Are you a lunchmeat lover? Perhaps you were as a child, pulling out your bologna and cheese sandwich or ham and cheese or turkey and cheese or roast beef — you get the idea. The possibilities were endless! Now you may look back and think, “I can’t believe I ate that!”
Lunchmeat has a bad reputation for a variety of reasons. Often you can look at the label and see a myriad of what looks to be randomly sequenced letters that just happen to be listed after the only word you can pronounce — which is “ingredients.” From nitrates and nitrites to sodium levels and animal welfare, deli meats are often targeted as a bad choice for snacks, lunches, etc. In most cases, there are better options; however, sometimes you just can’t beat the convenience of pre-sliced meat to slap onto some bread, or into a tortilla or wrap around cream cheese for a quick snack or appetizer. The good news is, it’s okay to like lunchmeat. It’s okay to want to have an “old school” day when you pack a ham and cheese sandwich, an apple or banana and maybe a sweet treat like a chocolate chip cookie, all carefully placed in a small brown paper bag. It’s certainly a better option than stopping by a fast food restaurant for a cheeseburger and fries, right? Now that Simple Truth has added deli meats to the product line, you can rest easier knowing you’re choosing a better option for sandwiches.
In keeping with the “Free From 101” foundation of the brand, the deli meats do not contain added preservatives, flavor enhancers, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or added nitrates/nitrates, just for starters. When you look at the ingredient statement on a package of Simple Truth deli meat, you can clearly see (and easily read) what is in the product. It’s pointed out that the product should be used within five days of opening because the deli meat does not have preservatives. The label also assures you that the livestock are humanely raised, vegetarian fed and not given hormones or antibiotics.
You’re probably thinking, “Well that’s great, but what about the nutrition? These products are still lunchmeat.” And in one sense, you’re right: it is still lunchmeat. However, when you consider that you can eat two servings (for a total of 4 ounces, which is roughly what most would use to make a sandwich) and stay under 200 calories for the meat portion of your sandwich/snack, you’re looking pretty good so far. The total fat is lower than you would expect, especially since butter and oils are not likely to be used, which also greatly decreases the saturated fat content.
The Simple Truth Deli Meats are not overly sweetened, so the total carbohydrate and sugar content is lower than deli meats you may be used to eating. However, the protein content is still comparable.
These deli meats are still meats, so they’re not cholesterol free. They will be equal to or lower in milligrams of cholesterol when compared to other brands of deli meat, though, and likewise for the sodium content. A sodium-free lunchmeat is a great idea! But in reality, it isn’t likely, so forego the chips or cut back a bit on the condiments if you’re watching your sodium intake. Bread has sodium too, so be aware of the content in your bread or perhaps skip the bread and try having a lettuce bun/lettuce wrap instead; you may be pleasantly surprised and find you don’t even miss the bread. If that seems a bit too extreme, try making your own chef salad by slicing up some of the deli meat and adding it to a bed of spinach or romaine, topping it with your preferred salad fixings.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good ol’ lunchmeat sandwich. Simple Truth Deli Meats certainly qualify — and may send you back in time to when the possible combinations were endless and you weren’t so aware of the nutritional content of your lunchmeat. After all, the possibilities are endless, and the Simple Truth Deli Meats are a better option than the lunchmeat you unpacked from the brown bags of your past.
Sarah Koeninger RD LD is a dietitian licensed in Kentucky and Ohio. As a native Kentuckian, she group up as a Kroger shopper and began working in the Kroger Customer Connect (C|c) shortly after finishing her degree program at Eastern Kentucky University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in General Dietetics and a minor in business and completed her dietetic internship at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. Her position within The Kroger Co. has always been in the Kroger Service Center, where she dedicates her time to answering customer questions regarding Kroger and banner brand products, gluten status, food allergens, nutrition label reading, ingredient statements, labeling laws and regulations, food safety and everything in between. Though her diet consists mainly of “healthy foods” – including Simple Truth fresh lettuces, fruits and vegetables, and almond milk – she does LOVE ice cream (as well as frozen yogurt, gelato, etc.) and almost all Italian food (her ultimate favorite being lasagna, thanks to her Italian heritage). She likes to cook though does not always follow recipes exactly (thanks again to her heritage) and loves to bake. She has participated in many sports throughout her life including volleyball, softball and women’s rugby, although she now she maintains her fitness through workouts like kickboxing and yoga, in hopes it will increase flexibility, fitness and patience. She lives with her husband, Kevin, in Erlanger, Kentucky, and is eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child in the Summer of 2013.
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