National Sandwich Month is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the lunchtime favorite. We all know the basic ingredients to a sandwich include bread and protein plus your toppings and condiments of choice. But sometimes, our choice ingredients, although delicious, are not always the healthiest. If you are looking to make a better-for-you sandwich, review these simple healthy sandwich do’s and don’ts.
- Fruits & Veggies
These are often secondary to meat and cheese, but they don’t have to be. Whether you’re adding to your meat and cheese, or making a vegetarian sandwich, you can load up on your favorites. Cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant are just some of the many veggies you can add to your sandwich. It may sound taboo, but fruits can add a new flavor and texture to your sandwich. Think thinly sliced pears, apples, watermelon or honeydew to add a slightly sweet touch to an otherwise savory sandwich. However, when you go to restaurants, be wary of their veggie sandwiches. From afar they may seem like a healthy choice, but upon further inspection, they are often loaded with high calorie condiments or excessive cheese portions.
- Lighter Spread
You might want to rethink your condiments. While your sandwich may contain healthy ingredients, you may be sabotaging it by using high-calorie spreads such as full-fat mayo. Instead, try low-fat mayo or salad dressing, mustard, hummus, or even avocado slices.
- Lean Protein
Opt for healthier proteins like sliced chicken breast, fish, or turkey, or even canned tuna or salmon. Great plant-based options include tofu, tempeh or lentils.
- Whole Wheat Bread
Choosing the right bread is crucial. Breads higher in fiber, like whole wheat bread, are nutritious and will help to keep you fuller longer.
Simply put – make a smaller sandwich. Keep portion sizes in mind and be moderate with toppings. For example, instead of having afoot long sub, opt for half and save the rest for later.
X Cold Cuts
While prepackaged sandwich meats and cold cuts can save time, they are not the best option for your health. They can be loaded with fats, sodium and preservatives. Fresh slices of cooked chicken, turkey, or seafood are all leaner options.
Cheese is great and tastes delicious in sandwiches, but they can pack on the fat and calories. Be mindful of cheese portions, opt for low-fat cheeses, or, if you can, ditch it all together. Add more flavor with a smear of hummus or more fruits and vegetables.
X White Bread
Unfortunately, white bread is filled with preservatives and processed flours and offers very little nutrition. As mentioned, whole wheat and other whole grain breads are better options. You can even try a healthy wrap made of whole grains or skip the bread all together and use lettuce.
X Grilled Sandwiches
The secret to that delicious grilled, crusty texture is often lots of oils or butter. If you’re looking for a crusty, crunchy texture, choose toasted bread instead.
X Prepackaged Sandwiches
Avoid these if at all possible. You can’t be sure of their freshness and they are usually made with white bread and cheap meats, cheeses and spreads. In addition, they are loaded with preservatives and sodium. You are better off making yourself a sandwich at home, where you can control the ingredients and portions.
If you don’t have time to make yourself a sandwich, come on down to the Brick and we’ll make your favorite sandwich fresh to order. You can visit us weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm for yummy sandwiches and breakfast food (served until 10:30am). Feel free to connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.