Sandwiches the Healthy Way

By: Kristen Castillo

It’s a great go-to lunch or a quick dinner. Sandwiches are tasty, very customizable and healthy, if you choose the right ingredients.

Whether you make your sandwich at home or order one at a restaurant, be mindful of the makings of a super sandwich – one that’s tasty and good-for-you, too.

The ideal bread choice is always one that’s 100 percent whole grain (e.g., 100 percent whole wheat). Make sure the bread or roll isn’t too thick. If it is, simply scoop out some of the inside to save calories. What’s more, you now have a pocket for your sandwich fillings.

Veggies, lean meats, fish, nut spreads (like peanut butter, almond butter or sunflower butter) are healthy main ingredients. When choosing meats, make sure the cuts aren’t too fatty or salty. Cold cuts are often full of preservatives, so whenever possible, choose fresh, lean cuts of turkey, chicken or roast beef.

Avoid overstuffing your sammie with cheese, too. Moderation is key; keep in mind a one-ounce serving is the size of one domino.

Here’s an area where you have lots of nutritious options, even if you choose carefully. Top your sandwich with lots of lettuce, spinach and tomatoes. Add onions and jalapenos, too. Even fruits like banana, strawberries and grapes make great additions.

Avoid mayo, which is high in calories and fat. Instead, spread mustard, low-fat salad dressing, hummus or avocado on your sandwich. These flavorful toppers will add a tasty zing to your meal!

Eat your sandwich either fresh or toasted, as grilled sandwiches are often coated in butter or oil for cooking – a quick way to turn a healthful sandwich into a less healthful one.

You’re eating a healthy sandwich, so stick with your good-for-you habits. Pair your sandwich with a nutritious side, like fruit or veggies. A cup of soup could be a good choice, too, provided it’s low-sodium and broth-based, not creamy. That means saying yes to a cup of vegetable soup and no to New England clam chowder.