

According to USDA, 100 grams of pork salami has:

  • 22.6 grams of protein
  • 33.7 grams of fat
  • 1.6 grams of carbs
  • 13 milligrams of calcium
  • 1.3 milligrams of iron
  • 22 milligrams of magnesium
  • 229 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 378 milligrams of potassium
  • 2260 milligrams of sodium
  • Vitamins, including 0.93 milligrams of thiamin, 0.33 milligrams of riboflavin, 0.55 milligram of vitamin B6, 2.8 micrograms of B-12
  • 336 calories

Let’s Talk Keto: Is Salami Keto Friendly?

Firstly, let me tell you a trick to finding out whether a given food can potentially be keto-friendly – you understand the science behind keto.

Understanding Keto and Why Salami is Your Friend

A keto diet works by limiting carbs intake and increasing fat and protein consumption in the hopes that the body goes into ketosis. Ketosis refers to the body’s process of burning fats for energy rather than carbs. When you don’t eat enough carbs, your body doesn’t have a choice but to do so.

If we're talking real science, eating a low-carb, high-fat diet leads the body to produce “ketones”. These fuel molecules are an alternative source of energy that is made by the liver via the breakdown of fat. The goal of a keto diet is to increase the production of ketones.

Is Salami Keto Friendly

This is why it's recommended that in a keto diet, you get 75 percent of your daily calories from fat, 20 percent from protein, and 5 percent from carbs.

As you can see from the nutritional profile above, salami contains minimal carbs as well as high fat. Hence, it is keto friendly.

 However, as I mentioned that there's a variety of salami in the market, including a plethora of brands, so when purchasing it, you need to ensure that you select naturally dried salami. It should not contain any preservatives or added sugar!

Incorporating Salami in a Keto Diet

Once you get the right type of salami, you can begin incorporating it into your diet by:

  • Keto-based pasta dishes with salami: Substitute the ham and bacon aspect of the pasta with salami. For starters, salami makes an excellent addition to a keto zucchini alfredo recipe.
  • A charcuterie board: Salami and cheese boards are a match made in heaven. Add your favorite keto-friendly cheeses, fresh vegetables, and salami to the platter, and eat it as you please.
  • Anything with egg: Salami perfectly complements a variety of egg dishes, including fried eggs, omelets, and frittata.

Word of Caution: What to watch out for when eating Salami on Keto? 

Unlike some of the other food items allowed on keto, salami does come with its fair share of restrictions.

Look out for sugar and preservatives

You need to watch out and select the right brand of salami from the aisle.

The ones that you find in the deli section of the supermarket are prepackaged and usually are full of sugar and added preservatives. This is done to increase the shelf-life of the product. And although the added sugar still doesn’t add much to the net carbs, it should still be avoided in favor of natural salami as they, at best, may be considered as “dirty keto”.

Your best bet is to get fresh salami from an Italian store! But, if that is not an option, just read the packaging of each option carefully to select the best salami available. Some brands include:

  • Creminelli Salami Minis with 1 gram of net carb and no harmful ingredients
  • Meal Mart Kosher Beef Salami with 0-gram net carbs but high sodium nitrite
  • Solera Ring Chorizo with 0-gram net carbs but with dextrose
  • Creminelli Calabrese Uncured Italian Salami with 0-gram net carbs but added sugar

Eat it in moderation

Salami Keto Friendly

Moreover, you might have noticed in my shared nutritional profile that salami is high in fat. Within the world of fat, salami especially contains quite a lot of saturated fat. If you are perfectly healthy, this should not be a source of concern for you. But, if you are prone to getting heart disease, eating too much-saturated fat can exacerbate the occurrence of such complications. Not to mention that salami has a high concentration of salt as well, which too someone with heart problems should avoid.

To avoid such complications from occurring, always eat meat in moderation.

Salami also contains a lot of salt, which leads to complications, especially for someone who has pre-existing heart problems.

Wrapping Up: Enjoy your salami!

Deli meats are the best friends of anyone who is on a keto diet. Whenever you go to the supermarket, go straight to the deli counter and get those salamis (the right one!).

To wrap it up, here are the key points I was trying to make:

  • Salami is keto friendly if you opt for natural and low-processed meat.
  • Salami is keto friendly because it has a low-carb and high-fat, and protein nutritional profile.
  • It can be added to a variety of keto-based dishes and can be used to substitute ham and bacon.
  • Regardless of what type of salami you eat, it is best eaten in moderation to avoid the onset of heart-related ailments.

So, if you pride yourself on picking healthy options from a sea of available meat, I trust you to find the right salami too. May the force be with you! And do check some of my other guides out to find which other food items are keto friendly.

You can then mix them all up with salami to create a delicious concoction. Do let us know if you discover a heavenly combination and have a eureka moment of your own.

Please click on one of the links below to learn more about keto friendly foods:

Are Strawberries Keto Friendly?

Are Cherries Keto Friendly?

Is Hibachi Sauce Keto Friendly?

Is Cinnamon Keto Friendly?


Founder of The Art Of Keto.

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