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Experts say you might want to think twice about eating bologna (it can lead to weight gain!)

packaged meat

packaged meat

If you’ve decided that one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, you may be going through a slew of lifestyle changes—and at the top of that list is likely your diet. Figuring out what you should and shouldn’t eat when it comes to your health (not to mention following those guidelines) can be a difficult process, especially if you’re used to eating the same things on a regular basis, which you might not. be the best for your body. For example, maybe you often make a cold meat sandwich for lunch. While a meat-and-vegetable sandwich might seem like a perfectly adequate option, health experts warn that too many processed meats at lunch could hurt your weight-loss goals. In fact, there’s a 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 mortadella is so unhealthy and how it can contribute to weight gain and other issues, we spoke with registered dietitian Lisa Richards, creator of The Candida Diet, and certified weight loss coach Joanna Wen , founder of Spices and Vegetables. They told us that sodium and saturated fat are red flags that you shouldn’t ignore. Read on to learn more!


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There’s no denying that a good old-fashioned bologna sandwich is a classic, easy 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,” explains Richards. Unfortunately, she points out, “it’s typically high in fat and sodium, which can contribute to health problems when consumed in excess.”

Wen supports this notion. “Among cold meats, mortadella stands out as being particularly harmful to health,” she says. “Made from a combination of proteins from various animals, it’s especially high in fat and sodium, making it a definite no-no if you’re trying to slim down.”

Processed meats in general are never a good idea for your health due to the preservatives they typically contain, but Wen says that especially high-sodium options like bologna are among the worst culprits. “While all processed meats can lead to weight gain if consumed in large amounts in place of healthier foods, those with especially 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 by the body.” And that’s definitely not good for weight loss!

In addition to sodium, available saturated fat levels are also an important 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 consuming large amounts of processed meats, such as mortadella, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, certain cancers and other health problems. Processed meats are also typically high in saturated fat and sodium, which can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of high blood pressure and other health problems,” says Richards.

Of course, at the end of the day, almost anything is fine 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. Wen recommends skinless chicken or turkey breast, or even plant-based options like tofu or tempeh. No matter what you choose, your body will thank you when you make a healthy switch to these processed meats!