By Gary, on December 23rd, 2013
When I was a poor college student (over 45 years ago), my roommate and I use to get real creative with the in-expensive food we could afford to buy. We usually ended up trying to work with bread (cheap white), mustard, jelly, pickles, American cheese and yes, bologna. More often than not we would combine all of these ingredients to create a sandwich. Sometimes we could afford peanut butter which would also go in the sandwich. That sandwich and a small glass of milk was our normal weekly lunch plan.
Why bologna? Well it was cheap, tasty, a protein (according to my roomy), and it came in a good size package. It was pre-sliced and easy to use. We did not care what it was made of since it met our budget needs. Hmmmm.
I care now.
What, exactly is it? Click below for additional information. By the way, I am only writing about the American bologna that you readily find in the lunch-meat section of your local grocery store. There are other types of bologna that come from other countries.
Bologna is: a processed meat, meaning it has been salted or had chemical preservatives added. Read on to learn more about the nutritional value of bologna and if it is healthy. It can be made from several different types of meat. Most bologna is made from either pork or beef, and sometimes a combination of both. Bologna can also be made with chicken and turkey, but that is not the typical.
A single slice of bologna has anywhere from 69 to 94 calories, depending on the type of meat used, and the majority of those calories are from fat. For example, pork bologna has 69 calories and 50 of them are from fat. Beef bologna has 87 calories, 71 from fat. A piece of bologna made from pork, turkey, and beef could have as much as eight grams per slice, three of them saturated fat. If you are concerned about your fat intake, there are healthier fats than those found in processed meats. See previous Health Now, Wealth Post “Marilyn’s Big Fat Rant”.
Too much sodium leads to higher blood pressure, which can increase your chance of heart attack or stroke. High sodium levels are usually found in processed foods, and bologna is no exception.
Protein and carbohydrates are both important for providing the body with energy. Carbs form glucose, which is fuel for the body, and proteins are made of amino acids that help build cells. Bologna has relatively low levels of both. The amount of carbs can range from none to two grams per slice. For protein, the amount ranges from about three to four grams per slice.
Bologna usually (depends upon meat used) contains vitamin C, iron, and calcium. A single slice of beef bologna has about seven percent of the daily value for vitamin C, two percent iron, and one percent calcium. A more complex slice of bologna with chicken, turkey, and pork contains nine percent vitamin C, two percent iron, and two percent calcium. On the other hand, a slice of pork bologna has one percent iron and no vitamin C or calcium.
Bologna, like most processed foods, tends to do more harm than good.
While bologna can provide some vitamins, minerals, and proteins, these benefits are outweighed by the large amount of sodium and saturated fat. The majority of the calories you get from bologna are fats, which leads to a high amount of cholesterol. The salt and preservatives added to bologna also give it a dangerously high sodium level. If you’re trying to lose weight or switch to a healthier diet, bologna may be an item best left off the menu.