The best and worst foods you can buy from the deli section

Deli food is always extremely tempting, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

Best and worst food from the deli

I often joke with my wife that I want to settle down and buy a deli once our kids move out of home. Sure, I will eat all the profits and almost certainly eat my way to an early grave, but what a way to go!

That said, buying food from the deli, or the deli section of your supermarket, doesn’t mean you always have to take the unhealthy option. As with all nutritional decisions, there are good and bad options. Here is our key to choosing naughty or nice when you go to the deli.

Roast chicken

Thanks to the supermarket wars, you can go down to the deli section of your supermarket and pick up a cooked chook for a lot less effort than it takes to roast one yourself. The supermarket roast chicken is packed with protein and is a quick and easy meal. Depending on your appetite, there is usually also enough left over to put into rolls or soups for the next day’s lunch as well, making it a very cost-effective option.

Turkey breast
There are so many sandwich meats available at the deli it can often be hard to choose, but if you want to stay healthy, you won’t do much better than turkey breast, particularly if you can find a low-sodium option. You can put three layers on a sandwich, if you choose, and you will get 18 grams of protein for less than 100 calories.

Bean salad
Bean salads are low in fat and high in fibre, providing a delicious option that can be very filling yet keeps the weight off, if you are dieting. Studies have found that people who eat a serving of beans every day as part of their weight-loss plan, lose more kilograms than those who don’t. Beans are also very high in antioxidants.

Depending on the dressing at your local deli, coleslaw is a very good salad option, as cabbage is high in vitamin K, which helps build strong, healthy bones. The vinegar-based dressings are healthier than the creamy kind.

Marinated olives
While olives can be high in sodium, they are also high in heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat and vitamin E. As long as they are eaten in moderation, you can’t go wrong with olives.


The No.1 reason why I want to own a deli is to have access to smallgoods. You can actually see the fat inside salami, so it is no surprise that it is no good for you. It is highly processed and the World Health Organization has linked processed meats of this kind to higher odds of developing cancer.

Pasta salad
Just because something has salad in the title, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. The high-fat mayonnaise used in most delicatessen pasta salads adds plenty of flavour, but also contains plenty of calories and fat. This is a dish you are much better off making yourself, so that you can control what ingredients go into the mix.

Creamy potato salad
Much like the pasta salad, the mayonnaise dressing is a disaster waiting to happen. Again, you can make your own potato salad with low-fat Greek yoghurt instead of mayonnaise to reduce the calories and fat content.

What are your favourite foods from the deli?



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    15th Oct 2018
    Roast chicken hasn't been any good for 20 years or more.

    Its all been deep frozen, part marinated in brine and oil, so its salted to the bone, oozing oil, or the texture of the meat is so unnatural its a choking hazard.
    15th Oct 2018
    No way is a roast chicken from the deli a healthy choice - the stuffing is packed full if msg, salts & fats, and the skin is smothered in more msg and fat. Plus, it’s been sitting in the warming tray all day - the histamines being produced skyrocket (& if you want to know what the effects of high histamines are- just do a google search).

    15th Oct 2018
    Disgusting - processed food, heaps of preservatives and carbs
    15th Jan 2019
    Buy a fresh chicken and roast yourself. Much healthier with home made seasoning.

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