When your stomach is grumbling or you have a household of people to feed, it might be tempting to just reach for the simplest meat at the deli counter. Of course, we all know that life's ultimate prank was to make everything that tastes good loaded with calories or a high sodium content, but that doesn't mean you can't find flavor in the healthiest deli meats. Whether you're buying for yourself or others, grazing over to the healthy side of things will show you a low-sodium world that not only tastes good but helps keep you feeling your best.


turkey slices in a bowl

If we really needed to rank the healthiest deli meats numerically then sliced turkey would definitely be number one. Turkey offers some choices in taste as you can have it oven-roasted or smoked, and both come with a healthy amount of benefits. Smoked turkey is low in calories, a lean protein, and doesn't have any sugar in it. It also doesn't contain a lot of sodium (450 g in a 2-oz serving). Oven-roasted turkey, on the other hand, only has 60 calories per 2-oz servings, but it is a little higher in sodium so it makes it a little less healthy, but still, one of the healthiest deli meats by a long shot when compared to the others.

Roast Beef

roast beef slices on brown paper

Roast beef is one of the healthiest deli meats thanks to its low sodium and caloric content, but high protein content. 2 ounces of roast beef has about 16 grams of protein, 96 calories per 2-oz serving, and 11% of your daily cholesterol intake. Oftentimes when we wonder which deli meat is best for our overall health we skip over the red meat section, but you really don't need to. Roast beef is low in sodium and it's a lean meat, which makes it healthier and lower in fat.

Slices of roast beef also have a good serving of vitamin B-12 (36% per 2-oz serving) and B6 (15% per 2-oz serving).


sliced ham on a wooden surface

Just like with turkey, smoked ham only comes with a price tag of 60 calories per 2-oz serving and has a low sodium intake. With 10 grams of protein and only 1.5 grams of fat, ham has quickly become one of the healthiest deli meats and successfully stands out from the others.

Of course, there are options available to you regarding which kind of ham you'd like to buy. To keep things on the healthy side you should really be aiming to get ham that's low in fat and sodium. You can always ask your butcher or the person at the counter what the leanest ham is and then go for that one.

Picking out the healthiest deli meat when you're at the counter isn't always the easiest task, but there are some slices you should be gravitating towards if you're looking to lead a healthier life. These three are the healthiest options you can select and pairing them with whole wheat bread for a sandwich stuffed with veggies will make for a healthy lunch you can enjoy!

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