Great protein options can be found all over the grocery store. You can find meat and beans in the canned and frozen food aisles, milk products and eggs in the dairy section, and dry beans and lentils in the dry good and bulk foods. But for most of the protein discussion during this tour, the focus will be on the meat and deli department, as well as tofu and meat substitutes.
Lunch meats and other deli items make for fast and easy sandwiches at lunch or a simple no-cook dinner. In the deli department, you may find meats and cheeses that you can have sliced however thick or thin you like. You may also find rotisserie chicken, hot dishes, and a variety of pre-made salads and sides.
Deli Department: Know Before You Go
- Choose deli meat options that are lower in fat and sodium. Turkey, chicken, lean ham, and roast beef are all good choices. Salami, bologna, pastrami, and other pressed and formed meats tend to have higher fat content.
- Check out the prices on rotisserie chicken while in the deli department. While they may be a little higher in sodium, they can simplify your meal prep. Rotisserie chicken can be the centerpiece of your dinner or used as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, and chicken salad.
- There are usually a lot of options when it comes to prepared side dishes in the deli. Aim for side dishes that are full of fruits or vegetables. Bonus if the dressing used is oil or vinegar-based versus mayonnaise or cream-based dressings.
The choices in the meat department can be overwhelming. There are many types and cuts of meat to choose from and they can vary in nutrition content, as well as cost. For this part of the tour, we will focus primarily on how to find lean cuts of meat.