Sandwiches are a very popular lunch choice for people of all ages, as they can be delicious, affordable and convenient. Additionally, if mornings are hectic in your house, you can prepare a sandwich quickly and then easily pack it for school or work. On the other hand, if you’re not careful when making your sandwich, you may be eating way more fat, sodium, and calories than you realized.
We’re here to help. Follow these tips to build a better, healthier sandwich and get all of the flavors that you love in one convenient, handheld meal.
Here are 15 ways you can make a healthier sandwich:
Choose whole grains
Whether you prefer your sandwich on bread, pita, wrap, or roll, make sure your choice is 100% whole grain. Whole grains have fiber which will help keep you full for longer.
Go open face
Skip the top layer of bread and eat your sandwich open faced. You’ll save 80 or more calories and consume fewer carbohydrates.
Pick a lean protein
Cut back on saturated fat and opt for a healthy protein, such as chicken, turkey breast, tuna, or lean roast beef.
Avocado is a healthy fat which can help keep you full for longer and it helps lower your LDL cholesterol. You can add slices or mash it up and use as a spread.
Choose a healthy spread
Rather than mayonnaise, which tends to be high in calories and fat, spice up your sandwich with oil and vinegar, spicy mustard, a smear of hummus, or hot sauce. Cut the mayo in your tuna or egg salad by substituting half of it with plain Greek yogurt.
It’s tempting to pile the meat on your sandwich, but you should stick to recommended serving sizes. If you have idea what 4 ounces of turkey looks like, our Digital Precision Kitchen Scale can measure in ounces, grams, or pounds. Subtract weight of a plate or additional sandwich topping by using the Tare feature. The slim profile means it stores easily in a drawer or your countertop.
Add baby spinach instead of lettuce
Lettuce is fine, but baby spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It also adds fiber and protein to your sandwich.
Add extra veggies
Vegetables provide your sandwich with crunch, texture, and nutrients without adding a lot of extra calories. Think beyond the typical lettuce and tomato – try roasted red peppers, cucumber slices, shredded carrots, pickled veggies, and sprouts.
Build your own
Control the ingredients and build your own sandwich at home. Sandwiches from a deli/restaurant can be full of excess fats, sodium, preservatives, calories, and other unwanted ingredients. Making your own at home ensures you have fresh, high quality ingredients.
Pair it with fruit instead of chips
Choose fresh fruit to enjoy with your sandwich instead of chips or pretzels. You’ll get extra vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and have less fat. Apples slices or frozen grapes can provide a satisfying crunch.
Think outside the package
Skip prepackaged meats and use grilled chicken breast or slices of leftover lean beef or turkey. They will be full of flavor without having unwanted extra ingredients such as salt and preservatives.
Go easy on the cheese
Cheese can add a lot of saturated fat and calories. Choose lower fat cheese and stick a slice.
Watch your wraps
Wraps are usually not as healthy as they appear. Many are oversized and have more calories and fat than bread. Stick with a low-carb whole grain wrap or try romaine lettuce or a collard green leaf as your “wrap”.
Beans, nuts, hardboiled eggs, and seeds are all great substitutes for meat. Use a bean spread and add in a variety of vegetables to make a tasty and satisfying meal.
Skip the jelly
Love a good PB&J? Try pairing a natural peanut or almond butter with fresh slices of fruit, such as strawberries, peaches, banana, or apple. You’ll omit refined sugars and have extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Do you have a tip for making a healthier sandwich? Tweet it to us at @EatSmartScales.
You may also enjoy reading Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas for People “On the Go.”