Harvard Men's Health Watch

How to build a better sandwich

Pay attention to portion sizes and sodium content, and explore healthier alternatives.

You have probably heard that eating too much red meat is a recipe for trouble. For every additional portion consumed, health takes a hit, including higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.

Processed and cured red meats seem to have the most deleterious effect. These include ham, bacon, and bologna. But it's not necessary to go cold turkey on deli meats if you choose wisely, according to Dr. Michelle Hauser, a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a certified chef and nutrition educator. "Whole, minimally processed versions are not necessarily that bad if you just keep an eye on the sodium," she says. You can also try nutritious alternatives to processed and cured deli meats, like hummus and other vegetable spreads.

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