Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Simple Changes -- Lunch Meats

Today I will mention another simple change... another baby step in your journey to health. If you choose to eat lunch meats, select a brand that contains no nitrates, nitrites or other preservatives. These extra ingredients are potent carcinogens that are linked with several digestive tract cancers, such as esophagus, stomach, intestinal and bladder cancers.

European countries, like Germany, banned the use of nitrates and nitrites in 1997. Yet the United States FDA has continued to allow their use. (For more information on this topic, go here and to the reference pages sited on this page as well.) The same nitrate/nitrite-free suggestion goes for bacon, hot dogs or other processed meats. If you are going to eat them, eat them without the preservatives.

Actually, I had to give up processed meats long before I found out all of the details about the preservatives. I discovered they were a trigger for my frequent migraines and so I gave them ALL up. (Thankfully, chocolate was not a trigger food for me, as it is for some people! This was several years ago, and I no longer deal with migraine headaches except on rare occasions when driving into the sun will spur on a migraine.)

Hormel makes a lunch meat line that is preservative-free and priced very reasonably. They also go on sale at my Kroger several times a year. Applegate Farms makes a very good beef frank hot dog, but I have only seen it available at my health food store. These hot dogs are a major treat every spring break!

We don't often eat lunch meat, but when we are traveling in the car over a mealtime, instead of stopping to pick up food, we will take turkey roll-ups with us. We just spread mustard over a whole wheat or sprouted wheat tortilla, layer on cheese, turkey and lettuce and roll it up. We keep it simple for the car so there is less mess. Tortillas don't crumb like bread and we all enjoy our meal in the car since turkey is considered a special treat.

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Kirsty said...

Ack! Thanks for the info. We need to make some changes there for sure!

Holly said...

Are there any lunch meats besides the Hormel that don't have them? I get the Hormel for the kids sometimes, but I don't care for it myself. Wish I did.

Tonya said...

I need you to show me where these lunch meats are at Kroger. I've looked but can't find them. Thanks for these simple changes! I know they can make a huge difference in our health!


Amy Ellen said...

Hi Holly, Thanks for your question. I haven't seen any other preservative-free lunch meats at my Kroger, but I know there are several brands out there. Earth Fare and Whole Foods sell a really yummy brand, which I prefer over Hormel. I can't think of the name at the moment!
:0) ae

Cascia said...

It is very challenging to find healthy lunch meats and I agree with you that you should avoid nitrates as much as possible. We don't purchase lunch meats anymore. I try to give my kids healthier alternatives such as a tuna sandwich with out the mayo. Great tips, Amy Ellen! I always enjoy reading your blog.

Jenny said...

we havent done lunch meats in our house yet. i was thinking of getting some but we really cant afford it.