Monday, January 14, 2013

Lunch Meat Low Down: What's Really In Your Sandwich

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   In a recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers found that, compared to fresh or frozen meats, there is an elevated risk of chronic disease associated with the consumption of processed meats such as deli meats, hot dogs and sausages. Yet there is no disputing the practicality of eating pre-packaged, processed meats, especially since they can be perfectly tailored to fill a sandwich. Bon’App is here to provide you with a guide to the best and worst sandwich meats, so you can make the healthiest, tastiest sandwich the next time you brown-bag it.

Turkey
 
The healthiest of sandwich meats, turkey is your best bet on all accounts. A lean source of protein, it has only 25 calories and 0g of bad fat per slice. However, since deli meats are preserved through processes such as salting, you will want to watch out for the salt content and select a low-sodium variety or an oven-roasted option that is freshly prepared in the supermarket. Remember, you can always add extra flavor with veggies and healthy spreads such as hummus, salsa, and guacamole.
Per 2oz Hillshire Farm's Deli Select Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
Ham
Another cold cut favorite, ham has 30 calories and 0g of bad fat per slice. Certain varieties of ham tend to be fattier, particularly in bad fat, than turkey, but choosing a lean cut can sidestep this problem. It's a great way to add protein, but with 330mg of sodium, you may want to find a low-sodium variety if you're watching your salt intake. Also, be careful with choosing honey-baked varieties, as these add sugar and calories. 
Per 2oz Hormel's Virginia Deli Ham
Roast Beef
Roast beef tends to be higher in fat, and it contains a hefty 550 mg of sodium per slice. With 35 calories and 1 gram of bad fat per slice, you should reserve roast beef for a special sandwich. If you do eat roast beef, choose a leaner cut, and compliment it with a layer of veggies.

Per 2oz Hillshire Farm's Deli Select Roast Beef
Bologna

Bologna is often the meat of childhood, the one on every Wonder Bread sandwich, every day of elementary school--but bologna is meat that might be better suited for the past. With 95 calories and 3g of bad fat per slice, it's definitely one of the least healthy options, especially without a redeeming amount of protein. If bologna is still your best friend, try mixing in other deli meats that are lower calorie within your sandwich.
Per 2oz Oscar Mayer's Bologna

When choosing sandwich meats, keep in mind that leaner cuts of meat are your best options, and be careful when you dress your sandwich to avoid extra calories and bad fat. Choose 100% whole wheat bread over white, and opt for vinegar or mustard instead of mayonnaise and creamy dressings. Veggies are always a great final touch! Bon'Appetite!

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