How many carbs are in a slice of cooked ham?

Ham is a popular type of cured and processed meat that is enjoyed by many people. It can be eaten cold, like deli ham, or cooked by baking, grilling, or frying. When you are watching your carbohydrate intake, you may wonder how many carbs are in a slice of cooked ham.

A Brief Overview of Ham

Ham is made from the hind legs of pigs that have been cured, smoked, or both. Curing involves treating the meat with salt, nitrites, and sometimes sugar or honey. This helps preserve the meat and gives it flavor. Smoking imparted more flavor and also helps preserve the ham.

There are several varieties of ham, including:

  • Fresh ham – from the leg of a pig, not cured
  • Country ham – dry cured with salt, then smoked
  • Prosciutto – dry cured Italian ham
  • Black forest ham – wet cured with spices
  • Honey baked ham – cured and cooked with honey glaze

For this article, we will focus on the carb content of a slice of cooked ham from the more commonly eaten wet cured hams sold at most grocery stores.

Factors That Affect Carb Content

Several factors impact the number of carbohydrates in ham:

  • Type of cure – wet or dry cured
  • Ingredients used – sugar, honey, etc.
  • Cooking method – baked, boiled, fried
  • Thickness of slice
  • Presence of glazes, breading, or other coatings
  • Presence of visible fat trimmed off or left on

In general, dry cured hams such as prosciutto tend to be lower in carbs than wet cured hams. Thicker slices will also have more carbs than thin slices. Cooking methods that allow fat to drip away, such as grilling or baking, result in a leaner cooked ham.

Nutritional Profile of Cooked Ham

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides nutritional data on a 3 ounce serving of roasted, lean cooked ham with no visible fat eaten:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 139
Fat 4.7 g
Protein 19 g
Carbohydrates 1.2 g

As you can see, a 3 ounce serving of lean cooked ham contains only 1.2 grams of carbohydrates. There are also 19 grams of protein in a serving this size.

Carb Count in a Single Slice

Now let’s determine the carb content of one slice of ham. Slices can vary in size, but a typical slice of ham is around 1 ounce or 28 grams.

If a 3 ounce serving of cooked ham contains 1.2 grams of carbs, then a 1 ounce slice would contain about 0.4 grams of carbohydrates.

So for a quick answer, there are less than 1 gram of carbohydrates in a 1 ounce slice of lean cooked ham.

Factors That Increase Carbs

While an average slice of ham is less than 1 gram of carbs, there are some factors that can increase the carb content:

  • Thicker cut – More meat equals more carbs
  • Ham with visible fat – Fatty parts contain a trace amount of carbs
  • Glazed ham – Honey or sugar-based glazes add carbs
  • Breaded ham – Bread crumbs increase carbs

As an example, a 1 ounce slice of honey baked ham with visible fat may contain around 2-3 grams of carbohydrates. If you are limiting carbs, be sure to choose leaner, low carb options.

Keto-Friendly Options

For those following a ketogenic diet, lean cooked ham can be a good low carb protein option. Some keto-friendly choices include:

  • Dry cured ham such as prosciutto
  • Country ham
  • Hardwood smoked ham
  • Ham steak with fat trimmed off

Avoid hams with honey or sugar glazes. Also be sure to trim any visible fat to reduce the trace carbs found in fatty areas.

Diabetic Diet Considerations

People with diabetes also need to monitor carbohydrate intake. Lean ham in small portions can be part of a diabetic diet.

The American Diabetes Association recommends the plate method, where you fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, one quarter with protein foods, and one quarter with grains or starchy foods.

A 1 ounce serving of lean ham would fit into the suggested protein foods portion. Make sure to pair it with low carb vegetables and minimize high carb foods at that meal.

Other Ways to Enjoy Ham

In addition to enjoying ham slices alone, there are other tasty ways to work it into your low carb or diabetic eating plan:

  • Add ham to omelets or scrambled eggs
  • Roll up lean ham with cheese slices
  • Make lettuce wrap sandwiches with ham
  • Add diced ham to salad greens
  • Mix chopped ham into mashed cauliflower

Get creative and have fun finding new ways to enjoy the flavor of ham while still keeping carbohydrates in check.

How Many Carbs in Other Cured Meats?

In addition to ham, other popular cured and processed meats can also fit into low carb diets when consumed in moderation. Here are the carb counts for some common servings:

Food Serving Size Grams of Carbs
Sliced turkey 1 ounce 0
Roast beef 1 ounce 0
Salami 1 ounce Around 1
Pepperoni 1 ounce Around 1
Bacon 1 slice Around 0

As you can see, most cured and processed meats are relatively low in carbohydrates per typical serving. Focus on limiting portions to 1-2 ounces at a time and avoiding products with added sugars.

Cooking Methods to Reduce Carbs

When cooking ham or other meats at home, you can use methods that allow fat to drain away, keeping the carb content low:

  • Grilling
  • Baking on a rack
  • Roasting
  • Air frying
  • Pan frying with drained fat poured off

Avoid frying methods that allow the meat to sit and absorb fat, as this will increase the trace carbohydrates found in the fat.

Healthiest Choices

While ham and other cured meats can be enjoyed on a low carb diet, it’s important to make healthy choices:

  • Choose lean, low sodium products
  • Eat in moderation – 1-2 oz servings
  • Limit processed meats high in saturated fat
  • Enjoy as part of an overall healthy diet

Consult with your healthcare provider about how to incorporate these foods into your diet in a healthy way.


When watching carbohydrate intake, ham can be a good protein option. A 1 ounce slice of lean cooked ham contains less than 1 gram of carbs. Thicker cuts or ham with fat/glazes increases the carb content. Enjoy ham in moderation along with low carb vegetables and other protein foods as part of an overall healthy diet. Opt for lean ham and use cooking methods that reduce fat to keep carb counts low.

Leave a Comment