The good news? Lean, bone-in ham is pretty healthy to begin with. One 3-ounce serving runs around 160 calories with 3 grams of fat and 17 grams of protein. However, the salt is where it can get you, with a single serving containing anywhere from 900-1250mg of sodium.
So with this in mind, keep your serving sizes in check when you’re loading up your plate this Easter: 3-4 ounces of meat per person, or about the size of your palm. And be sure to drink lots of water and keep the contents of your meal as a whole as balanced as possible.
Tips For How to Cook a Healthier Ham
- Buy an extra lean, bone-in ham to ensure you’re starting with the healthiest option possible.
- If it comes with a packet of basting sauce, throw it out. It’s likely loaded with sugar, salt and highly-processed ingredients.
- Use a roasting pan to separate the ham from the drippings.
- Don’t add a lot of butter before or during the cooking process. The ham’s own juices will keep it plenty moist without the extra fat.
- Pair it with healthier sides, like fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and limited amounts of heavy casseroles.
Just in case you need a little more inspiration, here are three healthier ham recipes that you and your family are sure to love.
Apricot Citrus Stuffed Ham. This less-traditional recipe plays on the natural flavors of apricot and honey to sweeten up the ham without adding lots of extra calories.
Easy Baked Ham. This classic recipe only requires for 4 ingredients, and stays right around 350 calories per serving.
Simple Baked Ham. This easy-to-follow recipe features ingredients like mustard and apple juice to give your ham a sweet and tangy twist.
With these recipes and tips in mind, go forth and enjoy your holiday weekend. DietsInReview.com’s Registered Dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, reminds us to remain mindful and eat slowly this Easter, even if the temptation to overindulge arises. But that if we do end up going overboard, we should simply eat less and become more active for the few days following to compensate.
Another helpful tip? Only eat to your comfort level and choose vegetables, fruits, lean meats and high-fiber grains. Mary says there’s no real need to eat drastically fewer calories after Easter because you can can easily burn off the extra calories with exercise. Some spring-friendly forms of exercise might be biking, walking, raking the lawn, or picking up all those leftover, hidden Easter eggs in your yard with the kiddos.
If you follow this simple advice, Mary says that in a few days time you can return to your usual meal and activity patterns. So with that, have a happy Easter!