Is Salami Keto?

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Written by Rahul Malpe, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Salami is typically a dry sausage, meaning that it does not contain any added water or other liquids. This gives it a longer shelf life than other types of sausage. It is also an excellent source of protein and other nutrients, making it a good choice for snack time or meal time. 

However, is it suitable for a keto diet? Let's find out.


What is salami?

It is a cured sausage that is typically made from beef, pork, or a combination of the two. The meat is ground and then mixed with salt, spices, and other curing agents. Once the mixture is uniform, it is placed into a casing and fermented for several weeks. 

After fermentation, the meat is typically air-dried for several months. This drying process concentrates the flavors and gives the sausage its characteristic firm texture. 

While it is most commonly associated with Italy, it is actually enjoyed in many different countries around the world. In addition to being a popular snack food, it is also often used as an ingredient in dishes such as pasta sauce and pizza. 


Salami nutrition facts

3 slices of this food contain the following nutrients:

Serving size: 27 g (3 slices) 

  • Calories: 99 kcal
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Total carbs: 0.5 g
  • Net carbs: 0.5 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 7 g

As with all food, this one has its set of advantages and disadvantages. 


  • Rich in vitamins - There are some B vitamins in salami, such as thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), and vitamin B12. The human body relies heavily on B vitamins. They are essential for maintaining healthy cognitive functions, immune health, and skeletal health.
  • Contains small amounts of good bacteria - It contains friendly bacteria in a similar way to probiotic yogurts and kimchi. Bacteria usually grow around the casing of sausages during fermentation. Bacteria such as this do not harm human health, which is why they are called “good bacteria.”


  • It is heavily processed - This food goes through a rigorous amount of processing before it reaches the shelves of grocery stores. The process may involve curing, salting, and smoking to enhance its flavor, texture, and shelf life.
  • The World Cancer Research Fund International recommends eating little or no processed meat. Research suggests that eating processed meat can potentially increase the risk of certain types of cancer and metabolic diseases. For these reasons, you might want to be mindful about your intake of this meat.
  • It contains harmful nitrates - Nitrites are commonly added to cured meats as a preservative. Nitrites can react with amines in the body to form nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are known carcinogens, and they have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. It is vital to note that the amount of nitrates/ nitrites found in processed foods is very little in comparison to the amount found naturally in some foods. However, processed foods are filled with other ingredients that are not healthful and this together with the cancer risk has led to the recommendation that you consume very little, if any, processed meats.



Can you have salami on a keto diet?

The answer is yes, you can eat salami on a keto diet. This is because it is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate food. In fact, a typical serving of 3 slices contains about 8 g of fat and 0 grams of carbohydrates. This makes it a good food for people who are following a ketogenic diet.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

  1. First, make sure that you choose a quality brand that is free of added preservatives and fillers. 
  2. Second, watch your portion size, it’s easy to overeat and this food should only be eaten in moderation since it is a processed meat. 
  3. And lastly, combine with green leafy vegetables so that you are getting a good dose of fiber and other nutrients along with it.


How much salami on the keto diet can you have?

Generally speaking, a fair amount would be up to 6 slices of salami per day on the keto diet. However, it's important to check the labels of your salami, as some brands may be higher in carbs than others. 

But remember, it's best to choose unrefined meats over processed ones, so while eating more will not necessarily affect your ketosis, it can negatively impact your health.


What kind of salami can you have on keto?

When most people think of this food, they think of the fatty, processed lunch meat that is high in fat and calories. However, there are many different types available. Here are a few.

  • Chorizo - It is a type of cured pork sausage that originates from Spain. It is typically made with coarsely ground pork, paprika, and garlic. Chorizo can be spicy or mild, and it is often used in traditional Spanish dishes such as paella and fabada. 
  • Genoa - It is a type of dry-cured ham that originates from the city of Genoa in Italy. It is made with lean pork leg that is seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices. Genoa is typically eaten as an antipasto or used as an ingredient in pasta dishes. 
  • Finocchiona - It is a type of Tuscan salami that is made with fennel seeds and pork fat. The salami is aged for several months, and it has a mildly sweet and spicy flavor. Finocchiona is often served sliced thin on a plate of salami or used as an ingredient in salads and pasta dishes.
  • Ciauscolo - it is a dry-cured sausage from the Marche and Umbria regions of Italy. The name comes from the Latin word for "fat," cibus. 
  • Soppressata - it is a type of salami made from pork that has been pressed and dry-cured. It is typically made with leaner cuts of pork, like the shoulder or loin. 
  • Kulen - It is a type of dry-cured sausage from Croatia that is made with pork, garlic, and paprika. The sausage is traditionally smoked over a fire made from beech wood.



What can you have it with?

Here are some ideas for what to have it with on a keto diet:

  • With mozzarella cheese: This classic combo is perfect for anyone who loves the taste of Italian food. The salty flavor of the meat pairs perfectly with the creamy mozzarella cheese.
  • Low-carb bread with avocado: This combination is perfect for those who are looking for a healthy, filling meal. The healthy fats in the avocado help to keep you feeling satiated, while the protein in the meat provides sustained energy.
  • Low-carb bread with cucumber: This refreshing combination is perfect for hot summer days. The cool cucumber helps to balance out the richness of the meat, making it a light and refreshing option.

Keto-friendly salami alternatives

If you're following a ketogenic diet, you may be wondering what alternatives to salami there are that are still keto-friendly. However, there are a few alternative options that you can opt for instead.

  • Ham - It is a cut of meat taken from the hind leg of a pig. It can be fresh, cured, or smoked. Ham is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from breakfast sandwiches to dinner entrees. 
  • Sausage - Sausage is ground meat that is typically seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices. It can be made from beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. It is often used as a breakfast food, but it can also be added to pasta sauces, casseroles, and other dishes. 
  • Pepperoni - It is a type of salami that is made from cured and fermented pork. It is typically seasoned with paprika, garlic, and other spices. Pepperoni is a popular topping for pizzas and other Italian-inspired dishes.
  • Bacon - As a processed meat, bacon should also be eaten in moderation.



Do you still have a lot of questions about this meat? Below we answer some more specific questions related to this food.

Because it is a processed meat, it is not considered very healthy. It contains saturated fat, sodium, and possibly nitrates. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends that people avoid or limit processed meat.

However, it does contain protein, an essential nutrient for muscle growth and tissue repair, as well contains several other important micronutrients such as vitamin B12 which helps maintain cell structure.

Yes, it can be good for weight loss. The high fat and protein content means it takes longer to digest so it helps to keep you feeling full, so you are less likely to snack between meals and so may end up eating less (fewer calories may lead to weight loss). 

Some of the most popular brands include Volpi, Alle-pia, and Veroni. These brands of salami are all made from pork that has been freshly ground and then seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices. 

The meat is then dry-cured for several weeks, which gives it a unique flavor and texture. When choosing a salami for keto, it is important to read the label carefully to make sure that it does not contain any added sugar or carbs.

This can vary slightly depending on the type of meat and the specific store. If you are buying it in bulk, you may be able to get a discount. So, if you are planning on serving it at a party or event, it is worth checking to see if your local grocery store offers a bulk discount.

Yes, it is keto-friendly. This processed meat product is high in fat and protein, but low in carbs. 3 slices of it contains 8 g of fat, 16 grams of protein, and only 1 g of carbohydrates. 

Still, remember that processed meats should be eaten in moderation. 

Yes, it is keto-friendly, because it is low in carbohydrates and high in fat. 5 slices of Boar's Head hard salami contain about 9 g of fat, 1 g of carbohydrates, and 6 g of protein.