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It can be tough selecting healthy food from the deli because even the most dedicated calorie watcher may not know which meats or salads are the best choices. Despite the fact that it all looks inviting and delicious, some items at your gourmet deli huntington are a better option when it comes to eating healthy and it pays to be extra careful about knowing what ingredients you’re actually ordering.

We all love getting pre-sliced meats and pre-made salads because they can be tasty and convenient, but some meats and salads contain more fats, salts, and preservatives. These are the things you want to avoid when you’re trying to maintain a health-conscious diet. In many cases, these additives are introduced as a way to maintain color and freshness and while that may be good for the processing stage of the food, it’s not exactly the best thing for your body.

Recent studies have determined that lunch meats can be somewhat of a double-edged sword when it comes to nutrition. On the one hand, they provide protein, potassium, and calcium in high quantities, all of which can be beneficial. On the other, they also come with elevated levels of sodium, saturated fats, and nitrates. As for salads, the green versions can be much healthier options than the macaroni or potato kinds that come with plenty of mayonnaise.

In an effort to make your next trip to the deli counter a much healthier one, here are some of the food options you want to consider:

Table of Contents

Lunch Meats

Man or woman cannot live on turkey alone. Despite it being the most popular choice at the deli counter (and considered among the healthiest of the options), there are other alternatives you can select that will still be healthy for you. But, as always, it’s up to the consumer to make sure that what he or she is buying is actually what they are receiving.

The first thing to look out for is any meats that say “no added preservatives or nitrates”. That goes for anything you select at the deli counter as this will be the healthiest option you can pick. Not all meats will have this disclaimer on them, so be sure to look carefully at all of the choices before you and if you don’t see any meats with this claim, ask.

Turkey is usually the most popular (and healthy) choice because it’s typically the least processed form of deli meat. You can find some hams and roast beef options that also skip the complicated processing procedures, but those may be a bit harder to find. The difference is in the details. Roasted hams are going to be a lot more healthy than some of the alternatives.

This is due to the processing methods used in the manufacturing of the meat for public consumption. These include the additions of sodium and various fillers such as color compounds, meat by-products, corn syrup, just to name a few.

The meats that are the most processed at the deli counter are things like salami, bologna, and pastrami. These are also higher in saturated fats and salts and should be eaten in moderation or avoided entirely, based upon your dietary necessities.


Everyone knows that salads are a healthy option for better eating. However, the word “salad” can have a variety of different meanings when it comes to the deli counter.

Veggies are almost always going to be the healthiest choice but you need to be careful about the way they are served. Some deli salads will have leafy greens, ripe tomatoes, spinach, and the like but if they are doused in heavy oils and dressings, you might want to steer clear instead.

Salads that don’t come saturated in additional unhealthy ingredients are the better choice and you’ll want to pick and choose wisely.

Then there are the “salads” that are an amalgam of multiple different ingredients thrown together into something that merely uses the terminology. Macaroni salads, egg salads, and potato salads are going to have a lot more calories and higher fat content than something like a seaweed salad or antipasto salad where the key ingredients are vegetables. The former rely heavily on mayonnaise which can be high in fats.

Even low-fat mayonnaise alternatives are a better choice but many delis may not use them. You can always ask but the answer is likely no. If you must have a macaroni or potato salad, you’re probably much better off buying the healthy versions of all the ingredients and making your own at home. A quick online search can bring you to a whole range of easy recipes.

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