Experts say you should think twice about eating bologna (it could lead to weight gain!)
If you’ve decided that one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, you may be in the midst of a series of lifestyle changes – and at the top of that list is probably your diet. Figuring out what you should and shouldn’t be eating when it comes to your health (not to mention sticking to those guidelines) can be a difficult process, especially if you’re used to eating the same things regularly that may not be the best for your body. For example, maybe you often make yourself a sandwich of delicatessen meat for lunch. While a meat and veggie sandwich may seem like a perfectly good option, health experts warn that too much processed meat for lunch can be detrimental to your weight loss goals. In fact, there’s one high-sodium meat that many agree you should leave out of your sandwich if you’re trying to stay healthy this year: bologna.
To learn more about why bologna is so unhealthy and how it can contribute to weight gain and other problems, we spoke to a nutritionist Lisa Richardscreator of the Candida Diet, and certified weight loss coach Joanna Wen, founder Spices and greens. They told us that sodium and saturated fat are red flags you shouldn’t ignore. Read on to find out more!
There’s no denying that a good old bologna sandwich is a classic, light lunch — however, Richards and Wen warn that eating bologna regularly can lead to weight gain, heart problems and more. “Bologna is a type of processed meat made from ground pork, beef, or a combination of the two,” Richards explains. Unfortunately, she points out, it “is usually high in fat and sodium, which can contribute to health problems when consumed in excess.”
Wen supports this idea. “Among deli meats, bologna stands out as particularly harmful to health,” she says. “Made from a combination of proteins from various animals, it’s especially high in fat and sodium, which is a definite no-no if you’re trying to lose weight.”
Processed meats in general are never a good idea for your health because of the preservatives they usually contain, but Wen says high-sodium options like bologna are among the worst culprits. “While all processed meats can lead to weight gain if consumed in large quantities instead of healthier foods, those with particularly high levels of sodium and fat are the worst culprits,” she says, explaining that many processed meats contain large amounts of sodium as a preservative, which “can cause bloating and retain water weight when absorbed into the body.” And that is definitely not good for losing weight!
Along with sodium, saturated fat levels are also a major warning sign for anyone trying to shed a few pounds – but the health risks don’t just stop at weight gain. “Research has shown that eating large amounts of processed meats, such as bologna, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and other health problems. Processed meats are also typically high in saturated fat and sodium, which can contribute to weight gain and increase risk of high blood pressure and other health problems,” Richards tells us.
Of course, at the end of the day, it’s mostly okay to eat in moderation. However, if you want to make healthier choices and avoid weight gain, it’s best to avoid bologna and opt for leaner, unprocessed meats instead. Wen recommends skinless chicken or turkey breast, or even plant-based options like tofu or tempeh. Whatever you choose, your body will thank you when you replace those meat products in a healthy way!