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Deli Meats Worse Than Cheetos

Think you're doing your bod a favor by brown-bagging it? Think again. Deli meats, the kind you pile high between two slices of heart-healthy fiber-rich multi-grain bread may be putting your life at risk.
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A recent study found that the consumption of processed meats—like the cured, salted, and smoked tubular finds lining the deli counter—have been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer.

But wait, there's more! A vast majority of deli meats include sodium nitrate as a preservative. Recent studies have found a link between the sodium nitrate in lunch meat to heart disease. Nitrates have also been shown to interfere with the body's natural means of processing sugar, leading to an increased risk in diabetes.

Not scared yet? Okay, here's our last shot: A single slice of many of your favorite sandwich fillers has more sodium than a single serving of Cheetos (1 oz or 21 cheesy nuggets of goodness—250 mg). Sodium, a known contributor to hypertension, is also a risk factor in the development of heart disease.


Eat This

Tofurky Bologna Style Slices, 3 slices

Calories 100
Fat 3 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Sodium 320 mg

Not That!

Bologna, 1 slice

Calories 69
Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Sodium 254 mg

Pork, chicken, or beef—it doesn't make a difference when it comes to the sodium content of this mystery meat. One generic slice of this uber-processed meat has 314 mg of sodium (and 6 grams of fat!)—that's just once slice, how many do you use to make a sandwich? However, a three-slice serving of Tofurky bologna dishes out the same amount of sodium as one slice of the real stuff, half the fat, and no nitrates.

Corned Beef

Eat This

Boar's Head No Salt Added Oven Roasted Beef, 2 oz

Calories 80
Fat 3 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Sodium 40 mg

Not That!

Boar's Head Corned Beef, 2 oz

Calories 80
Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Sodium 540 mg

Corned beef is cured—remember our warning about that above? Not only does it carry an increased risk of colon cancer, but it's super high in sodium. If you can't live without beef Boar's Head No Salt Added Oven Roasted Beef is a good alternative.


Eat This

Applegate Naturals Slow Cooked Ham, 1 oz

Calories 30
Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Sodium 240 mg

Not That!

Applegate Naturals Uncured Genoa Salami, 1 oz

Calories 100
Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Sodium 480 mg

It's salty, it's fatty, it's delicious, but don't eat it. Even uncured brands of salami, like organic brand Applegate can't escape the super salty nature of this Italian favorite. However, try their slow cooked ham for all the flavor but none of the salt overload.

Oven Roasted Chicken

Eat This

Louis Rich Carving Board Baked Chicken, 2 oz

Calories 22
Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Sodium 251 mg

Not That!

Oscar Mayer Oven Roasted Chicken, 2 oz

Calories 90
Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Sodium 740 mg

Is nothing sacred? Even chicken is bad for you?

Well, yeah. Three slices of Oscar Meyer Oven Roasted Chicken has and is browned with caramel color. Eat Louis Rich's Carving Board Baked Chicken instead.


Eat This

Boar's Head No Salt Added Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, 2 oz

Calories 70
Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Sodium 55 mg

Not That!

Boar's Head Maple Glazed Cured Turkey Breast, 2 oz

Calories 70
Fat 0.5 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Sodium 440 mg

Lunchtime has far surpassed Thanksgiving as the most popular time for eating turkey, but are you eating a daily sodium bomb? Your best bet in choosing deli slices is to steer clear of special flavors.


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