If you've walked by your supermarket's deli department recently, you might have heard the whizzing sound of thin-sliced deli meat being cut. If you've never given this popular deli meat a second thought, you might consider picking some up. Whether your goal is to lose weight or just maintain a good diet, turkey deli meat is a healthy option that deserves a place in your fridge.
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About Turkey Deli Meat
Turkey deli meat, whether freshly-cut or prepackaged, is available in almost every supermarket. It comes in a variety of flavors to suit any palate. Some turkey deli meats have been smoked, others cooked with honey and maple sugar, still others covered with a crust of ground pepper or fragrant herbs. If you're not sure what you want, ask for a sample; most meat departments are happy to let you try before you buy.
Turkey deli meat is a low-fat, low calorie source of protein. A 2-oz. serving has 50 calories, 1 g of fat, no saturated fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 450 mg of sodium, 2 g of total carbohydrates, no sugar and 8 g of protein. Specific products available at your store may be slightly different; read labels or ask to see the deli's nutrition disclosure so you know what you are getting.
As shown by the nutrition facts, turkey deli meat is a lean source of protein. Protein can help you avoid overeating because it is one of the most satisfying nutrients, according to Dr. David A. Kessler, former commissioner of the FDA and author of the book "The End of Overeating." Dr. Kessler reports that the body processes protein at a slower rate than other nutrients, helping you stay full longer.
As good as turkey deli meat is, it does have some drawbacks. It does not have fiber -- fiber is important to a healthy diet and helps you stay full by providing bulk. Try using it in sandwiches made with 100 percent whole grain, a trick that MayoClinic.com recommends for getting more fiber into your diet. Or, you could use it in wraps with fresh vegetables and whole-grain tortillas.