Ask the Diva: Is Deli Turkey Healthier than Packaged Turkey?

Nutrition Diva explains the differences between freshly sliced deli turkey and packaged turkey.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

Ask the Diva: Is Deli Turkey Healthier than Packaged Turkey?


Q. I buy packaged turkey breast for my sandwiches. My fiancée tells me that freshly sliced turkey from the deli would be healthier, and I'm sure she's right, but it's much more expensive. Am I walking through a nutritional minefield by eating packaged turkey?

A. How charming of you to assume that your fiancée is right! I predict a long and happy marriage. To be honest, the fresh-sliced turkey might taste a bit better. But I think the nutritional differences between the fresh and packaged sliced turkey are so minor that it’s fine to save a little money by choosing the packaged if you prefer. (You can save it for your honeymoon!)  Look for a brand that doesn’t have a long list of additives and keep an eye on the sodium content.  And if you eat it every day, be sure to avoid turkey “ham” or other versions that are cured with nitrites.

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Sliced Turkey photo from Shutterstock

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.