Saturday, May 21, 2011

Deli Style Sandwiches & Wraps

When you’re on a low sodium diet, deli style meats are usually not a sandwich option. Luckily, a few brands of low sodium sliced turkey have been available for the last couple of years. Trader Joe’s sells packages of Columbus sliced turkey as does Costco. My favorite local grocery store also sells it at the full service deli. Boar's Head has an array of low sodium offerings, and I can find the ham, turkey, and roast beef nearby. A couple of months ago I noticed a newspaper ad for Sara Lee lower sodium deli style meats. A few weeks ago, I was shopping in Safeway and discovered Sara Lee lower sodium Virginia ham. I quickly snapped up a package. The nutrition label indicated that a 2 oz. serving was 390 mgs. of sodium, supposedly 1/3 less than the regular style. Granted that 390 mgs. is not truly low sodium. But for an every-once-in-a-while splurge, it’s not too bad.

About a week later I was perusing the self-service deli section of my favorite grocery store and really hit the jackpot. I discovered Hillshire Farm’s low sodium honey ham, Healthy Ones honey smoked turkey breast, and even Farmer John’s low sodium ham. Yup, I bought all three and tested them over the course of two weeks.
The Hillshire Farm honey ham contains 450 mgs. sodium for a 2 oz. serving, while the Farmer John ham has 270 mgs. sodium per each one (1) oz. slice. The real winner, sodium-wise, was the Healthy Ones smoked turkey breast with 290 mgs. sodium for six (6) slices weighing 58 g. or about 2 oz.

As far as flavor goes, the Hillshire Farm honey ham tasted good. The Farmer John product tasted like regular boiled ham. The Healthy Ones honey smoked turkey breast had a very nice smoky flavor to it and was my favorite. Check out the Healthy Ones website. It has several offerings that are relatively low in sodium.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating eating a ham sandwich every day for lunch. But for that occasional treat, to satisfy a craving, these products are better than what is normally available. This is one of those times when portion control is extremely important. A 2 oz. serving needs to be just 2 ounces. Not 2 ounces plus of couple of extra slices. I weighed out the portions for both my husband and me. It also helps to make sure you’re making the sandwiches with lower sodium bread and using low sodium cheese and condiments. Luckily, I’ve always got plenty of homemade sandwich buns in the freezer and thinly sliced (and naturally lower in sodium) Swiss cheese in the fridge.

I was happy to find these products. What it tells me is that food manufacturers are making an effort to offer some low sodium choices, and that’s encouraging. An occasional ham sandwich, a bacon & eggs breakfast every once-in-a-while, a grilled cheese sandwich treat – it will be easier to enjoy them now that more and more products are losing some of their sodium.


Christy said...

These sound delicious. In fact, looking at your photos is making me salivate. Your homemade rolls are beautiful! It's great to hear that the lowest in sodium (healthy Ones turkey) was actually your favorite! WOOT! I will have to look for that here. We always keep Swiss slices in the house, but deli meat is a real treat. Thanks so much for the heads-up!

Courtney said...

I have just discovered your blog and LOVE it. My husband too has to obtain a low sodium diet so it's nice to hear your advice as someone who is going through the same cooking restrictions. Any more lunch ideas that are low sodium? In this post, I see you posted about lower sodium deli meat options and we've been pursuing that along with grilled cheese using low sodium swiss cheese and tuna sandwiches using low sodium starkist tuna. Do you have any other lunch ideas that you use on a regular basis? Just tired of our same old routine. Would love some fresh ideas!

~Amy~ said...

I just want to say Thank you for all of your hard work and research. I have Postpartum Cardiomyopathy and was in congestive heart failure 10 weeks ago after the birth of my son. I was put on all kinds of medications and also a low-sodium, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and a 64 oz fluid restriction. I just turned 30 last month. It has been a struggle to adjust to being a new mom and being a heart patient at the same time, but finding great low-sodium informative sites and your blog will definitely help me keep up with my diet. Thank you again, I look forward to keeping up with your posts. :)