How to Remove Sodium from Lunch Meat

Lunch meats are a staple in many diets, offering convenience and versatility. However, they’re often high in sodium, which can be a concern for those monitoring their salt intake.

If you’re looking to reduce the sodium content in your lunch meats, this guide will provide practical tips and alternatives.

Understanding Sodium in Lunch Meats

Lunch meats, also known as deli meats, often contain high levels of sodium for flavor enhancement and preservation. Sodium helps in extending shelf life and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria, but excessive intake can lead to health issues like hypertension.

Strategies to Reduce Sodium in Lunch Meat

1. Rinsing Lunch Meats

  • Briefly rinse sliced lunch meats under cold water.
  • Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • This simple step can help wash off some surface sodium.

2. Opting for Lower Sodium Varieties

  • Choose brands that offer “low sodium” or “reduced sodium” options.
  • Compare nutrition labels to find products with the lowest sodium content.

3. Blotting with a Paper Towel

  • After removing lunch meat from the package, blot it with a paper towel.
  • This can help remove some of the excess brine, which contains sodium.

4. Portion Control

  • Limit the amount of lunch meat in your servings.
  • Combine with other low-sodium foods like fresh vegetables to create a balanced meal.

5. Alternative Cooking Methods

  • If you have access to unprocessed meats, cook and slice them for homemade lunch meat.
  • Season with herbs and spices instead of salt for flavor.

Healthier Alternatives to Traditional Lunch Meats

  • Homemade Roasted Meats: Roast chicken, turkey, or beef at home with low-sodium seasonings.
  • Vegetable Wraps: Use large lettuce leaves or collard greens as wraps filled with a variety of vegetables and a small amount of low-sodium meat.
  • Plant-Based Options: Explore plant-based lunch meat alternatives, which may contain less sodium.


Reducing sodium in lunch meats involves smart shopping, simple preparation techniques, and exploring alternatives.

By adopting these strategies, you can enjoy your favorite lunch meats while managing your sodium intake for a healthier lifestyle.