T Nation

Lunchmeat?

Is lunchmeat a healthy option for protein? My diet has changed drastically after an illness and I’ve been eating a lot of lunchmeat and diary products. Is this problematic?

It’s not the best option due to the usually high amounts of sodium and preseratives that are added to the meat. Check the labels and buy the brand with the least amount of ingredients and low sodium content.

If you want the convenience of lunch meat, but better quality food, hit up the deli in your supermarket and get shaved turkey breast, roast beef or other quality meat sources.

This is just plain meat and will also be able to be bought in small packages.

In general, “lunch meat” brings to mind the greasy mixed meat “stuff” with lots of sodium, nitrates, preservatives and who knows what else. Mind you, not that I haven’t eaten enough of this stuff myself…

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
Is lunchmeat a healthy option for protein? My diet has changed drastically after an illness and I’ve been eating a lot of lunchmeat and diary products. Is this problematic?[/quote]

it may be, though it is hard to give an accurate assessment without looking at the actual intake, goals, and genetics.

chances are your sodium intake is high, potassium and magnesium are low. this is bad for lean body tissue (bone, connective tissue, muscle, organs, etc).

a better option for the meat is to make several meals worth at once and have leftovers instead of lunch meat.

here are some links for micronutrients:

in the left column are the minerals, i suggest checking out sodium, potassium and magnesium. you can skip the stuff at the beginning, recommendations and a list of sources are at the end.

[quote]vroom wrote:
If you want the convenience of lunch meat, but better quality food, hit up the deli in your supermarket and get shaved turkey breast, roast beef or other quality meat sources.

This is just plain meat and will also be able to be bought in small packages.

In general, “lunch meat” brings to mind the greasy mixed meat “stuff” with lots of sodium, nitrates, preservatives and who knows what else. Mind you, not that I haven’t eaten enough of this stuff myself…[/quote]

I’d avoid it for the cancer-causing nitrates alone.

Vroom had a good suggestion regarding the deli.

In general, the less processed, the better. Notice I said in general, so all you assholes who want to pipe up about things which are natural and can kill you can shut it.

Unless its turkey (which isnt that great either) I’d completely stay away from lunchmeat. In general turkey has the least amount of shit in it, it might be different which brand you buy but no lunchmeat is a great source of nutrition because of the high sodium and carcinogen content.

These days the safest way to buy meat (of any type) is to buy it at Whole Foods or an equal natural food store. The stuff at the grocery store is loaded with hormones and all sorts of chemicals and these days it may be cloned. It may be a little more expensive, but their steak is awesome.

[quote]RoadWarrior wrote:
These days the safest way to buy meat (of any type) is to buy it at Whole Foods or an equal natural food store. The stuff at the grocery store is loaded with hormones and all sorts of chemicals and these days it may be cloned. It may be a little more expensive, but their steak is awesome.[/quote]

Cloned meat? You sure about this? Stemcell research is up for a ban but cloned meat makes it to the supermarkets? Somehow just doesn’t seem right to me.

[quote]Robert P. wrote:
RoadWarrior wrote:
These days the safest way to buy meat (of any type) is to buy it at Whole Foods or an equal natural food store. The stuff at the grocery store is loaded with hormones and all sorts of chemicals and these days it may be cloned. It may be a little more expensive, but their steak is awesome.

Cloned meat? You sure about this? Stemcell research is up for a ban but cloned meat makes it to the supermarkets? Somehow just doesn’t seem right to me.[/quote]

the steak tastes better because it was grass fed, not that corn and soy fed crap, but you have issues with differentiating low grade normal store meat and the better stuff, so go ahead and overpay for a nice natural label. looking at the reality of the market, there is plenty of meat that is not organic or natural yet still of high quality.

just because hormones and chemicals have been used (and overused by some) does not mean that all non-organic or non-natural meat (whatever the fuck that is) is of poor quality (this is called the corallory of the first paragraph).

as for the hormones and chemicals, you cannot take the most extreme cases and say it applies to all because you lack the ability to differentiate. lets see some numbers on these hormone levels (by the way even if they were in the meat in significant amounts, you still would not be able to efficiently take them up, otherwise Biotest and other companies would never have made a dime off delivery systems) or chemicals. oops, you don’t have any.

stop trying to scare people into your political cause. for most people the best economic-health tradeoff will be found in lean feedlot meat with healthy fats supplemented and mostly non-organic fruits and veggies.

Thanks for all the replies. I guess I’ll try to avoid it more. Does it hurt in terms of body comp at all, or is the main problem the nitrates?

Thanks!

if you are purchasing the more expensive lunch meats, usually the only thing you have to worry about is sodium. this can be offset by consumption of fruits and veggies to some degree, depending mainly on how sensitive you are to the effect of over-consuming sodium. look for low sodium if possible. nitrates are often found in cheaper and smoked meats.

an excellent article that explains the sodium-potassium ratio is:

[quote]ubl0 wrote:
stop trying to scare people into your political cause. for most people the best economic-health tradeoff will be found in lean feedlot meat with healthy fats supplemented and mostly non-organic fruits and veggies.[/quote]

I don’t have any political cause, these are just my views on the meat industry. This what I eat, I could care less what YOU eat.

Make a brisket, a pork roast, and a chicken. Then cut up the meat, and you have meat to put in sandwiches.

Seriously- some brands of baloney and such are about 3 grams of protein per slice. And there is only 13 to 16 slices per package at 2 or 3 dollars per package. Lunch meat is not cheap, and its not healthy, and its doesn’t have much protein.

Then again, I have only ate lunch meat 3 or 4 times in my life, so pardon me if my opinions are tainted.