Decoding the Deli Cold cuts have gotten a bad rap but if you use this counter intelligence, you can pick up a tasty and nutritious meal on the fly. The deli can be a one-stop shop of delicious, health-conscious options as long as you’re wary of sodium, nitrates and other deli dangers. The editors of Women’s Health magazine help you make the best choices for your body. Not All Cuts Are Created Equal: Sliced whole roasted ham, turkey and pot roast are known as “whole cuts,” also known as processed meats. These tend to be fattier and are made by adding preservatives and fillers to ground meat. The best way to make sure your getting a whole cut is to ask for it. Nitrate Dangers are no Baloney: When nitrates and sodium from meats like bologna and salami combine with the digestive juices in the stomach they can turn into a carcinogenic compound that has been linked to several types of cancer. Stuff your sandwiches with lots of veggies, the antioxidants in vegetables may prevent nitrates from converting into cancer causing compounds. Low Sodium Doesn’t have to Mean Low Taste: Some sandwiches can pack 150% of your RDA of sodium. Low sodium meats and cheeses slash salt by anywhere from 30 to 85 percent. When going low sodium, pick a meat or cheese you don’t normally eat and you can even choose ones with herbs or spices so you don’t miss the salt. Choose Your Cheese Wisely: Swiss has 83 percent less sodium than American cheese and even more calcium. Although no regular cheese can claim to be low fat, Mozzarella is the best for your body, with about six grams of fat per ounce. Ask for your order to be thin sliced to cut additional calories. Avoid Shiny Sides: When the veggies in deli salads are slick and glossy, it’s usually a good sign they’ve been bathed in high-calorie oil. Instead go for cucumber salad or mayo free coleslaw and don’t eat straight from the dish.
*For more diet advice, check out WomensHealthMag.com or pickup the April issue of Women’s Health on newsstands now!