Would you like to follow a 100% guilt-free diet? If so, you're in the right place. We know you love cold cuts and enjoy eating them endlessly. So that you don't have to give them up, at Enrique Tomás we'll explain to you which cured meats and sausages are the healthiest and most beneficial to maintain a balanced diet.
We'll talk about how they affect good and bad cholesterol, calories, and protein content in each case.
Cold Cuts or Cured Meats?
When we talk about these types of foods, we need to make a distinction because there's a tendency to confuse cold cuts with cured meats, and they are not the same in terms of form or production process.
Cold cuts are understood as "preparations that consist of a natural or synthetic casing stuffed with minced pork, bacon, cooked blood, or other ingredients and seasonings, which usually have elongated and rounded shapes and are presented raw, cooked, cured, or smoked. Products like chorizo, salami, longaniza, etc. fall under this description."
Therefore, Iberian ham and serrano ham are completely excluded as cold cuts because they are whole pieces of the animal that are cured as they are, using salt and time, without additives.
The most important thing to consider for health is that, as recommended by the WHO, moderate consumption of these products is beneficial for health: including them in recipes, having them as appetizers in shared meals or dinners, etc. So, all cold cuts, unless your doctor has advised against it for some reason, are not the main enemy for health if consumed occasionally and in moderate amounts.
The Healthiest Cured Meats and Cold Cuts: Ranked from Most to Least
This is a product with a lot of flavor and high quality, obtained thanks to the ability of Iberian pigs to infiltrate fat into their muscles and their diet based on acorns, wild herbs, and natural pasture.
Its meat contains 50% more protein than fresh meats, in addition to being rich in vitamin B, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, copper, and phosphorus. Oh, and in case you didn't know, Iberian ham doesn't cause weight gain; in moderation, the infiltrated fat in the product is healthy fat, essential for our body.
- Find out more in: Is Iberian Ham Fat Bad?
Consuming Iberian ham can also benefit the immune system and help reduce cholesterol due to its high content of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that contributes to reducing bad cholesterol in our body.
Check out "The Nutritional Properties of Iberian Ham" or "The Benefits of Iberian Ham for Health" to learn more. You'll become an expert!
Serrano ham is another healthy cured meat that you can enjoy. This food is also obtained from the hind legs of the pig, but not from the Iberian breed; it comes from the white breed, which results in significant differences in taste, texture, color, appearance, and aroma.
At Enrique Tomás, we call our serrano ham "Gran Reserva". We have a team of professionals who take care of even the smallest details to ensure that the final customer can buy the highest quality serrano ham.
It's a low-fat meat product rich in nutrients, calcium, B-complex and D vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus. Its consumption is recommended for preventing osteoporosis as well.
It's also a good source of easily assimilable quality proteins for the body. Start including it in your recipes and enjoy its flavor!
- Here are some ideas:
Lentil Salad with Serrano Ham
Eggplant Roll with Serrano Ham
Iberian loin sausage is made from the leanest pork meat, so its fat content is lower compared to other non-Iberian loin types.
During its production, it's not mixed with meat from other parts of the pig; it's a whole piece that, once salted, is seasoned with garlic, oregano, paprika, and then stuffed into natural pork intestines.
It's worth noting that it's rich in proteins, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and vitamins K, E, B1, B12, and B3. Nevertheless, it's not recommended for people with high blood pressure due to its sodium content.
This cold cut is popularly known as York ham and is a pork-derived meat product rich in proteins, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamins K, B3, B4, and B1.
Cooked ham has a high sodium content, so its consumption is not recommended for people with hypertension. Similarly, it's not suitable for diabetics as it often contains sugars.
When it comes to cold cuts, turkey breast is a staple in the diet of those aiming to lose weight.
This cold cut has low fat, a high protein content of 75% water, and is rich in B-group vitamins. As you can see, it's ideal for making sandwiches, preparing salads, or even eating it on its own.
However, not all turkey deli meats are suitable for weight loss diets or gluten-free diets, as their composition often includes salt, milk, flour, vegetable starches, and fillers. Additionally, in such diets, the focus should not just be on the quantity of fat but also on the type of fat—whether they are healthy fats or not. Foods with quality unsaturated fats can also aid in weight loss.
Another healthy cold cut that can be part of your daily diet is chicken breast. Its nutritional value is very similar to turkey breast, and it's also low in fat.
Remember that if you're buying packaged products, it's essential to read the labels carefully and choose products with higher meat content.
Avoid those that contain sugar, flours, or starches, and always keep in mind that the cheapest cold cuts are not always the healthiest.
Are There Less Recommended Cold Cuts?
Although cold cuts generally provide us with a significant amount of nutrients, some are more recommended than others due to their high content of saturated fats, cholesterol, and salt.
Cold cuts like chorizo, mortadella, salami, bacon, and even salchichón have a bad reputation. However, if we're talking about Iberian cold cuts, they tend to be much healthier.
Lastly, remember to consume them in moderation and pay close attention to the origin of the products. At Enrique Tomás, you'll not only find the healthiest cold cuts but also the highest quality ones, as we develop our products with people's health in mind. So go ahead and prepare a great cold cut platter.
Buy an Iberian ham or Serrano ham now at any of our stores or on the online platform and enjoy their numerous benefits. You'll love it!