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Is deli counter lunchmeat acceptable to eat?

Commented on September 27, 2013
Created September 24, 2013 at 10:34 AM

The Paleo Way of eating has just entered my world. Is lunchmeat (the kind purchased at the deli counter in the grocery store) acceptable to eat? Are there any ingredients in lunchmeat that is not considered Paleo? Thank you.

Medium avatar

(238)

on September 27, 2013
at 03:23 PM

INGREDIENTS: Pork, Water, Powdered milk, Salt, Natural flavors, Sugars, Organic spices, Organic garlic

Mortadella contains milk.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on September 27, 2013
at 03:16 PM

Woot woot!

A218892b5f8f5c4b26dd44f9e4bfef17

(15)

on September 27, 2013
at 02:34 PM

Yeah, after double checking at work, some of them do have sugar in them, but it is minimal amounts (think like kombucha).

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 26, 2013
at 11:35 PM

I looked at the website. Didn't see milk but wasn't looking for it. I did see some with sugar, which yeah, not Paleo, but I doubt the tiny amount in a cured meat would have much of an affect. It's not like they're a bowl of FrootLoops. :)

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on September 26, 2013
at 11:00 PM

@glib-

The dose makes the poison. Yeah, deli counter lunchmeat ain't great but "toxic", lunch sized servings? Once in a while or are we talking breakfast lunch & dinner. Supersize Me, not.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on September 26, 2013
at 10:57 PM

@matt11

Matt11- Your downvote arrow has arrived! :)

Medium avatar

(238)

on September 26, 2013
at 10:39 PM

Some of those creminelli items don't seem very Paleo. Sugar & milk? They are mouthwatering however.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 26, 2013
at 10:36 PM

Are you aware that "not the best" and "toxic" are two different things? Quite the scaremongerer.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on September 26, 2013
at 04:18 PM

keep in mind that in the old days people ate MOSTLY cured meats in many parts of the world. Including for example my parents and grandparents. I stand fully behind what I wrote. They were not living that long, despite grass fed milk, grass fed eggs, and just killed chickens and rabbits. But most of the meat was cured pork. Indeed, those who lived the longest (N=8 study) were those too poor to get meat (only milk and eggs). At my parents home, cured meat is still served every single damn day. Sure it can be toxic.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 26, 2013
at 02:17 PM

That Creminelli sounds delicious! Strong flavor and aroma? SIGN ME UP.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on September 25, 2013
at 03:01 AM

Actually, according to PHD, cured pork, which is what basically deli meat is (unless you're eating lots of roast beef) is preferable to uncured pork, which is virus-prone. Plus salami and pepperoni are unlikely sources of Vitamin K-2. As for nitrates, the bacon argument seems to work here: there's more in green leafies. I eat Boar's Head ham, Genoa salami, and pepperoni. And Hebrew National pastrami. On my slices of gluten-free tapioca starch Ener G bread. Almost everyday. It's just too convenient and low-glycemic for me to not to take advantage of.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on September 24, 2013
at 03:01 PM

The acute toxic dose for nitrates/ites is quite high, I would expect that force feeding of kilos of lunchmeat will produce problems before the nitrate/ite content will. As for the long-term effects on health, we've discussed nitrates and nitrosamines previously on PH, ultimately concluding that nitrates/ites in food aren't really a concern, too low concentration and given a complex food matrix, it's not likely to cause problems. See: http://paleohacks.com/questions/152262/do-nitrosamines-produced-in-food-actually-cause-ca.html

Medium avatar

(238)

on September 24, 2013
at 02:06 PM

Certainly can be toxic in sufficient quantities and to those more sensitive to the chemicals involved. I'd certainly not eat it on a regular basis.

http://meatsci.osu.edu/borca2.htm

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 24, 2013
at 01:15 PM

Toxic is overstating it a bit. Most people do not need to worry about histamines, nitrates and additives aren't optimal but they are hardly arsenic. Put down the Kool-Aid.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on September 24, 2013
at 01:14 PM

Toxic? Give me a break, where's my downvote button?

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5 Answers

0
A218892b5f8f5c4b26dd44f9e4bfef17

on September 25, 2013
at 05:14 PM

Some of Boar's Head is actually Paleo, though several varieties do contain sugars, corn, or even nitrates. Pro tip: all of the common hams do contain sugar, most of the chicken's have dextrose (corn), and double check any flavored turkey as most contain sugar. (I work in a deli that features Boar's Head) On the plus side, they're all gluten free... A better brand to get would be Applegate. They do have some varieties that have no sugar or nitrates or other preservatives. It's usually about the same price as the better boar's heads meats, so it really depends on what you find and how much you need. However, if you can find Criminelli meats, they are all paleo. Super tasty, but they are true cured meats, not the imitations you find around (read= strong flavor and aroma). They are going to be expensive, but they're worth it.

http://www.creminelli.com

0
A218892b5f8f5c4b26dd44f9e4bfef17

on September 25, 2013
at 05:14 PM

Some of Boar's Head is actually Paleo, though several varieties do contain sugars, corn, or even nitrates. Pro tip: all of the common hams do contain sugar, most of the chicken's have dextrose (corn), and double check any flavored turkey as most contain sugar. (I work in a deli that features Boar's Head) On the plus side, they're all gluten free... A better brand to get would be Applegate. They do have some varieties that have no sugar or nitrates or other preservatives. It's usually about the same price as the better boar's heads meats, so it really depends on what you find and how much you need. However, if you can find Criminelli meats, they are all paleo. Super tasty, but they are true cured meats, not the imitations you find around (read= strong flavor and aroma). They are going to be expensive, but they're worth it.

http://www.creminelli.com

A218892b5f8f5c4b26dd44f9e4bfef17

(15)

on September 27, 2013
at 02:34 PM

Yeah, after double checking at work, some of them do have sugar in them, but it is minimal amounts (think like kombucha).

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 26, 2013
at 02:17 PM

That Creminelli sounds delicious! Strong flavor and aroma? SIGN ME UP.

Medium avatar

(238)

on September 26, 2013
at 10:39 PM

Some of those creminelli items don't seem very Paleo. Sugar & milk? They are mouthwatering however.

0
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 24, 2013
at 01:03 PM

Well, no, it is not strictly Paleo / completely optimal. Many deli meats contain fillers, artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, etc. Some don't - Boar's Head doesn't have the fillers or artificial colors/flavors but many varieties have limited preservatives. They are processed and while some brands may be higher quality than others are generally not grass-fed antibiotic free and all that. Additionally, they are usually very, very low in fat.

All that being said, I still eat some Boar's Head / store equivalent brand sometimes. It isn't the worst thing you could eat so don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Count it in your 20%. :)

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on September 24, 2013
at 12:58 PM

Cured meat is toxic. It has histamines, nitrates, and additives. Even homemade is not that great. Bring your own burger, or your own hardboiled egg.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on September 26, 2013
at 04:18 PM

keep in mind that in the old days people ate MOSTLY cured meats in many parts of the world. Including for example my parents and grandparents. I stand fully behind what I wrote. They were not living that long, despite grass fed milk, grass fed eggs, and just killed chickens and rabbits. But most of the meat was cured pork. Indeed, those who lived the longest (N=8 study) were those too poor to get meat (only milk and eggs). At my parents home, cured meat is still served every single damn day. Sure it can be toxic.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on September 25, 2013
at 03:01 AM

Actually, according to PHD, cured pork, which is what basically deli meat is (unless you're eating lots of roast beef) is preferable to uncured pork, which is virus-prone. Plus salami and pepperoni are unlikely sources of Vitamin K-2. As for nitrates, the bacon argument seems to work here: there's more in green leafies. I eat Boar's Head ham, Genoa salami, and pepperoni. And Hebrew National pastrami. On my slices of gluten-free tapioca starch Ener G bread. Almost everyday. It's just too convenient and low-glycemic for me to not to take advantage of.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on September 24, 2013
at 01:15 PM

Toxic is overstating it a bit. Most people do not need to worry about histamines, nitrates and additives aren't optimal but they are hardly arsenic. Put down the Kool-Aid.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on September 24, 2013
at 01:14 PM

Toxic? Give me a break, where's my downvote button?

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on September 26, 2013
at 11:00 PM

@glib-

The dose makes the poison. Yeah, deli counter lunchmeat ain't great but "toxic", lunch sized servings? Once in a while or are we talking breakfast lunch & dinner. Supersize Me, not.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on September 24, 2013
at 12:54 PM

Acceptable, yes; optimal, hell no.

The problem with deli counter lunchmeat is that it's a little bit of meat with a lot of additives/fillers. At best, you'll get something that's soaked in some sodium phosphate to make it juicy as opposed to dry.

Better alternative? Cook your own meat, and serve it cold.

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