The Journey of Deli Meat: This Should Really Disgust You

I often have clients come to me and ask me what the best deli meat is for them to purchase. I always tell them that I don’t eat deli meat. With a look of confusion, they ask me why, because, fat free deli meat is good for you, right? I then take them on a journey of that deli meat. The turkey that you see in the display case has not been alive for some time. So, 4-5 months ago, they found Mr. Turkey and decided to kill him. They then put him in a big vat of brine for about a month to cure him. After that, he goes to the smokehouse where he stays for another month before he is wrapped up and sent to storage. He stays in storage for about a 1-2 months until he is put in that display case and sliced up for you. Usually, at this point, people’s eyes start to bug out, and they are about ready to swear off deli meat for the rest of their lives.  And don’t even get me started on hot dogs!

Honestly, folks, meat should not be kept for that long. The smoky flavor, and all the preservatives that go along with it, are just not good for you, no matter how much the packaging touts that it is 99% fat free. I know another preservative that is commonly used.  It’s called formaldehyde and you sure wouldn’t give that to your children. You put all these preservatives in your body and then wonder why it’s not functioning properly. You need to be aware of what you are giving your body.  Look at your packages in the grocery store, and don’t just check the fat and calorie content. Look at the sodium levels, check to see if the package contains mixed meat, which not only skyrockets your sodium levels to about 300 mg, but will also contribute to a higher fat content.

Knowing the difference between dark and white meat will also help you understand what you are putting in your body. The white part is the desirable part. It is very low in fat and preservatives. That is why it is so juicy and tender. The brown meat, on the other hand, is a part of the animal like the legs. It has been overworked and it is brown because of all the fat mixed in. Even after you cook the meat, the fat is still going to be in the muscle, and your body is going to absorb that. You aren’t giving your body the best whole food when you feed it the fatty muscles, and your body is not capable of assimilating it into its system in the same way it can white meat.

My advice to clients is to buy a turkey breast to cook at home. Slice it up and use that as lunch meat instead of the alternatives. Overall, this is a much better, healthier option, and will help you stay on track with your weight loss and nutrition goals.

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