Is Deli Meat Paleo?

Not in the mood to roast a turkey or grill a chicken and thinking you’ll just pop into the butcher or grocery store and pick up some sliced deli meat to make it easy?

Hold on a sec…

While pre-cooked ‘deli’ meat may be a feasible option for once in a while, if, and only if it meets certain standards, it’s not something I’d recommend relying on as a daily go-to option, any more than I’d suggest eating energy bars or egg powder on a regular basis.

So what are those standards?

The same as those that we use when procuring raw proteins- it should be grass-fed, or pastured, or wild, depending on what variety of deli meat you’re about to buy.

Unfortunately, good options are few and far between.    Most are highly processed and contain many unfavorable additives and preservatives, from gluten to sugar, sodium nitrates and nitrites to carageenan gum and other ingredients that we may not even be able to recognize as edible.   In addition, the term ‘mechanically separated chicken parts’ paints quite a vivid picture as to how much tender loving care was put into the processing.  Not much.

Nix those oh-s0-common options that we see in any random grocery store, like good old Oscar Meyer Bologna or Buddig Chicken and investigate which, if any meats are available to you that truly do fall within the parameters of Paleo.

Two brands I’ve seen at my local Whole Foods include Heidi’s and Deistel, both of which offer options with an ingredient panel such as:

Ingredient: turkey

That’s what you’re going for, and if there’s anything else included, do you best to pass on that brand until you find another.

Better yet, make it a priority to do your twice weekly hour in the kitchen prep, and avoid the need to go for pre-cooked, pre-packaged meat in the first place.  It’ll taste better, be more cost effective and leave no question as to what you’re actually ingesting along with the protein.