Is Reduced Sodium Ham a Good Alternative?

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By Maria Turner • Last Updated: February 16, 2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Is Reduced Sodium Ham a Good Alternative

Consuming too much food containing sodium is unhealthy. Chances are, many people do not know how to regulate it.

When we talk about sodium, people quickly think about the salt shaker. In reality, there are many sources of sodium in our diets. For instance, much of the sodium we consume hides in processed foods, including frozen meals, spaghetti sauce, and some snacks, among others. Whether you add salt to these or not, the fact is that they already have sodium.

Having a healthy eating plan is one way to cut down on sodium intake from the diets we take. Based on the FDA, the recommended sodium intake levels per day are a maximum of 2 300 milligrams.

So how can you reduce and stick to the advised levels? Well, you need to know about sodium in foods first, and it’s all here. This article explains what low sodium in meat means, low sodium ham, and finally, tips to reduce sodium in ham.

What is Low Sodium Meat?

While it is hard to classify meat based on its sodium content, low sodium means that the level of sodium is less than others.

Certain types of meat contain higher levels, while others have less. However, it does not mean that anything on the market branded and marketed as “Low in Sodium” is truly low in it.

Sometimes, the labeling is for attracting customers or for promotional purposes only. It happens mainly in countries with quite relaxed regulatory organizations. So if you want to be sure that what you are taking is okay, you need more knowledge of sodium in meat. Most importantly, understand what different labels mean.

As we know, the most consumed processed food which contains sodium is ham. It is popular among many, and it includes a healthy dose of iron and protein as well. While sodium ham comes in different types, it remains our favorite meat, and there is a lot worth knowing about it.

Interestingly, its sodium level is a topic that many people talk about these days. Therefore, it makes sense to understand this issue, so you get the truth about it, especially if you want to keep taking it without worrying about the sodium it contains.

Facts: In a 3-ounce serving, ham contains about 1 275 milligrams of sodium. Indeed, this is a very high amount compared to what other meat products include.

With a 3-ounce serving, someone with high blood pressure will have consumed almost all the 1500 milligrams recommended for them per day. For healthy individuals with no blood pressure problems, the daily limit is about 2 300 milligrams, as was already hinted at in the introduction. That means that if not watched, too much intake of ham can indicate a high intake of sodium.

Fortunately, you can reduce the level of sodium in your ham as you prepare it so that you serve it as low sodium ham. If you can consistently do that, you will continue enjoying your ham, and you won’t be bothered by sodium levels since that is well taken care of, especially if you know how to reduce it.

Is Low Sodium Ham Good For You?

First, taking low sodium ham is healthy, and there are many benefits associated with it. For instance, it able to balance fluids in your body and know helps send nerve impulses.

Sodium is an essential mineral that should be in your blood. If the levels are too low, you risk suffering from hyponatremia, otherwise known as low sodium levels in the blood.

The most important thing to note about sodium is the level. Avoid too much or complete absence as both extremes are unhealthy. If you take it in moderation, you won’t have to worry about it anymore.

One way to be healthy is to ensure that your favorite ham is well-cooked and sodium levels are reduced. That means you need to know how to prepare it, and also find those without added salt. There are multiple ways to reduce sodium if you want to stay healthy and unworried of sodium levels.

How Do You Reduce the Sodium Level?

As already said, ham is a favorite to many, but too much salt/sodium may cause headaches. If you love it, and balancing the flavor has been a challenge to you, don’t worry since there are ways out you need to know. With the right information on how to prepare your ham, you’ll never serve overly salty meat.

Much of the sodium in ham comes from the large amounts of salt applied to cure it while processing. That means that the one sure way to reduce sodium in your ham is to change how you prepare it.

You may not be able to do so if you usually buy already prepared ham. But if you prepare it at home, the problem of too much sodium won’t bother you much if you know how to take care of the salt. Here is how you can reduce the sodium in a ham:

1. Soak It Overnight in Cold Water

One easy and effective way to reduce the sodium in ham is by soaking it in water overnight. We recommend to keep it submerged and refrigerated for 12 to 24 hours. It would help if you kept changing the water every three to four hours to remove the salt as much as possible.

But what if you are in a rush and cannot soak while changing water overnight? Well, there is an alternative that you can use to reduce the salt too. You’ll still soak it in water, but you need to use hot water instead of cold. Just put it in boiling water for at least ten minutes, and it will still reduce the sodium.

2. Discard Pan Drippings While Cooking the Ham

Reducing the sodium does not end at soaking it in water. You can still reduce it further while preparing it or roasting. What happens is that drippings collect at the bottom of the oven or pan that you are using. If you want to remove the saltiness:

  1. Discard the drippings after twenty minutes. You can then continue roasting until it cooks perfectly.
  2. If more drip collects, keep discarding it.
  3. Don’t use the drippings to baste it.

This method works, and it will help you reduce sodium in your ham.

3. Apply Sweet Glazes When You Are Almost Done Cooking

Another thing that can help you reduce the sodium in ham is adding sweet glazes near the end of cooking. But why add sweet glazes, and not any other thing? The glazes, namely maple syrup, honey, cider vinegar, and sugar, have a neutralizing effect on ham’s saltiness.

There is one thing that you need to know about sweet glazes. Adding a lot of it might introduce another problem of too much sugar. You should, therefore, be sure of the most appropriate amounts to add. Also, check the ingredients well, and ensure that what you are using is right. Otherwise, it works and will help reduce the saltiness in ham.

4. Serve with a Dish that Neutralizes the Saltiness

Reducing sodium doesn’t end in the kitchen. You can still do something on the table to help reduce it further. The trick is to serve it with neutralizing dishes. If you pick the right dish, you will curb not only the saltiness but also add flavors.

For amazing results and salt reduction in ham, slice it very thinly and serve it with pasta, rice, or potatoes. You won’t even feel the saltiness, and the overall flavor of the meal will be excellent. It is one of the methods that reduce salinity and makes ham-eating enjoyable when done correctly.

Conclusion and Key Takeaway: What’s the alternative?

Finally, another question that many lovers of ham often ask: is there a reduced-sodium ham in the market or not? The answer is yes. You can get those labeled in the market as “no salt added,” and they genuinely contain lower sodium levels than others if you buy from trusted sellers.

But for good results and getting assurance that you are not taking a lot of sodium in your ham, follow the procedures above. They work nicely, and you won’t take too much sodium.