Is it OK to Eat Deli Meat?

Food & Nutrition

Is it OK to Eat Deli Meat?

Sandwiches are a lunchtime staple and it’s easy to make healthy high-protein versions of your favorites, like turkey or steak. However, deli meat often gets a bad rap for being highly processed (which ups the sodium content). Still, “cold cuts can definitely fit into a well-balanced diet, but the frequency may depend on the type,” says Keri Gans, RD, author of “The Small Change Diet.”

Here, a look at how different cold cuts compare nutritionally, why sodium content matters and how to make a healthy sandwich that helps you reach your health goals.


As you can see, turkey, ham and roast beef run pretty similar in terms of calories, fat and sodium. It’s salami that is markedly higher in fat (including saturated fat) and sodium.

THE SODIUM DILEMMA

“The problem with many deli meats is they are very high in sodium, and for salt-sensitive individuals, this may increase their risk for high blood pressure and heart disease,” says Gans. Even if you’re not particularly worried about salt, think about how you feel after eating a sandwich packed with cold cuts. “For some people, very high-sodium foods can cause bloating, which leads to GI discomfort,” she adds.

Cold cuts are among the top 10 sources of sodium in the American diet, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Consider that the recommendations are to limit your sodium intake to 2,300mg per day. If you’re eating a sandwich with bread, deli meat, cheese and mustard, you may get 1,500mg of sodium in a single meal, says the CDC — and that’s before sides like chips and a pickle.

ARE PRESERVATIVES A PROBLEM?

Deli meat often contains nitrates or nitrites, which are added as preservatives to keep slices fresh. A report from the American Institute of Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund says there’s evidence consuming processed meats daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer. It’s less clear, however, if it’s the nitrates specifically or because of other factors such as lifestyle. “More research is needed, but, in moderation, deli meat is safe,” says Gans.

TIPS FOR EATING DELI MEAT

If you eat a lot of deli meat, look for those free of added nitrates or nitrites. Applegate is one example; major brands also have lines free of these preservatives, says Gans.

Most people should also opt for cold cuts that are lower in sodium (you can look for low-sodium or reduced-sodium on the label). If you have a sandwich, it’s also a good idea to cut back on saltier foods for the remainder of the day.

Choose wisely: “Turkey, ham or roast beef are better choices than salami, bologna or pastrami, because they are lower in sodium, calories and fat,” says Gans. “Fresh roasted” is another buzzword to look for at the deli counter, she says. “These may include fewer preservatives, and thus, less sodium.”

HOW TO BUILD A HEALTHY SANDWICH

Gans advises using four slices of deli meat, max. “Build bulk by adding veggies, not more meat,” she says. Along with the standard lettuce and tomato, consider piling on cucumbers or sliced carrots for crunch or using grilled veggies as toppings. Avocado or hummus can replace mayo or cheese as a spread, which adds healthy monounsaturated fats.

You can also cut down on sodium by using one piece of bread and making it open-faced. Or, try placing a couple pieces of turkey between two slices of bell peppers as the “bread,” or roll it up in hearty greens like kale or collards.

Source: My Fitness Pal

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Fat & Figuring It Out Podcast, Uncategorized

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12 Slow-Cooked Meat-Lover Meals Under 450 Calories

Fitness on a Budget, Food & Nutrition, recipes, Uncategorized
    12 Slow-Cooked Meat-Lover Meals Under 450 Calories

Coming home after a tiring workday? Waking up late on a lazy Sunday morning? Some days you want nothing more than a hot, nourishing meal waiting for you at the table. That’s why we’ve gathered 12 meaty slow-cooker meals, bursting with flavor and protein, that let you just set it and forget it!

1. CROCK-POT BUFFALO CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS | SKINNYTASTE

All the flavors of Buffalo wings without all the added fat and calories? Sign us up! Try these at your next tailgating party. They’re so tasty, your guests won’t even miss the real deal. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1/2 cup chicken and veggies each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 148; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 56mg; Sodium: 879mg; Carbohydrate: 5g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 25g

2. SLOW COOKER COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN | BOYS AHOY

One taste of this spiced coconut curry chicken will leave your mouth craving more. Onions, carrots and bell peppers bulk up this easy recipe. To soak up the creamy curry sauce, serve with whole-grain rice, naan or noodles. If you’re a fan of heat, kick it up a notch with diced chili peppers or hot sauce. Recipe makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 366; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 12g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Sodium: 769mg; Carbohydrate: 24g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 38g

3. SLOW-COOKER LATIN CHICKEN WITH BLACK BEANS AND SWEET POTATOES | DELISH

Got 15 minutes in the morning? Prep this quick Latin chicken, and come home to spicy and smoky aromas wafting from your kitchen. This dish contains sweet potatoes and black beans, which provide a substantial amount of your daily fiber needs, at 7 grams per serving. Recipe makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 449; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 2mg; Sodium: 369mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 43g

4. SLOW COOKER IRISH BEEF STEW | COOK SMARTS

Simmer budget-friendly beef stew meats to tender, fall-apart perfection using your slow cooker. The trick is to tenderize the beef before cooking, then let it stew slowly using the gentle heat from your slow cooker. It’s hard to be patient when your home smells so delicious, but, trust us, it’s worth the wait. Recipe makes 4 servings at 2 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 363; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 9mg; Sodium: 582mg; Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 27g

5. SLOW-COOKER PORK SLIDERS | MYFITNESSPAL’S ORIGINAL RECIPES

Slide these comforting Cuban sliders into your lunch box! This recipe uses lean pork shoulder simmered in a sweet, citrusy broth made from fresh orange and lime. Serve the meat on one whole-grain slider bun with a slice of Swiss cheese and some pickles for a complete meal. Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 slider each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 415; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 133mg; Sodium: 890mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 43g

6. SLOW COOKER BARBACOA SHORT BEEF RIB TACOS | CAFE DELITES

Tender, juicy meat falling off the bone, rich in barbacoa flavors, is a surefire sign of a satisfying meal. Once you’re ready to eat, set up a taco station with bowls of cilantro, onion and avocado because — let’s be honest — garnishes make tacos extra delectable. Recipe makes 12 servings at 1 taco each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 363; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 88mg; Sodium: 559mg; Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 30g

7. SLOW COOKER TURKEY CHILI | SKINNYTASTE

This mild, kid-friendly chili is made with lean ground turkey, corn, bell peppers, tomatoes and spices. Top with with crunchy baked tortilla chips, and watch your little ones gobble it up. This chili can also be made in large batches for freezing and reheating. Recipe makes 5 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 222; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 74mg; Sodium: 719mg; Total Carbohydrates: 20g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 32g

8. CROCK POT CHICKEN TACOS | THE COZY COOK

Cumin-and-garlic-infused chicken gently simmers with black beans and corn for a nutritious, no-fuss Mexican-inspired dinner the whole family will enjoy. Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 flour tortilla + 1/8 filling each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 376; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 69mg; Sodium: 656mg; Carbohydrate: 42g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 25g

9. SLOW COOKER TACO MEAT | COUPON CLIPPING COOK

Slow-cooked and saucy, this taco meat is brimming with seasonings — from oregano and cumin to garlic and chili powder — for maximum taste bud satisfaction. This is a recipe that’ll have you wanting to lick your fingers clean! Recipe makes 8 servings at 2 crispy taco shells + 1/8 filling each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 406; Total Fat: 22g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 71mg; Sodium: 255mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 24g

10. EASY SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CHILI | HEALTHY NIBBLES & BITS

Come home to a warm, nourishing bowl of stew that soothes the soul — without needing to actually cook. This easy chicken chili takes only 10 minutes of prep time — your slow cooker handles the rest. By the time you get home, you’ll have a chunky chili packed with chicken, beans and veggies in addition to an entire house filled with inviting, savory aromas! Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 1/2 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 248; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 52mg; Sodium: 390mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 24g

11. SLOW COOKER JERK CHICKEN | THE HEALTHY MAVEN

This recipe for jerk chicken bathes chicken drumsticks in a flavorful jerk spice, slow-cooks it for four hours and quick-broils it for added crispiness. Imagine coming home to that meal! This dish pairs well with rice, beans and/or a side salad for a complete meal. Recipe makes 5 servings at 2 drumsticks each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 253 ; Total Fat: 12 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g; Cholesterol: 184mg; Sodium: 376 mg; Carbohydrate: 6 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 4 g; Protein 34 g

12. SLOW COOKER ASIAN CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS | COOKING CLASSY

Sweet and salty, these Asian chicken lettuce wraps make an easy lunch or dinner with only 15 minutes of prep! Crisp iceberg lettuce makes this dish all the more refreshing and lower in carbs — a double win! Not a fan of lettuce? Serve over a bed of shredded cabbage or mixed greens instead. Recipe makes 6 servings at 2 wraps each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 338; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 91mg; Sodium: 723mg; Carbohydrate: 32g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 34g

 BY MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

fitness, Food & Nutrition, Uncategorized, Workout Wednesday

What 5 Healthy 500-Calorie Lunches Look Like

What 5 Healthy 500-Calorie Lunches Look Like

Breakfast gets all the credit for being the most important meal of the day, but let’s not forget about the meal that keeps you going after breakfast wears off: lunch! Lunch is your body’s midday energy source, fueling your afternoon so you don’t end up starving long before dinnertime or crashing before your 3 p.m. meeting.

When it comes to lunch, most of us reach for sandwiches. They’re portable, easy to eat and come in a wide variety. They can also become calorie bombs with the bread, cheese, add-ons and condiments. If you want to grab a sandwich, but keep the calories in check, here are a few tips:

GO EASY ON THE CONDIMENTS

A packet of mayo or a few squirts of Thousand Island dressing can easily tack on around 100 calories. Stick to low-cal condiments like mustard, salsa or hot sauce and swap creamy, plain Greek yogurt for mayo whenever possible.

LOAD UP ON VEGGIES

Rather than piling your sandwich with meat and cheese, stack it with high-fiber veggies to sneak in nutrients, a little crunch and added flavor.

WATCH THE BREAD

Bread may be the cornerstone of a good sandwich, but I love using collard greens in place of wraps for an extra dose of veggies. Using collards or lettuce in place of bread means you can enjoy more fillings for the same (or less) calories. It’s also a way to enjoy sandwiches on a lower-carb diet. If you’re a sandwich purist and bread is your jam, opt for fiber-rich, 100% whole-wheat varieties to keep you full longer. (And stay away from the footlong subs!)

Here’s some inspiration for your next brown bag lunch:

Ingredients

5 ounce can albacore tuna, drained
2 tablespoons 2% Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 avocado, sliced
1 cup spinach
1 small tomato, sliced
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1 large whole-wheat wrap

Directions

Combine the tuna, yogurt and mustard in a small bowl and mix with fork. Place the spinach, avocado and carrots in the center of the wrap and top with tuna salad mixture. Roll the wrap and slice in half. Eat immediately or store for up to one day.

Ingredients

For the burger:
1 whole-wheat burger bun
4 ounces lean ground turkey
1.5 ounce part-skim fresh mozzarella
1 small tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons basil leaves
For the salad:
1 cup lettuce
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette

Directions

For the burger, place a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Shape turkey into a patty about 1/2-inch thick and place in pan, cooking 5 minutes on each side. Place patty on bun and top with mozzarella, tomato and basil leaves.

For the salad, combine lettuce, cucumber and onion in a medium bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.

Ingredients

1 large whole-wheat tortilla
1/3 cup canned black beans, drained
3 ounces cooked, pulled chicken
1/4 avocado, sliced
2 tablespoons salsa
1/2 cup cooked peppers and onions
1/4 cup lettuce, shredded
1 small tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons light shredded Mexican cheese

Directions

Heat the beans, chicken, peppers and onions in the microwave for 1 minute. Heat the tortilla according to package directions. Place the heated ingredients in the center of the tortilla. Top with remaining cold ingredients.. Roll the tortilla and serve immediately or store for up to one day.

Ingredients

1 whole-wheat sandwich roll
3 ounces cooked, pulled chicken
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha
2 tablespoons pickled jalapenos
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup cucumbers, sliced
1/4 cup lettuce
Cilantro, basil, mint to taste

Directions

Toast or broil the sandwich roll until brown around the edges. Spread mayonnaise and sriracha evenly across the roll. Starting with the pulled chicken, place remaining ingredients in the roll. Finish with cilantro, basil and mint to taste. Fold closed and serve immediately or store for up to one day.

Nutrition: Calories: 467; Total Fat: 10g; Carbohydrate: 63g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Protein: 30g

 

Ingredients

3 large collard green leaves
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup cucumbers, sliced
1 small tomato, sliced
1/3 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup lettuce
1 1/4 cups canned low-sodium black bean soup

Directions

Place 1/3 of the brown rice, carrots, cucumbers, tomato, avocado and lettuce into each collard green leaf. Fold closed and serve immediately with a side of heated black bean soup.

Nutrition: Calories: 497; Total Fat: 13g; Carbohydrates: 88g; Dietary Fiber: 19g; Protein: 16g

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