The other day, a friend told me that she really misses eating turkey sandwiches now that she is pregnant.  Doctors recommend that pregnant women should not eat cold cuts because of a harmful bacterium called Listeria. 

I posed the question to my husband, “Why would it be unhealthy for pregnant women to eat cold cuts, but it is safe for everyone else?”  To which he responded, “Well, our stomachs are stronger so we can fight things off more easily.

Fair enough. But I did a little digging and found that it’s not just Listeria that can make cold cuts harmful.  Sodium Nitrates are found in many processed meats, which react with stomach acids to produce nitrosamine, which has been linked to cancer.

If you have to buy cold cuts, purchase nitrate-free cold cuts, because they don’t contain any preservatives, and read this article from Supermaket Guru to be a little more educated about of what you are biting into.

Supermarket Guru Talks about Deli Meats

Additional Sources:, TLC cooking, WebMD