4. Processed Lunch Meat . Lunch meats , including deli cold cuts , bologna, and ham, make the unhealthy list because they contain lots of sodium and sometimes fat as well as some preservatives like nitrites.
“In-store” roasted meat . Ask at the deli counter – some grocery stores will actually cook pork tenderloin, beef , bison or turkey in the store, so fresh meat becomes as convenient as processed meat . Or, better yet, roast it yourself and slice up the leftovers for sandwiches. That way you know for sure what’s in it.
Deli Cuts Are Healthier While there are numerous factors that determine how healthy (or unhealthy ) sliced meats are, items purchased at the deli counter are generally healthier than those that are pre- packaged .
Chicken, tuna or hard-boiled egg salad using plain Greek yogurt or avocado instead of mayo. Get creative with ingredients like tofu, tempeh or legumes (like chickpeas) to fill your sandwich (Check out this egg-less egg salad recipe or this curried chicken-less salad.) Hummus with or without fresh or roasted veggies.
Deli meat that is sliced fresh off the bone or slab contain natural nitrates and is minimally processed . Look for a low-sodium deli meat . Fresh deli meat still has sodium because it’s used for preservation, so look for options that say low-sodium to help cut down on the salt.
But it is surprising that most of those smoked turkey or oven-roasted ham slices are classified as “processed meats”—a category of food that’s been linked to heart disease and cancer.
Turkey is a popular meat that boasts high-quality protein, B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus. It may support various aspects of health , including muscle growth and maintenance, due to its rich supply of nutrients. However, it’s best to avoid processed varieties, as these are high in salt.
Sodium nitrate , a preservative that’s used in some processed meats, such as bacon, jerky and luncheon meats, could increase your heart disease risk. It’s thought that sodium nitrate may damage your blood vessels, making your arteries more likely to harden and narrow, leading to heart disease.
There’s no way to have deli meat without some nitrates and nitrites added — whether natural or artificial. We know that deli meats aren’t exactly the healthiest foods around, but cold – cut sandwiches are part of the routine.
Risks. Processed turkey products can be high in sodium and harmful to health. Many processed meats are smoked or made with sodium nitrites. These combine with amines that are naturally present in the meat and form N-nitroso compounds, which are known carcinogens.
Most cold cuts are considered processed meats . The American Institute for Cancer Research defines processed meat as ” meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives.” Along with cold cuts, other processed meats include bacon, salami, bologna, hot dogs and sausages.
10 Prep-and-Pack Lunch Ideas That Aren’t Sandwiches 10 Sandwich -Free Kids’ Lunch Ideas. Or, you know, sandwich -free lunch ideas for anyone. Food on Sticks. Quesadillas. Spring Rolls. Deli Meat Roll-Ups. Vegetable Sushi or Onigiri. Cold Noodle Salads. Hummus and Pita Plate.
Sure Signs Your Deli Meat Has Gone Bad Start by looking at the sell-by date. Generally speaking, once it’s been opened, eat within three to five days. If the meat is extremely slimy with a film on the outside, throw it away.
By substituting a high-saturated fat deli meats with leaner portions of chicken or turkey , you can reduce the amount of fat and calories that you introduce into your diet.