Deli meats are largely out for the Whole30 program. The vast, vast majority contain naughty ingredients you need to avoid.
However, if you’re on the hunt for Whole30 deli meat, we can at least help steer you in the direction of a few brands and sources that provide a few compliant options.
First, let’s discuss what to look for vs what to avoid in your deli meats.
Common Deli Meat Ingredient to Avoid
These ingredients are common in deli meats and aren’t allowed on Whole30:
What Deli Meat Ingredients To Look For
Compliant Whole30 deli meats won’t have anything outside of these ingredients.
- Meat (Pork, Beef, Chicken, Etc)
- Seasoning & Spices
The vast majority of bacon you find in your supermarket travels will not be compliant. Why? Because most (by which we mean basically all) bacon contains sugar as an ingredient – and as you know, all added sugar it out for Whole30.
There is some hope though – sometimes you can find uncured, sugar-free bacon on speciality health food stores or at local butcheries.
In another post, we discuss various places to purchase compliant Whole30 bacon, from sources such as U.S. Wellness Meats (which is officially endorsed by Whole30).
Better Option: Prosciutto
You’ll have your work cut out for you trying to find compliant bacon – instead, why not Prosciutto? Prosciutto is one of the few Whole30 deli meats that is actually not too tough to locate.
When you check ingredients, look for Prosciutto that is just pork and salt. You’ll still find plenty of duds, but you should be able to dig up some gems as well.
We recommend hitting up Trader Joe’s, as they definitely have a compliant pack of Prosciutto (plus Whole30 compliant sausage as well).
Roast Beef is another deli meat that may require a bit of hunting to find a Whole30 compliant version, but it’s certainly do-able.
Keep an eye out for Applegate Farms Roast Beef, which you can find at Trader Joe’s and other locations (sometimes you can even find it at bigger chain supermarkets). It only contains beef, water, salt, and pepper.
Other Whole30 Deli Meat Tips:
- Visit The Deli Counter. Often it’s the pre-packaged meats that are packed with the most nasty additives. Visiting the butcher counter may provide a different story. Just be ready to ask your 20 questions about additives and ingredients. Whole30-ers note that many of the Applegate Farms meats at the deli counter are compliant, despite having related non-compliant packed meats (ex. roast turkey, chicken, etc).
- Deli Meat DIY. Many Whole30-ers suggest simply buying a chunk of meat, roasting it, and thinly slicing it yourself for the best tasting deli meat around!
Do you have any of your own Whole30 deli meat tricks or hacks? Share your thoughts in the comments!