Wellness Tips

How to Make a Healthy Sandwich

Sandwiches are indeed easy and convenient, but according to the USDA, they are also the top source of sodium and saturated fat in the American diet. As a nutrition coach, I don’t typically recommend that my clients eat sandwiches. I prefer they choose fresh fruit, whole grain cereals, smoothies, seed puddings, eggs, healthy homemade whole grains breads, and yogurt for breakfast among other dishes, and salads and soups for lunch with appropriate sides.

There are ways, however, you can enjoy healthy sandwiches occasionally if you just don’t want to give them up. Here are a few tips on how:

  1. Swap processed red deli meat for organic white meat (turkey, chicken)
  2. If you’re eating white meat, have it skinless and not fried
  3. If you’re eating meat fillings, have half the amount you’re used two; so, two slices instead of four
  4. An even better option, replace all meats with tofu, tempeh, seitan, eggs, fish salads, or other vegetarian protein fillings
  5. Replace processed cheeses with organic or vegan options
  6. Choose whole grain or sourdough bread, or even crackers, over white processed
  7. Make one toast instead of a closed sandwich
  8. Choose one or two condiments and make sure they aren’t processed (such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayo, ranch dressings) and are made with healthy ingredients (some good choices can be pesto, plain or spiced Veganaise (ok the mayo may be processed but it’s better than regular), plain mustard, mustard, yogurt-based spreads, tahini, hummus)
  9. Add fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, onions, spinach, kale, anything you like to add volume, flavor, and nutrition
  10. If you’re going to have sides, have a salad with homemade dressing, other vegetables, or fruit and skip the chips, fries, and onion rings
  11. If you’re feel like you must order your favorite sandwich, eat half, and take the other half home for a family member or the next day, or, if you’re with someone, share it with them

Next time you’re craving a good old sandwich (we all do!), keep these tips in mind. They will not only turn a typically caloric and high sodium dish into an incredibly nutrient-rich one, but will also taste divine!

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