True delis are havens for people who want to enjoy the best sandwiches, salads and subs as well as a wide range of delicious food on the go. Publix deli sandwiches are widely popular, due to their wide variety of options.
But there are pitfalls in being a deli patron including the tendency to eat more calories, more processed meats, and more times than your doctor recommends.
Fortunately, you need not swear off ordering your favorite corned beef, pastrami, and ham on rye with a generous sprinkling of jack cheese – or whatever satisfies your deli cravings. You can keep these tricks for healthier choices in mind whenever you are in your favorite deli, be it in New York or Chicago.
Choose More of Healthy Food
The first step is making conscious decisions about healthier foods such as:
- Baked or boiled ham
- Roast or smoked turkey
- Slice chicken
- Whole-grain bread
- Fresh vegetable and fruit salad like beet salad, carrot and raisin salad, and extra vegetables on your sandwiches
- Mustard instead of mayo
You can also avoid completely depriving yourself of less healthy choices but be sure to cut back on them, too. You should eat less of bagels, bologna, hot pastrami, extra cheese, knockwurst, liverwurst, meatballs, and salami. You can gradually lessen your intake so that your risks for backsliding (i.e., going back to your unhealthy food choices) will be lesser.
Count Your Calories
You can also still indulge in your favorite deli fare yet still make healthy choices by keeping your entire meal to 500 calories or less.
Studies have shown that an average adult – you, for example – will eat 836 calories per meal in fast-food establishments including delis while also underestimating the amount of calories consumed by as much as 175 calories.
Instead of guessing about your calorie intake while at a deli, you should refer to the nutritional information that most delis post on their websites or on their menu cards and counters.
You will also be delighted to know about a recent regulation that requires restaurants to post the nutritional information of their menus in areas where diners can see them.
Aside from calories, you have to be conscious about your fat, sodium and sugar intake, too. High salt intake has been linked to increased risks for cardiovascular disease, thus, the American Heart Association recommends a 1,500-mg or under daily sodium intake for adults; sodium intake of more than 2,300 mg per day is a big no-no as well.
While you limit your fat, sodium and sugar intake, you should eat more of foods with abundant content of high-quality protein and fiber.
Eat more whole cuts (i.e., sliced whole roasted turkey, pot roast, and ham), more fresh vegetable salads, and more vegetable additions to your sandwiches.
Other tricks to being a healthy diner in delis include keeping your eye on portion sizes; ordering more grilled and roasted lean meats; asking for special orders.
Keep in mind that while you may enjoy deli food, you also have a responsibility to yourself to keep your mind and body healthy.