Eating At The Deli? The Healthiest Food Options

Just because you’re counting your calories doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good healthy meal. The next time you walk into a Melville deli you just need to be a little more selective and discerning about what you order.

But, in reality, making the best culinary choices for watching your calories is no different at the deli than any other eating establishment. It’s all about knowing what ingredients are in your selections and which items to avoid entirely.

It’s all mouth-watering and scrumptious, but it’s time to get smart about which foods you put into your body for the purposes of eating healthier meals. The deli counter has a lot of enticing options, but many of these popular selections are high in fats, sodium, and various preservatives that can torpedo your diet.

Therefore, we offer these healthy diet tips to keep in mind the next time you visit the deli counter and still cut all of the unhealthy additives, colors, salts, and carbs out of your meal. These can ruin a healthy diet fast.

The best rule of thumb when choosing meats and salads at the deli is to concentrate on the healthy things like calcium, protein, potassium, and similar nutrients of that nature. Additionally, nix the saturated fats and nitrates where you can.


There has never been a more confusing word associated with the deli counter than “salad”. That’s because you will find various types at the deli counter. Sure, you’re going to find the traditional salads filled with lush, fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, corn, and the like.

These are your healthiest option at the deli counter, just be sure to keep the heavy oils and thick dressings off or, at the very least, to a minimum if you want that salad to remain a healthy diet option.

As for dressings, stay with the low-fat options so your veggies remain heart-healthy and low in calories.

But you’re also going to find salads that have little to no vegetables anywhere in their composition. These are options like macaroni salad, potato salad, and similar salads that refer to a mixture of ingredients all bunched together in one bowl or container. However, these can be tougher to choose as a healthy food option when you’re shopping at a deli counter.

These salads are going to have more calories, higher fat content, and fewer options for making them a smart choice for your dietary concerns. That’s due, in large part, to the fact that most of these salads contain mayonnaise. Unfortunately, when these items are concocted in the kitchen, the deli chefs aren’t often reaching for the low-fat or no-fat mayo or mayo alternatives.

Now all is not lost, if you really have a hankering for a good macaroni or egg salad, you can always buy the healthier versions of the components that go into these salads and make the meal yourself. Buy the low-fat mayo, the whole wheat pasta, the organic eggs, and whip up that tasty “salad” at home.

It might cost a bit more and take some time and effort on your part, but you can rest assured that this deli meal will be a lot healthier for you and your family.

Lunch Meats

If you thought salads can be complicated, wait until you check out all your options when it comes to choosing the best deli meats for your health-conscious diet. It’s not all turkey at the deli counter either, even if that is the most popular option among most consumers. You can find many variants of turkey including smoked turkey, honey turkey, low sodium turkey, you name it.

That should tell you something – reading the labels is important. So be on the lookout for those deli meats that come with labels saying “no added preservatives or nitrates”. As long as that disclaimer is printed on your deli meat label, you know you’re choosing a healthier option for deli meat. If you don’t see this label exhibited in deli counter, ask the deli counter clerk which meats are lower in sodium, nitrates, and preservatives.

But just in case you can’t quite distinguish one from the other, you can’t really go wrong with turkey, some types of ham, and some variations of roast beef. However, you do want to keep your eyes open around these deli meats because most types go through processing procedures that aren’t the best for your health due to the ingredients that are introduced. These can include corn syrup, artificial colors, and assorted by-products.