A portion of cooked meat provides more nutritional energy than a similar serving of raw meat. The Food Safety and Inspection Service branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that ham and other pork products should always be cooked to an internal temperature of no less than 140 degrees.
In 2011, the National Academy of Sciences published results of a Harvard study that concluded that meats that are thermally cooked deliver more usable energy than raw meat.
Ham comes from the upper leg of a pig. It is available in fresh, cured and smoked forms. Fresh ham must be thoroughly cooked prior to consumption. Ready-to-eat ham products such as prosciutto and canned ham may be eaten immediately.