How Bad Is Lunch Meat For You?


7 Answers

lakeesha Hennessy Williams Profile
I don't think everyone is well aware that lunch meats aren't exactly good for us- but how much they actually affect our health is a good question.

I've been doing some research into the subject because, as a big fan of salami and cured ham, I'm curious to know what all that processed meat is doing to my insides.

How bad is lunch meat?

I'm guilty of eating deli meats/lunch meats/cold cuts (or whatever you want to call them).

They are useful when you just want to make a quick sandwich, and they can taste really great too.
But there are also quite a few health concerns associated with them too:

The main concern people have about lunch meat is all the 'extra stuff' that goes in them. By 'extra stuff' I mean anything that's not meat. And people are right to be concerned!

One big keyword is 'sodium nitrate'. This is a substance that is often linked to cancer, and the reason it might be found in your processed meat product is because it adds flavor, and also prevents bacteria from growing.

The negatives of deli meats

The list of worrying substances is actually pretty long - anything from gelatin to MSG could be in your luncheon or deli meat. Funnily enough, 10% of most deli meat is actually made up of water too!

On the bright side, not all lunch meats are the same. There's a big difference between:

  • whole meats that get sliced up (like slices of roast beef for example)
  • processed meat (sausages)
  • restructured meats (a pack of wafer thin turkey breast slices)
If you're concerned about exactly what you're eating, I'd always recommend reading the small print on the packages before dropping a product into your shopping cart.
Glen Thornbury Profile
Glen Thornbury answered
The lower grades of lunch meat, hot dogs, caned sausages and potted meat are made from the lowest grades of all meat, and this meat smells very bad, too!

So if you eat it be warned for I have been there and seen it.
wilma Wiggins Profile
wilma Wiggins answered
Not counting the questionable "pieces" from the animals, there is the matter of nitrates which have a proven strong link to brain cancer, especially in children.

Avoid lunch meats unless you buy the special no preservative kind (Hormel makes one, also health food stores carry).

They also have msg which makes you want to eat more and more of it. Msg is very prevalent in most foods at the market - could it be why we are so obese as a people? True, Orientals don't seem to be affected. Wish someone would do a study on this.
Arlene Fernandes Profile
Lunch meat, called Deli Meats refers to all sorts of meat commonly come across in a deli. For instance we have Salami, Bologna, Roast Beef, Ham, Veal cutlets and Roast Turkey.
The fact remains that like anything consumed excessively, it can pose several health risks.

Such meats, particularly red meat comprise high content of the dreaded saturated fat, which is linked with cardiovascular diseases. Cholesterol can be a problem. Check with your doctor regarding lunch consumption since it's not advisable for some.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically warns pregnant women to not consume lunch meats or deli meats or even hot dogs if not scrupulously cooked or reheated. Many deem it best to skip deli meats altogether.

The FDA also warns against consuming soft cheeses or any refrigerated paté or other meat spreads with few exceptions like canned meat spreads. The problem is such foods possibly contain bacteria referred to as listeria which eventually can make you sick
jeanette cugley Profile
jeanette cugley answered
Very bad.

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