Sandwiches, undeniably easy and convenient, often find their way onto our plates. But, they’re not always the healthiest choice. The USDA 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has identified them as the leading sources of sodium and saturated fat in the American diet. You can still relish delicious sandwiches, however, without compromising your weight loss and wellness goals. Here are some simple tips to help you make better sandwich choices:
- Avoid Processed Deli Meats/Choose Lean Varieties: Swap processed red deli meat for lean, organic white meat options like turkey or chicken. Opt for skinless preparation instead of frying.
- Pay Attention to Quantity: If you’re using meat fillings, reduce the quantity. Cut down on the meat and go for a balanced approach, like using two slices instead of four.
- Go Plant-Powered: Replace all meats with plant-based alternatives like tofu, tempeh, seitan, eggs, or fish salads. These options offer a healthy and flavorful twist.
- Cheese Upgrade: Ditch processed cheeses and opt for organic or vegan alternatives. You’ll find these to be a tasty and nutritious switch.
- Bread Matters: Choose whole grain or sourdough bread, or even crackers, over their processed, white counterparts. These alternatives offer a wealth of nutrients.
- Open-Faced Elegance: Instead of a closed sandwich, make it open-faced. This change allows you to focus on quality ingredients and portion control.
- Condiment Wisdom: Be selective with condiments. Choose one or two options, ensuring they are not processed. Opt for healthier choices like pesto, plain or spiced Veganaise, mustard, yogurt-based spreads, tahini, or hummus.
- Veggie Abundance: Elevate your sandwich’s taste and nutritional value by adding fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, onions, spinach, kale, or any of your favorites.
- Smart Sides: When it comes to side dishes, choose wisely. Opt for a side salad with homemade dressing, more vegetables, or fruit, and skip the chips, fries, and onion rings.
- Sharing is Caring: If you can’t resist your favorite sandwich, practice moderation. Eat half and save the rest for a family member or the next day, or share it with someone you’re dining with.
The next time you’re craving a classic sandwich, keep these tips in mind. Not only will they transform a typically high-calorie and sodium-heavy dish into a nutrient-rich delight, but your taste buds will also thank you for the flavorful experience!