5 Deli Counter Dangers

Updated: Jul. 05, 2022

It may be convenient and delicious, but your lunchtime deli meat could cause serious health issues.

Though it’s a delicious lunch staple, the deli counter can be filled with potential dangers that can cause long and short-term health issues. Keep these five dangers in mind before you grab a cold cut sandwich or buy a premade salad for lunch.

1. Corn syrup

Although corn syrup is a popular sweetening ingredient in consumer packaged goods, your body might have more trouble digesting it than natural sugar. Corn syrup may upset your body’s natural metabolism, potentially raising the risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Check the labels of the cold cuts that you’re eating to ensure that they are whole cuts of meat without extra fillers like corn syrup.

2. Listeria

A bacteria found in deli meats that infects an estimated 2,500 people per year with the infection Listeriosis. Pregnant women are the most vulnerable to this infection, which causes flu-like symptoms and poses dangers to the baby. The bacterium is killed by the pasteurization process and cooking; but some deli foods are contaminated before packaging. Pregnant women should limit the amount of deli foods they eat or make sure they cook cold cuts and meat thoroughly before eating.

3. Sodium nitrate

This ingredient helps keep foods free of botulism. The combination of sodium nitrate and natural juices in meats, however, can be lethal. This combination can lead to the development of carcinogens that have been linked to some cancers.

4. Sodium

Some salt in our diet is necessary, but often deli foods contain a disproportionate amount of sodium. Too much salt in our diet can cause our body to work harder than necessary and may cause high blood pressure. Look for low-salt meats and opt for fresh veggies instead of cheese on your sandwich for added nutrition and taste without the salt.

5. Added oils

Glistening deli meats and salads laden with mayonnaise may contain much more fat and oil than you need, which will pack on serious pounds to your frame. As a healthy alternative opt for lean cuts of white meat and salads without mayonnaise.

Plus: 4 Most Harmful Ingredients in Package Foods

Sources: msnbc.com and WomensHealthMag


Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest