Friday, January 22, 2010

Pack a healthier sandwich

Sandwiches are a lunchtime staple for many people. Packing a homemade sandwich can stretch your food budget and, if done right, be a healthy addition to the lunch menu. So what are some of the ingredients to consider when building a sandwich? The type of bread is important, along with what goes between the bread.

When many of us think sandwich, we think bread, meat and mayo. But there are a host of sandwich additions that can make that plain, old ham on white seem obsolete. Let’s take a look at how to change a dull sandwich into the envy of all of your lunchtime friends.

Choose a healthier bread option. When selecting bread look for whole wheat. Whole wheat bread will give you more fiber, at least 2 grams per slice. You can make sure that the bread you pick is whole wheat by checking the label. The first ingredient on the ingredient list should be 100% whole wheat. Think outside the slice. When it comes to breads you have other options. Whole wheat tortillas or wraps are great for adding a different texture to your sandwich. The next time you are in the grocery store bread aisle, explore some of the whole wheat possibilities that can be used.

Read the food label when shopping for healthier meat options. Many processed, cold cuts and deli meats, will contain high amounts of sodium. Tuna canned in water is a low fat option, but when you add mayonnaise, you add fat and calories.

Vegetables can be used to add color and interesting taste to your sandwich. Lettuce and tomato are what most of us think of when adding vegetables to a sandwich. Spinach leaves, Shredded carrot, cucumber and green and red pepper can add a rainbow of color and taste.

Don’t forget dairy choices. Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein. If you are concerned with adding fat and calories, try a low fat version of your favorite cheese.

Cut out the high fat mayonnaise and add low or no fat condiments to your sandwich. Mustard is a fat free choice. Low fat salad dressings also work well on sandwiches and wraps.

Iowa State Extension has a fun activity on their Nutrition Diet and Health Website. You can actually practice building a healthy sub-sandwich. This link will take you to the site:

1 comment:

Nurture said...

I don't know about you, but I find that if I eat a peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat for lunch, I'm full until dinner. Add an apple in the lunch bag and you have a complete meal.