Iberian ham adds value in healthy sports diets to winter Olympic athletes

OutReach – 15 February 2022 – February has become a key month for winter
sports enthusiasts. The 2022 Winter Olympics have officially started on
February 4. Held in Beijing, the daily training and diet of professional
athletes has become a topic of interest for the Chinese citizen.

Professional athletes need to have excellent and competitive skills, and
a strong physique to show the best performance. Therefore, a rich, varied and balanced diet, together with the necessary
daily training, is essential to maintain the optimal state of the body and
improve sports performance. A good diet is essential in sports practice for
energy generation and physical recovery.

For professional athletes, adequate intake of high-biological protein,
vitamins and minerals is especially important, as it contributes to muscle
development and maintaining normal biochemical functions.

In this context, the Mediterranean Diet, recognized as Intangible
Heritage of Humanity in 2010, is a world reference for varied and balanced
diet. Within it, Iberian hams occupy a prominent place for their nutritional

A recent study carried out by a Spanish university (UEX), highlights the
high biological value of the proteins presented in Iberian hams from Spain. In
addition, the study shows the essential amino acids Iberian ham provides, as
well as the presence of minerals (potassium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc) and
vitamins of group B (B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12), and from the point of view of fat
content, the study highlights the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids
in Iberian Ham, and its richness in oleic acid. The replacement of saturated
fats by this type of fats presented in Iberian Ham, contributes to maintain
normal levels of blood cholesterol.

The production of Iberian Ham involves a traditional elaboration process
based on long curing times that sometimes lengthen 4, 5,… or even more years.
Matured naturally thanks to the climatology of the territory in which the ham
is made, they become a food of high nutritional value.

The Iberian Jamón is the most prestigious delicacy in Spain and one of
the jewels of European cuisine, for its unique flavor, as well as for the
nutritional contributions it represents within a varied and balanced diet.

Precisely, to show
the Chinese consumer the qualities and benefits of Iberian Ham, ASICI, with the
support of the EU, has launched “Iberian Hams of Spain, Ambassadors of
Europe in the World”. A historic promotional campaign led by renowned
Spanish chef Mario Sandoval (two Michelin stars) and an international network
of influential chefs, who are great spokesperson of world gastronomy, will
bring the benefits of Iberian Ham to consumers. Meanwhile, this campaign will
be carried out in Spain, France, Germany and Mexico to awaken the “Iberian
Sense” of more than 300 million consumers, in addition to reaching a
market with enormous potential such as China. It is the most important
international promotion program carried out by the Iberian sector in its
history and is expected to show Chinese consumers what it means to enjoy
Iberian Ham in all its splendor.

On the occasion of the Lantern Festival and the Winter Olympic Games, The Interprofessional Association of the Iberian Pig (ASICI) wishes its best regards to Chinese consumers and will continue to promote the culture of Iberian Ham within a healthy diet.


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