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How Healthy Is Boar's Head Ham?

How Healthy Is Boar's Head Ham?


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The company produces 15 varieties of ham

Boar's Head is well-known for their ham.

Boar’s Head is one of the country’s most well-respected deli meat producers, and sell a wide variety of products, some healthier than others. Ham is one of their top sellers, but did you know that they sell 15 varieties?

Some of the ham that they sell is much healthier than others. The healthiest is their All-Natural Uncured Ham and All-Natural Applewood Smoked Uncured Ham, which are preservative-free and made without nitrates or nitrites. They only contain 70 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 440 milligrams of sodium per serving. Other lower-sodium varieties include Black Forest Ham, with 460 milligrams of sodium, or the Lower Sodium Branded Deluxe Ham, which contains 480 milligrams (as compared to 590 milligrams for regular).

The vast majority of Boar’s Head ham tops out at about two grams of fat and 70 calories; it’s all surprisingly lean. They also average more than 500 milligrams of sodium per two-ounce serving, so if you’re looking for a deli meat that’s low in fat and calories, ham is great, but not necessarily if you’re looking to keep your sodium intake down.


How Healthy Is Boar's Head Ham? - Recipes

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Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Boar ’ s Head Brand® different from other brands of deli meats and cheeses?

How long has Boar ’ s Head been in business?

Are your products Gluten Free?

Do you have products made with No Preservatives?

Do you have any Lower Sodium products?

I have sensitivity to particular ingredients. How can I find out which meats contain a particular ingredient?

Can your products be frozen?

We do not recommend freezing our products. Freezing affects both texture and flavor. However, if you do choose to freeze any of our fine products, be sure to defrost under refrigeration.

How long do your deli meats stay fresh in the refrigerator?

Our products are not highly processed. In order for you to enjoy optimum flavor, we recommend that you do not purchase more product than you can consume within three days.

Are there nutritional brochures available?

You can view several of our nutritional brochures online at www.boarshead.com/about/brochures. For additional information, please call our Product & Nutrition Line at 1 - 800 - 352 - 6277 .

How do I sign up to receive more information about Boar ’ s Head products and recipes?

To receive product information and delicious recipes, please sign up for our Friends & Family Newsletter at www.boarshead.com/about/connect.

How do I find out where to buy Boar's Head products?

Boar's Head is proudly sold in select supermarkets, gourmet stores and fine eateries across the country and in Puerto Rico. We'd love to help you find a location by calling us at 1-800-352-6277 or visiting boarshead.com/locator

Do your products contain GMOs?

At present, only Boar's Head Brand Hummus - excluding the Boar's Head Hummus Pretzel Snacks - and select Simplicity Organic products use only non-GMO ingredients and are Non-GMO Project Verified. Boar’s Head is committed to providing exceptional quality foods. Given the lack of regulatory documentation to support ingredient claims to the use of GMOs, we are unable to accurately assess or address the use of GMOs in our other products.

The only way to guarantee a product is non-GMO is to buy USDA certified organic products or non-GMO verified products like our Boar's Head Hummus and select Simplicity Organic products.

Do Boar ’ s Head products contain MSG?

Do you have any organic products?

Do your products contain nitrates or nitrites?

Do you use natural ingredients in your cheeses?

Do you have animal welfare requirements?


20 boars head Recipes

Tea Smoked Braised Boar with Spam-Pineapple Fried Rice (Ming Tsai)

Tea Smoked Braised Boar with Spam-Pineapple Fried Rice (Ming Tsai)

Potato Salad Mildly Tangy

Potato Salad Mildly Tangy

Potato Salad Mildly Tangy

Potato Salad Mildly Tangy

Shelly's Ham & Cheese Breakfast Bites

Shelly's Ham & Cheese Breakfast Bites

Apple White Cheddar and Gruyere Macaroni & Cheese

Apple White Cheddar and Gruyere Macaroni & Cheese

Savory Ham and Mushroom Quiche

Savory Ham and Mushroom Quiche

Antipasto with Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise

Antipasto with Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise

Steak Bombs

Turkey Reubens

Turkey Reubens

Pea, Pancetta and Zucchini Soup

Pea, Pancetta and Zucchini Soup

'gooped Up' Fettuccine, Alfredo-Style

Tips For Building a Better Sandwich

Watch Meat Portion Size

All of the nutrition information in the table is for only 2 ounces of meat. This is only about 2 slices of deli meat. Large sandwiches packed with deli meat could easily have 6 ounces (or more!) of meat. Six ounces of deli meat could easily have 1500mg of sodium – which is the amount some people should have in an entire day!

Use just a few slices of deli meat and bulk up your sandwich with other healthy and tasty ingredients!

Consider Using Unprocessed Meat

You don’t necessarily need to use deli meat to make a delicious sandwich. Use leftover meat or chicken for sandwiches. Or, cook a few chicken breasts weekly to have leftovers to use on sandwiches and salads for a quick, easy and low sodium lunch!

Add Veggies!

Don’t miss an opportunity to add veggies to your meal! Lettuce, onion, bell pepper or cucumber adds a satisfying crunch to nearly any sandwich. I also love to add tomato or avocado to make sandwiches a bit more interesting.

You could even make a sandwich made completely of vegetables. Try grilled eggplant, zucchini, red onion and bell pepper with hummus and a slice of cheese. Yum!

Avoid Processed Cheese

Not all cheese is created equal. Processed cheeses like American or nacho cheese tend to have much more sodium compared to “natural” cheeses like cheddar or colby.

Generally Swiss and mozzarella cheese are great low sodium options. However, sodium amount can vary quite a bit depending on the brand. Always check the Nutrition Facts label for sodium on whatever kind of cheese you buy.

Watch Our For Pickled Toppings

Remember that it is not just the deli meat that can make a sandwich a high sodium option. Pickled toppings like pickles, picked banana pepper or jalapenos can add a surprising amount of sodium. Three small dill pickle slices has about 170mg of sodium!

If you love that pickled flavor, try making your own quick pickled vegetables as a sandwich topper!

Be Choosy with Your Bread

Bread can add a surprising amount of sodium to your sandwich! Some breads pack nearly 450mg of sodium per slice!

I recommend looking for a bread that has less than 175mg of sodium per slice. Also, make sure to choose a healthy whole grain bread so you don’t miss out on fiber. Make sure your bread has at least 3 grams of fiber per slice.

My personal favorite bread is Brownberry Oatnut Bread – which has 150mg of sodium and 3 grams of fiber per slice.

Be Mindful of Condiments

Loading up on condiments can quickly turn your low sodium sandwich into a salty meal. A little is absolutely okay! But, be mindful of how much of any condiment you add to your sandwich. The sodium can add up quickly!

Sodium amount in 1 teaspoon*:

  • Yellow Mustard: 55mg
  • Dijon Mustard: 115mg
  • Ketchup: 45mg
  • Mayonnaise: 30mg
  • Italian Dressing: 50mg
  • Pesto: 50mg
  • Guacamole: 17mg
  • Hummus: 21mg

*Sodium amount varies based on brand. Use these sodium amounts as a general guide. Note that this is the sodium amount in only 1 teaspoon many portion sizes are much larger.

Add Healthy Sides!

I like to think of every meal as an opportunity to eat more fruits and vegetables. Most of us should be eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Instead of salty traditional sandwich sides like potato chips or French fries, try a side salad or fruit. Or, simple carrot and celery sticks are quick and easy!


Top 10 Healthiest Boar’s Head Deli Meats

I eat about 4 oz of Boar’s Head Deli meat four times a week. So I decided to find out which of their tasty delights are the healthiest for me to eat. By the way, I am a poultry guy and I prefer Turkey to Chicken… but these are the hard facts about their healthiest meats.

For this study, I am taking into consideration these attributes and in this priority

  1. Sodium Content (I want to reduce this number)
  2. Protein (I want to increase my protein intake)
  3. Cholesterol (I am not too concerned with this number, but I want it lower if possible)
  4. Fat (I am really not concerned with this number, but the lower the better — in most cases)
  5. Calories (Again, not a huge concern for me… based on the 4-Hour Body, I believe calories are essentially useless to count)

Ok, so this is what I found… their nutritional fact guide lists these particular meat’s serving size as 2 oz, I’m eating double that every day.

  1. Deluxe Low Sodium Oven Roasted Beef – Cap-Off Top Round
    1. 80 mg Sodium
    2. 15 g Protein
    3. 30 mg Cholesterol
    4. 2.5 g Fat
    5. 80 Calories
    1. 140 mg Sodium
    2. 14 g Protein
    3. 35 mg Cholesterol
    4. 2 g Fat
    5. 80 Calories
    1. 310 mg Sodium
    2. 13 g Protein
    3. 35 mg Cholesterol
    4. 1 g Fat
    5. 70 Calories
    1. 310 mg Sodium
    2. 12 g Protein
    3. 25 mg Cholesterol
    4. 3 g Fat
    5. 70 Calories
    1. 330 mg Sodium
    2. 13 g Protein
    3. 30 mg Cholesterol
    4. 1 g Fat
    5. 60 Calories
    1. 330 mg Sodium
    2. 12 g Protein
    3. 35 mg Cholesterol
    4. 3 g Fat
    5. 80 Calories
    1. 340 mg Sodium
    2. 13 g Protein
    3. 35 mg Cholesterol
    4. .5 g Fat
    5. 60 Calories
    1. 340 mg Sodium
    2. 13 g Protein
    3. 25 mg Cholesterol
    4. 1 g Fat
    5. 60 Calories
    1. 340 mg Sodium
    2. 12 g Protein
    3. 20 mg Cholesterol
    4. .5 g Fat
    5. 60 Calories
    1. 350 mg Sodium
    2. 13 g Protein
    3. 35 mg Cholesterol
    4. 1 g Fat
    5. 60 Calories

    As you can see, the Cholesterol, Fat, and Calories for each of these deli meats around about the same for each. If one was extremely higher than the other, I may have considered them higher on my priorities. *Golden Classic Over Roasted Chicken Breast (42% Lower Sodium) made it number 10 on my list, but there were two products that had 10 mg less sodium. the All Natural Uncured Ham and the All Natural Smoked Uncured Ham. Both of these products had 10 mg less Sodium but also 1 g less Protein than the Chicken Breast. For such a small difference in Sodium, the Protein was more important to me.

    I was actually surprised by my results, I was really surprised when I saw #1 only had 80 mg of Sodium. As a rule, I prefer poultry over beef, but at such a low sodium count and such a high protein count, I will be purchasing #1 for next weeks lunches.


    Baked Ham, Lightened Up

    When I used to teach at a culinary school, my bonus each year was a ham (I know, a ham!). Baked ham can be healthy, but it can also be a sugar and sodium disaster. Avoid the common pitfalls and create a healthier main course for your holiday feast -- or for dinner any time of year.

    First of all, yes, ham is a lean meat. Glazed ham -- with bone-in -- is about 190 calories and 11 grams of fat per serving (that's about 3 ounces). However, typical glazed ham recipes usually suggest a 1-pound serving per person, which ups those figures to 760 calories with 44 grams of fat. Also, a typical 3-ounce portion of ham has 860 milligrams of sodium (or about 36% of your daily sodium needs). Factor that towards a larger, more traditional portion and that puts you at about 150% of your daily sodium needs.

    The sweet and savory combination of ham and fruit are an Easter favorite. Most folks make their homemade glaze with honey, brown sugar, raisins or even pineapples. Other fruits to try are pears, apples, cranberries, peaches or oranges. Rather than honey or fruit juice, why not make a glaze with whiskey or brandy? About 90% of the calories and alcohol are eliminated once the alcohol is cooked.

    Of course, you can always use half the amount of brown sugar or honey, but sometimes you just want the real deal. If you just can't bear to de-sweeten your ham, consider lightening up some of your other sweet dishes -- maybe skip the marshmallows on your yams or forgo a sugar-heavy dessert.

    Traditional hams are smoked or cured, which is the main reason for those high sodium levels. Paired with sodium-heavy sauces such as Worcestershire or chicken broth, your sodium totals will skyrocket even more. The simplest trick is to cut the salty ingredients by half or go for the low-sodium version of usual ingredients (i.e. low-sodium chicken broth).

    [Editor's note: check out some more salt-cutting tips from our readers below]

    Yes, it's a holiday, but portions still count on Easter (and you want leftovers, don't you?). As I said, traditional recipes often call for a 1-pound serving of meat. To keep calories, salt and fat under control, opt for a smaller-sized ham and slice it in small pieces. Aim for about 3-4 ounces of ham per person (that's about the size of your palm). Then fill up on fresh side dishes -- with all the spring veggies coming into season, there are many options.


    What CR’s Tests Found

    CR focused on nitrates and nitrites, but we also looked at 4-MEI, listeria, and sodium.

    Nitrates and nitrites: We tested 31 packaged deli meats—name brands and store brands—including chicken, ham, roast beef, salami, and turkey. (See “CR’s Deli Meat Test Results,” below.)

    All samples had levels below the federal government’s thresholds for deli meats: 500 micrograms per gram for nitrate and 200 micrograms for nitrite. But our tests also showed how confusing the labels can be. There were 10 “cured” meats in our tests and 21 “uncured.” On average, the nitrate and nitrite levels were essentially the same.

    4-MEI: We tested 12 packaged deli meats with caramel color in the ingredients list for 4-MEI—a byproduct of some caramel colors used in deli meat, colas, and other foods. Animal studies suggest that 4-MEI increases cancer risk, and in California any food that exposes consumers to more than 29 micrograms per day must carry a cancer warning label.

    None of the meats we tested had more than that amount of 4-MEI in a 3-ounce serving. But some had high levels, up to 21 micrograms. “So some deli meats could add a significant amount of 4-MEI to your diet, especially if you eat a lot of them or get the compound from other sources,” says Sana Mujahid, Ph.D., manager of food safety testing at CR.

    Listeria monocytogenes: Cold cuts are known to be a risky food for listeria, and meats sliced at deli counters are more likely to be contaminated than packaged ones. CR tested 133 samples of sliced meat purchased in New York City delis. Two of them contained the bacteria—one with a strain involved in an outbreak of illnesses linked to deli meat and cheese that put eight people in the hospital (one person died). CR notified the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of our findings, and it addressed the issues.

    Listeriosis, the illness caused by listeria, is rare but serious: More than 90 percent of people who get it are hospitalized, and 1 in 5 dies. The very old or young, and people with compromised immune systems, are more vulnerable. So are pregnant women, because the illness can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that people in those high-risk groups should avoid deli meat entirely.

    Sodium: CR nutritionists reviewed the sodium in 124 packaged deli meats from a variety of brands and compared it with the sodium in similarly sized portions of fresh meats, such as grilled chicken. On average, deli meats had 8 to 11 times the sodium content. (See “CR’s Deli Meat Test Results,” below.)

    Too much sodium raises the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Experts advise keeping it under 2,300 mg a day. Cold cuts, and other cured meats, are the fourth-largest contributors of sodium in the U.S. diet, according to the CDC. “Cutting back on deli meat is an effective way to cut back on sodium,” says CR nutritionist Amy Keating, R.D.


    Baked Ham with Warm Pineapple Compote

    This tender and juicy baked ham made with Boar’s Head Sweet Slice® Boneless Smoked Ham is super easy to make and is perfect for any occasion! It’s topped with Boar’s Head Brown Sugar and Spice Ham Glaze and served with an easy and delicious warm pineapple compote.

    I’m such a ham! No, seriously I am. My maiden is Hamm. So it would only be fitting that I love ham too, right?

    My family loves ham! Not just for holidays but all throughout the year. And nothing beats a good ham. My absolute favorite is Boar’s Head. It’s so tender, juicy and flavorful! The Boar’s Head Sweet Slice® Boneless Smoked Ham is really delicious! You can get it sliced in the deli which is great for sandwiches topped with Boar’s Head Gold Label Imported Switzerland Swiss® Cheese and Boar’s Head Delicatessen Style Mustard. My absolute favorite is a Monte Cristo also known as Croque Monsieur, a French-inspired fried ham and cheese sandwich dusted with powdered sugar. I love to dip the sandwich in a current jelly. It’s heavenly and in my opinion one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever sink your teeth into.

    Boar’s Head is a quality brand you can trust, and their Sweet Slice® Boneless Smoked Ham is perfect for any special occasion this spring such as Easter, baby or wedding showers. The best part is the ham is already cooked so you just need to bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes per pound. It’s so easy! You really don’t even need to wait for a special occasion to make a delicious ham dinner. It’s easy to make any night of the week and any leftovers are great for lunch, eggs, omelettes, ham salad, chicken cordon bleu, scalloped potato and ham, you name it! Plus Boar’s Head Sweet Slice® Ham is gluten and milk free and has exceptional flavor of a traditional bone-in ham without the bone so it makes it super easy to slice and serve!

    For holidays and special occasions my family always loves baked ham. We’re literally a ham family. When I host a family dinner I love to create dishes that are effortless. Boar’s Head Sweet Slice® Boneless Smoked Ham makes it easy without sacrificing taste or quality – which I love. I simply place the ham in a roasting pan, brush on Boar’s Head Brown Sugar and Spice Glaze, cover it with foil and bake it until it’s heated through. So simple and delicious! The glaze is so good I could eat it with a spoon! I complete my menu with my family favorite Company Potatoes which I can make ahead, roasted carrots and a sweet and simple Warm Pineapple Compote (recipe below) which is a great compliment with the ham. I also include some fresh bakery rolls, Boar’s Head Gold Label Imported Switzerland Swiss® Cheese and Boar’s Head Delicatessen Style Mustard for anyone that would like to make a sandwich.

    Nothing beats walking into the kitchen and the aroma of a ham baking in the oven. Am I right? And with Boar’s Head Sweet Slice® Smoked Ham you get the irresistible smell that we all love with amazing quality and flavor and super easy prep that only takes a matter of minutes. The end result is a super tender and juicy boneless ham thanks to Boar’s Head that will become a family favorite for any day or occasion!


    Boar’s Head Deli Meats + EverRoast Chicken Quinoa Pilaf Recipe

    This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boar’s Head for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

    Did you know that heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States? Eating a healthy diet is one important way you can help prevent heart disease. Boar’s Head ensures that their products are certified heart-healthy deli meats. This means that their premium quality deli meats meet criteria for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, low sodium and more.

    A heart-healthy diet does not mean you have to sacrifice flavor. There are dozens of flavor varieties of Boar’s Head heart-healthy deli meats to love. My favorites include the Mesquite Wood Smoked Roasted Turkey Breast and All Natural Applewood Smoked Uncured Ham.

    It is easy to incorporate Boar’s Head deli meats into delicious main dishes like EverRoast Chicken Quinoa Pilaf. The recipe below is made with EverRoast Oven Roasted Chicken Breast and can help you enjoy a heart-healthy lifestyle.



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