How Much Protein Is in Deli Turkey? (What Experts Say)

Arianna Foster
Published by Arianna Foster
Last Updated On: December 4, 2023

My love for easy-to-make snacks always has me stacking my sandwiches and salads with turkey breast deli meat for that delicious meaty taste.

The deli turkey has been one of my favorite go-to protein meat sources for over a decade. I teamed up with a couple of nutritionists to understand how much protein is in the thinly sliced turkey cold cuts.

In this article, I’ll share my findings on the broader nutrition facts of turkey breast deli meat.

Quick Summary

  • For every 2-ounce serving of turkey breast deli meat, there is 9g of protein and 2g of fat contents.
  • While rich in protein, deli turkey is free of saturated fats.
  • Turkey breast deli meat is rich in vitamins and minerals that have significant health benefits.

Protein In Deli Turkey

A 2-ounce serving of sliced turkey deli meat has 9 grams of protein or 26% of the recommended requirement for a 2,000-calorie daily diet [1].

Protein delays digestion and leaves you feeling fuller for longer after a meal, so eating high-protein food might help you decrease your net carbs consumption and ultimately avoid gaining extra weight.

Fat In Deli Turkey

A stack of deli with herbs on the side

Each 2-ounce serving of low-sodium turkey deli meat contains just 2 grams of total fat and is practically free of dangerous saturated fat [2].

A 2-ounce portion of a low-salt turkey breast deli meat luncheon sandwich has 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 8% of the recommended value.

If you're a one-serving person like me, the regular deli turkey breast provides a 0.46g fat content per slice.

To break it down further, each slice serving has the following fat content:

  • 0.13g of saturated fat
  • 0.15g of monounsaturated fat
  • 0.08g of polyunsaturated fat
  • 0g of trans fat

In addition, smoked deli turkey breast has less fat per serving than regular turkey breast.

For instance, one 4-ounce serving of regular deli turkey includes 2.5 grams of total fat while the same size serving of smoked deli meat has 2.1g of fat.

Read More: What Meat Is Low in Cholesterol?

Other Nutritional Facts

Below are other minerals found in deli turkey:

  • Phosphorus: A 2-ounce portion of low-sodium turkey deli meat contains 92 mg of phosphorus, which accounts for 9% of the recommended value. Phosphorus is required for strong bones, as well as for energy generation and metabolism.
  • Selenium: Turkey breast provides 13 mg of selenium per 2 ounces or 19% of the recommended intake. This mineral helps your body's antioxidant activity.
  • Choline: Deli turkey breast foods are high in choline, essential for fat metabolism.
  • Zinc: Zinc is a great mineral required for several body activities, including protein synthesis, gene expression, and enzyme reactions.
  • Calcium: Calcium is responsible for strong healthy bones.
  • Niacin: This mineral is great for general health, as it has proven to increase good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels that reduce the risks of heart diseases.

5 Health Benefits Of Deli Turkey

Top view of a stack of deli turkey ham

Seeing as deli turkey is packed with nutrients, here’s how you can benefit from including it in your diet.

1. Healthy Source Of Proteins

Turkey breast deli meat is a high-protein food.

Protein is a macronutrient, which means your body needs a large amount of it. Because your body cannot store protein, you must eat it every day.

As long as you don't overdo it on the turkey slice, it's an excellent way to get your daily protein fix.

“Daily protein consumption is necessary for the body to construct and repair bones, cartilage, muscles, skin, and blood tissue.”

- Nancy Waldeck, Dietician

Read More: How Healthy Is Turkey?

2. Reduced Cancer Risks

Turkey breast deli meat is also a good source of selenium. Foods high in this mineral may help to avoid some types of cancer [3]. These include these following types: 

  • Stomach cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder cancer

3. Diabetes Control

Deli meat has low glycemic index (GI). It will not create the blood sugar surge that other higher sugar and carb-rich meals would.

If you have diabetes, eating proportionate deli carbs can help you keep your blood sugar levels in check.

4. Improves Cardiovascular Health

Close up shot of a fit man's torso

Low glycemic index meals, such as deli turkey can also help boost your good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in your body.

Good HDL flows throughout the bloodstream, which means reduced bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that is responsible for causing heart diseases.

High levels of bad LDL cholesterol can cause artery damage and raise your risk of stroke and heart attack [4].

You may also strengthen your resilience to these illnesses by consuming food that enhances good HDL cholesterol, such as the deli turkey.

5. Reduces Cognitive Disease

As part of the MIND diet, Deli turkeys provide nutritional value that can help reduce mental diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia [5].

It is recommended especially for old individuals to eat deli turkey food twice every week.

Related Articles:


Is Deli Turkey A Good Protein Source?

Deli turkey is a good protein source essential for muscle repair and hormone synthesis, immune system function, and production of white and red blood cells.

What Deli Meat Has The Most Protein?

Pastrami deli meat has the most protein. It's also high in dietary cholesterol and saturated fats and 302 mg sodium.

Do Bodybuilders Eat Deli Meat?

Bodybuilders do not eat deli meat. Even though protein is essential for bodybuilders since it helps build muscles and burn fats, most deli turkeys are processed meats, not recommended for bodybuilders.

How Many Calories Are In 5 Slices of Deli Turkey?

There are 147 calories in 5 slices of deli turkey.

What Is The Healthiest Deli Meat?

The healthiest deli meat is lean low-sodium meat such as turkey and lean ham. These lean cuts provide you with the highest nutritional values with low net carbs.

How Many Calories Are In One Deli Sliced Ham?

There are 34 calories in one deli sliced ham.


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About the author

Arianna Foster
Nutritionist/Editorial Director
Arianna is a nutrition expert with unmatched management skills and a love for steaks. The only thing she enjoys more than educating people on how to improve their diet and live a healthier life is cooking and hiking.
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