Is Lunch Meat Low Carb/Keto?


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Lunch is that meal of the day when you usually don’t eat too much but still want something filling. When you are at work and don’t want to eat out, you probably pack yourself a lunch. Some people prefer their frozen meals that can be easily cooked in a microwave while others grab some deli lunch meat and make a sandwich. 

Now, if you are on a keto or low carb diet, you have to be careful with what you eat. So, is lunch meat low carb or keto?

Lunch meat is generally considered to be low carb and keto-friendly. Overall, lunch meats have a low amount of carbs, a moderate amount of fat, and a higher amount of protein. This is fine to eat when on a keto diet but only in moderation.

Is Lunch Meat Low Carb/Keto?

A keto diet is a low-carb, high fat diet. If you are on this diet, you will eat foods that are very low in carbohydrates and high in fats. Doing this offers many health benefits as it can help you to lose weight and also improve your overall health. 

When you drastically reduce your carb intake, your body goes into ketosis. This means that it will become very efficient at burning fat for energy and will turn fat into ketones in the liver supplying energy for the brain. A keto diet can reduce blood sugar as well as insulin levels. 

When your body is in ketosis, it is basically using fat for energy instead of carbs. Which is what you want because you want to get rid of fat. So, you eat more fat, a moderate amount of protein, and a lot of fats.

Here is a list of just a  few deli lunch meats and the carbs, fat, and protein content of each:

  • Turkey – 2 gram of carbs, 1 fats, 9 grams of protein.
  • Ham – 0 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat , 11 gram of protein.
  • Bologna – 1 gram of barbs, 2 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein.
  • Smoked Salami – 1 gram of carbs, 14 grams of fat, and 6 grams of carbs.
  • Roast beef – 0 barbs, 3 grams of fat, 19 grams of protein.

Turkey is the healthiest deli meat with less fat content than chicken, pork, or beef. It also contains less salt since it already has a lot of flavor. But, since it contains less fat, it isn’t ideal to eat when on keto. Like we said, a keto diet requires you to eat less carbs and more fat. While this seems odd, it works because when you are consuming more fat instead of carbs. 

Your body is changing that fat into energy. 

Usually it would store most of the fat and change the carbs into energy. So, by taking in less carbs and more fat, your body has no choice but to convert the fat into energy and help you to lose fat and because of this, lose weight. Since most deli lunch meats contain a low amount of carbs, they are low carbs and keto-friendly.

To see the most popular snacks that you can eat while on keto just click here. 

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What Are Some Keto-Friendly Deli Meat Brands?

Some lunch meats contain more or less carbs, fat, and protein than others do. Overall, lunch meat is very low in carbs and higher in fat making it good to eat on a keto diet. But be careful not to eat too much protein. 

It’s important to keep track of what you are eating and the carb, fat, and protein intake in all of them so you can stay on track. But, you can add lunch meat into a keto diet because it is low carb. 

So, what are some keto-friendly deli meat brands?

There are some deli meat brands that are keto-friendly, meaning that they are low in carbs. Some of these lunch meats are good for all types of keto diets while some should be avoided if on a strict keto diet.

Now, there are 4 different types of keto diets ranging from strict to more lax. These are:

  1. Standard keto diet -very low carb intake (10 percent), modere protein (20 percent) and high fat (70 percent).
  1. Cynical keto diet – HIgh carbs for a certain period of time like 5 days of low carb intake followed by 2 days of high carb intake.
  1. Targeted keto diet – Add carbs to food eaten around workouts.
  1. High protein keto diet – similar to the standards but more protein is eaten. 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, adn 5 percent carbs.

As you can see, protein isn’t a large part of a keto diet and should be eaten in moderation for most variations of the diet. Protein can be converted into glucose if you eat too much of it and this can slow down ketosis. 

Here are some brands and lunch meats that are more keto-friendly:

  • Applegate
    • Organic oven roasted chicken breast deli meat
    • Oven roasted chicken breast
  • Smoked
    • Turkey breast
    • Oven roasted turkey breast
  • Organic Valley
    • Smoked turkey breast
  • 365
    • Smoked turkey breast
    • Oven roasted turkey breast

Dirty keto is a variation of a normal keto diet except you can still eat processed food and junk foods. This works if you are more flexible in your diet and as long as you continue working out. 

Here are some brand and lunch meats that are fine for dirty keto:

  • Empire kosher
    • Smoked turkey breast
    • Slow roasted turkey breast
  • Meal Mart 
    • Kosher beef salami
  • Abeles and Heymann
    • Beef asmalmi
    • Beef pastrami
  • Applegate
    • Organic uncured black forest ham
    • Uncured black forest ham

For more information about these different types of lunch meats and many more that are and are not keto-friendly along with their carb, fat and protein content click here.

Final Thoughts

Lunch meat is low carb and keto-friendly. This is because most deli meats contain a low amount of carbs which is required for a keto diet. But, they do contain a moderate amount of fat and on keto you need to eat a high amount of fat. 

Lunch meat will also contain a high amount of protein which should be eaten in moderation. Still, you can eat lunch meat while on a keto diet just make sure to keep track of everything you eat so you can stay on track.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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