Give Your Sandwich a Makeover

Angela Jenkins

| 3 min read

Hot, cold, grilled, pressed, melt. Crust on or off (off for me). Sub, hoagie, panini, gyro. There are so many types of sandwiches to choose from. I don’t know about you but I love a good sandwich — of all varieties!
Sandwiches can be a delicious — and healthy — meal choice. However, fat and calories can creep up depending on what kind of sandwich you choose.

The Outer Limits

What we choose to use for the outside layer of our sandwich makes a big difference, not only in calories, but in nutrients as well. There are other varieties out there besides the traditional bread to use instead. These include English muffin, flatout bread, pita bread, tortillas and thin bagels.
Here are important tips to remember when choosing your sandwich:
  • Look for at least 3-4 grams of fiber and protein (in each slice of bread or as a whole unit)
  • Choose whole grain and/or wheat varieties tend to have more nutrients as well
  • Around 100 calories for each slice of bread (of course less is great), English muffin or other option
  • Portion size of one slice of bread is the size of a CD in width and diameter
  • Using lettuce, rice paper and/or spring roll wraps are alternatives for fewer calories and carbohydrates.

Meat in the Middle

Meat tends to be the most common sandwich filler. If deli meat is your preference, choose the varieties that have less fat, calories and sodium. I personally like Deli Select from Hillshire Farm varieties because on average for the thinly sliced meats, one slice of meat is only 10 calories.
Other healthier options for sandwich fillers would include any and all types of veggies. These types of sandwiches can be extremely satisfying because of the crunch they provide. In college, I used to slice cucumbers and peppers and put them on a bagel with light cream cheese and fat-free French dressing (may sound gross, but it was delicious to me at the time!).
Grilled chicken breast and fish can also provide healthy alternatives for a sandwich switch up. Here are some “different” types of sandwiches to try.

Top This

Here is where you can make it or break it, as they say. Sandwich toppings can provide a ton of extra calories , like cheese at around 100 calories per slice, and mayonnaise at around 100 calories per Tablespoon. That is a lot of added calories to have when there are other great, low-calorie and great tasting options out there.
  • Mustard of any flavor and variety – range between 0-10 calories per teaspoon
  • Light mayonnaise – 50 calories per Tablespoon
  • Laughing Cow Cheese – Lite varieties contain 35 calories per triangle
  • Light slice cheese – 50 calories per slice
Keep in mind, putting jalapeno slices, banana peppers and roasted red peppers add a great amount of flavor for very minimal calories. Also, putting some pepper, garlic salt, garlic pepper, red pepper flakes and other dry seasonings can add a lot of flavor without adding calories.
What is your sandwich of choice? Do you try to keep it healthy?
Photo credit: Debs

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