Lunch Meats: The morning rush every day needs to be combated effectively. Being up on time and preparing the kids for school along with packing their lunch boxes require a lot of energy and time. Well, the availability of a variety of cold cuts, also known as lunch meats, has eased the pressure a bit. Such items require little or no cooking and can be eaten cold as well. Yes! The processed and packaged variety of meats has been a fixture in Western countries for a long time. Its foray into stores and supermarkets across India is fairly recent. However, the meats have become hugely popular within a short time. It is now rare to find an urban household that does not enjoy eating deli meat once in a while.
What are lunch meats?
We cannot literally translate the term and think of all the meats that are eaten at lunch to be lunch meats. Instead, this term denotes a special kind of meat that is cured, sliced and prepared meticulously to be consumed directly from the packet. The term encompasses a variety of meat such as chicken and lamb/goat. However, this is quite different from the conventional cuts and does not require extensive cooking on a stovetop or oven.
On the contrary, the meats are ready to eat with most consumers preferring to eat them cold. However, many Indians feel the need to warm them lightly or slice them up to be used with a host of other ingredients when preparing a meal. Also known as cold cuts, deli meat or precooked meats, their availability and affordability have made the meats a firm favourite with the younger generation in particular. Check out the array of ready-to-eat meats at Licious.
Is lunch meat healthy?
Well, lunch meat is available in multiple forms. You can find freshly sliced and packaged poultry meat as well as the highly processed bologna sausage sold as lunch meats. Both are considered to be cold cuts, but they vary in nutritive quality. We cannot get a single-word answer for such an inquiry though. Instead, it would be best to look closely at the package and check the information displayed. Sure, meats contain protein, but you must be careful about the quantity of sodium and additives that are present in a particular item. It is important to select wisely to ensure good health.
The healthiest lunch meat benefits
Lunch meat is a good source of protein and fats that are good for your body. You may want to taste the world-famous Nuremberger sausage of Germany. Traditional red meat is not recommended by doctors usually. It is best to opt for an alternative instead. Prepared with lean chicken meat, this sausage item contains no artificial taste enhancers and is processed by professionals. You can consume it after boiling it lightly or sautéing it on a shallow pan/grill instead of eating it in a raw form.
How can I choose healthier lunch meat?
Deli meat and cold cuts are convenient and require almost no time to prepare. Besides, both children and adults love to eat sandwiches, hot dogs, tacos and pizzas made with popular firms of lunch meat. Some of the points that you need to keep in mind include the following:
- Fresh lunch meat that is sliced immediately before selling is recommended. However, it may not always be possible in India. Turning the pre-packaged variety of ready-to-eat/ready-to-cook meats are also nutritious, provided they are eaten within the specified date.
- You must remember to go through the list of ingredients on the package. The low-sodium meat will enable us to cut back on salt intake, thus helping us to maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
- Medicos do not advise consuming red meat regularly. You opt for chicken, turkey and lean ham instead. These meats come with a higher nutritive value in comparison to red meat cold cuts, which are highly processed products.
It is important to pick and choose the cold cuts when shopping for lunch meats. The processed products may be picked according to your taste. However, it is always best to note the quantity of sodium, fat and nitrite (additive) and shun such products as much as possible.