Sandwiches are a staple of any lunch time menu. We buy package meats by the cart load, not to mention waiting at the deli to buy our favorite meats and cheeses. At the same time, sandwich shops are seemingly everywhere. With this in mind, we ask, “Are there healthy sandwich ideas out there?”
Their dirty little secret
But there is a secret the sub shops, packaged meat producers and delis don’t want you to know. In reality, their sandwiches, meat, and cheeses are loaded with Sodium. In fact, the average sandwich is over 800 mg of Sodium. To clarify, that is 35% DV of our suggested Sodium. So we am fighting back. Arming myself with spreadsheets, nutritional data and a desire to eat healthier, we have found secrets to lowering the Sodium level by an amazing 50% and creating a healthy lunch. That is to say, simple guidelines for healthy sandwich ideas.
We would like to give Boar’s Head meat a quick “Shout Out”. They publish a comprehensive nutritional guide of all their products.
Healthy Sandwich Secrets
Some of you are thinking “Here comes another one those eat less and end up with an unfulfilling tasteless sandwich” ideas. Not at all. Rather, we suggest making better meat, cheese and condiment choices. In addition, we identify substitutions and additions that create a healthy sandwich. Finally, we recommend avoiding choices that are inherently unhealthy.
Choosing the right meat
First rule of healthy sandwiches is buy fresher meat from the deli. While the nutritional values of packaged lunch meats and deli meats are relatively the same, packaged lunch meats inevitably include chemicals and preservatives not found in deli meat. Second healthy sandwich meat rule is limit your choices to turkey, chicken or roast beef. In contrast, skip meats that are traditionally less healthy like salami, ham, and bacon. Sandwich Secret #1-Buy better meats.
We need our cheese
By and large, cheese is another common sandwich topping. Some even say a sandwich is not a sandwich without cheese. Here too, making wise cheese choices can improve the overall nutritional value of your sandwich. While we all have our favorite flavors, one variety of cheese stands out from a nutritional standpoint-Swiss cheese. (We were shocked too) Sandwich secret #2-Use low sodium swiss cheese.
Bread – The foundation of a great sandwich
Simply put, bread means carbohydrates. As a result, many low-carb diets severely limit the use of breads. Moreover, low-carb sandwich wraps are popping up everywhere. However, Rye bread seems to be an exception. A quick review of the nutritional labels reveals that rye bread consistently scores well in terms of carbohydrates. Above all, we encourage you to spend a few minutes in the bread aisle comparing carb counts. Sandwich secret #3-Use rye bread.
Arby’s Market Fresh Sandwiches
In spite of our general dislike of fast food restaurants, we have to give Arby’s Market Fresh Sandwich initiative a healthy thumbs up. All in all, Arby’s attempt to incorporate nutritious ingredients should be applauded. With that said, Arbys has found a way to ruin a good idea, especially the roast turkey and swiss sandwich. On the surface, this sandwich appears to use all our healthy secrets. Yet the nutritional facts tell a tragic tale: 710 calories, 28 grams of fat, 1930 mg of sodium, and 79 grams of carbs. For more, read this article.
Healthy sandwich ideas – Use the right lettuce
Generally speaking, iceburg lettuce is a basic topping. Yet on the whole this leafy green offers very little nutritional value. On the other hand, kale, spinach and romaine are comparative powerhouses from an essential vitamin standpoint. Sandwich Secret #4-Use healthy greens.
|Leafy Green||Vitamin A||Vitamin C|
Tomato & Onions – Digestive powerhouses
We include onions and tomatoes in nearly every sandwich idea. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but onions and tomatoes help promote better digestion too. That is to say, including these two ingredients will increase your ability to properly digest food. Theoretically, better digestion allows you to eat less and still feel satisfied. Sandwich secret #5-Use onions and tomatoes.
Skip the Chips
Some many times we see people create a wonderful healthy sandwich and then include a bag chips. Most chips on the market today are nutritional nightmares. Yes, you can buy healthier brands of chips, but we suggest skipping the chips altogether. Sandwich bonus secret-Skip the chips.
Payoff – A healthy sandwich
In conclusion, employing these ideas will produce a healthier sandwich. So, with a little adjustment, you can enjoy a better lunch.
Related: See 5 Healthy Vegetables you need to start using today