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Is Pastrami Healthy?

Today we are joined by C.C.Charles as guest blogger.

Is Pastrami Healthy?

Pastrami is a lean meat product made from beef brisket, lamb or turkey. Some common questions asked about pastrami include: what is pastrami? is pastrami healthy? how can I prepare pastrami? what is the nutritional information of pastrami? This post will answer these questions and more. After reading this post, you will find the answers to these questions. Have a good read.

What is Pastrami?

Pastrami is a Romanian delicacy and has over the years gained acceptance as a usual meal in the United States and all over Europe. The origin of pastrami in the United States traces back to the 17th century during the Romanian Migration.

How is Pastrami Prepared?

To make pastrami, you –

  1. Wash the meat in salt water. (If you do not have access to sea water, use common salt).
  2. Allow the salt water to permeate the meat.
  3. When the meat is partially dried up, add your seasoning, including herbs and spices.
  4. After adding the seasoning, herb and spice, you smoke and steam. When the tough meat become tender, then your pastrami is made.

In other words, to prepare pastrami using the traditional beef plate, beef brisket, beef round or turkey, you have to first cure the meat in brine, then coat it with a mix of spices such as coriander, garlic, black pepper, cloves, paprika, allspice and mustard seed. After adding the spice, you then smoke it. Lastly, you steam the meat until the tough meat loosen up to a very soft pastrami.

The final stage which involves steaming the meat enables the connective tissues holding the meat together to break down into gelatin.

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Is pastrami healthy?

Pastrami is healthy because it has low fat and calories. This is unlike other deli meats like salami and bologna. Pastrami is also a good source of protein.

However, consumption of pastrami should be moderated because it contains high amount of sodium. Therefore too much consumption of pastrami is not so healthy for your heart.

What is the Nutrition Information of Pastrami?

It is important you know the nutritional information of pastrami. This will help you plan your diet and make out the best from this amazing dish.

The following is thus a breakdown of pastrami nutrition.

  1. It Contains Low Calorie

A one-ounce serving of beef pastrami consists of 41 calories. This is about the same amount of calories found in deli turkey and ham.

Older people who prepare poultry to red meat may use a turkey pastrami. A turkey pastrami is a very good low-calorie option with 39 calories per 1-ounce serving.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that most American eat too many calories. It is therefore advised that you include some low-calorie food to your list to reduce your daily consumption of calorie. Pastrami is one of the best ways to do this.

  1. It is a Good source of Protein

Pastrami is a lean meat. Thus, most of the calories come from its protein content. An ounce serving of beef pastrami has 6 grams of protein, while the same measure of turkey pastrami has 4.5 grams.

As an animal source of protein, pastrami – both beef and turkey, provides all of the essential amino acids required by the body daily. Thus, they are a complete source of protein.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that most Americans get more than enough in their diet.


  1. Although it contains low fat, it is a source of saturated fat.

Beef and turkey pastrami has less than 2 grams of fat in an ounce serving. However, in beef pastrami, a larger quantity of the fat comes from saturated fat. If you take too much saturated fat, it will increase your blood cholesterol.

Thus, it is recommended that you reduce your consumption of saturated fat. The recommended quantity of saturated fat you should take is less than 7% of calories, or less than 16 grams a day on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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  1. Pastrami contains too much sodium

Just like other types of luncheon meat, pastrami contains too much sodium. While a one-ounce portion of beef pastrami has 302 milligrams of sodium, the same serving of turkey pastrami contains 314 milligrams.

Do you know that having a high amount of sodium in your diet increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease? You are therefore advised to secure your heart health, by limiting your daily sodium intake to less than 1,500 milligrams a day.


Having seen the basic information about pastrami, I believe you are in a better position to identify if pastrami is healthy for you.

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3 Responses

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