24 alternatives to cold meat sandwiches

Do you know the health risks of processed meat in general and cold meat in particular? Do you want 24 healthy filling alternatives?

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) -which belongs to the World Health Organisation (WHO)- processed meat is carcinogenic. In other words, it can cause or promote cancer development. Several WHO studies confirm that there is sufficient evidence to link the consumption of processed meat to colorectal cancer.

The experts concluded that each 50-gram serving of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. “The risk of developing colorectal cancer from consuming processed meat is small, but increases as the amount of meat consumed increases,” said Dr Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC Monographs Programme.

The study considered more than 800 studies by associations from different countries and populations with varied diets.

The report identifies the types of meat that increase the likelihood of cancer. They are red meat and processed meat. The latter includes cold meats like ham and those made from pork by-products, such as pig’s blood, among others.

Moreover, as you probably know, the meat sector is one of the most polluting in the food industry. According to FAO (2013), meat production is responsible for 14.5% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to the gases produced by the entire transport sector).


It is only natural that you have asked yourself this question. We want to present you with several alternatives! On the one hand, we suggest you read the article “7 ideas for healthy breakfasts and snacks“, in which we offer healthy choices for lunch and snacks.

Plus, we give you 24 ideas for delicious sandwich fillings. That way, you’ll have a handful of healthier ideas that don’t involve eating processed meat.

You will find alternatives to cold meat in “40 healthy sandwich fillings alternative to cold meat” (in Spanish), by the dietitian and nutritionist Natalia Moragues. The images that appear in the text “@alvidasevilla” are also by Natalia Moragues.


  1. Hummus with beetroot, apple, tomato confit, spinach and pesto (available at the Bar-cafeteria APROP, from the exhibition Menja, Actua, Impacta)
  2. Sardine and carrot pâté
  3. Vegan sobrassada
  4. Cheese spread, nuts and raisins
  5. Omelette with cheese and herbs
  6. Hazelnut spread
  7. Chocolate, almonds, orange and olive oil
  8. Aubergine hummus
  9. Goat’s cheese, caramelised onion and mustard (available at the Bar-cafeteria APROP, from the exhibition Menja, Actua, Impacta)
  10. Pea pâté
  11. Omelette
  12. Vegan Mortadella
  13. Omelette, tomato confit and arugula (available at the Bar-cafeteria APROP, from the exhibition Menja, Actua, Impacta)
  14. Sweet pepper pâté
  15. Tomato and avocado
  16. Tomato and Spanish fresh cheese
  17. Tomato and olive oil
  18. Pistachio spread
  19. Guacamole
  20. Cheese, lettuce and tomato
  21. Vegan salami
  22. Tapenade and mozzarella cheese
  23. Chickpea hummus
  24. Peanut spread

And you? Do you know more fillings without processed meat? What do you put in your sandwiches?

For more tips and ideas on healthy eating, here are two suggestions: check out the other articles on our Menja, Actua, Impacta blog (in Catalan) or visit the Menja, Actua, Impacta exhibition, where there is a whole section dedicated to health and ultra-processed foods. You’ll be impressed, you’ll see!