Can you eat luncheon meat without cooking it?

In this brief article, we will answer the question,”Can you eat luncheon meat without cooking it?” We will look at the nutritional profile of luncheon meat and how to select healthy luncheon meats. We will also discuss some risks of consuming luncheon meats.

Can you eat luncheon meat without cooking it?

Yes, you can eat luncheon meat without cooking it. Luncheon meat is already cooked and ready-to-eat. You can have it either cold or hot in your sandwich for breakfast or as a snack any time of the day. Luncheon meat is usually canned and can be various meat forms such as chicken, turkey, pork or beef.

What is the nutritional value of luncheon meat?

The nutritional value of luncheon meat is dependent on the type of meat that is canned. For context let us take a look at a 28 grams serving of luncheon, canned pork.

NutrientAmount per portion% Daily value
Total fat8.6g11%
Saturated fat3.1g16%
Sodium365 mg16%
Total carbohydrate0.6g0%
Dietary fiber0g0%
Vitamin D0.1mcg0%

How do you cook luncheon meat?

Let us look at a step by step guide on how to cook some luncheon meat.

  • First heat some oil in a non-stick fry pan on medium. Proceed and add your luncheon meat slices making sure that they do not overlap so that the heat is evenly distributed. Try and use a fry pan that can accommodate many slices if you don’t have one just cook in batches.
  • Fry the luncheon meats until they are crispy on the side, then flip over to cook the other side. You can infuse some flavor onto the meat by drizzling some chili oil over the meat if you desire.
  • When both sides are crispy and done, remove the meat slices from the pan and serve. You can serve them with some macaroni soup, rice or congee.

How do you choose healthy luncheon meat?

Luncheon meat is not the healthiest of meat out there and regular consumption can result in diseases such as obesity, cancer and heart disease. This is because the meat can have high amounts of saturated fats and sodium in them.

Some things to consider when searching for a healthier luncheon meat option are:

Look for a low-sodium luncheon meat

Always look for fresh luncheon meat that has low sodium in it. Most fresh luncheon meat usually contains high levels of sodium so always look for options that have low-sodium so that you cut down on the salt.

Look for the leanest cuts of the meat

Lean cuts of meat usually have the most nutritional value as compared to other parts. So when selecting meat choose luncheon meats such as chicken breast, turkey, roast beef or lean ham.

Select fresh luncheon meat over prepackaged luncheon meat

It is healthier to always go with fresh luncheon as opposed to the prepackaged ones. Luncheon meat that is freshly sliced off the bone or slab has natural nitrates and is minimally processed. 

What are some risks of consuming luncheon meat?

It can lead to fluid retention and blood pressure

Most luncheon meats usually contain high levels of sodium. Sodium can potentially lead to high blood pressure because too much sodium in the blood stream usually results in high blood volume which results in high blood pressure.

It can put you at risk of getting food borne infections

There have been many outbreaks of food borne illnesses which have been linked with consumption of luncheon meats. Luncheon meats can contain bacteria such as listeria as a result of cross contamination. As such people with low immunity, children and pregnant women are advised to stay away from them.

It may increase the risk of getting colorectal cancer

Most luncheon meats contain preservatives such as nitrates and nitrites that are added to increase the shelf life. High nitrates and nitrites intake have been linked with an increased rate of developing colorectal cancer. As mentioned before, always ensure that you purchase nitrate and nitrite free canned luncheon meats.

It might result in weight gain

Some luncheon meats do contain a lot of fats and calories, this is the case for salami and bologna. Some brands of bologna luncheon might contain as high as 90 calories and 7 grams of fat per slice. It is therefore important to always check the nutritional profile in the label before purchasing any luncheon meats.

Other FAQs about Meat  that you may be interested in.

Can you eat smoked meat without cooking it?

Can you eat raw meat without an appendix?

What meat is safe to eat raw?


In this brief article, we have answered the question,”Can you eat luncheon meat without cooking it?” We have looked at the nutritional profile of luncheon meat and how to select healthy luncheon meats. We have also discussed some risks of consuming luncheon meats.


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