Did you know that there are more than 200 varieties of sandwiches for you to enjoy? No wonder there are so many different kinds as a sandwich is the perfect meal on the go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Whether you prefer a grilled cheese, Philly cheesesteak, chicken salad, Falafel, or Monte Cristo doesn’t matter.
It’s about using the right ingredients to make it a healthy meal. A sandwich can fit into any diet plan out there if you prepare it correctly. However, the toppings you choose can add hundreds of calories and turn your meal into a high-fat calorie bomb. You must be careful about what you put on your sandwich, especially if you want to lose weight.
Here are 20 tips for you to make your sandwiches healthier.
Are you ready to give your sandwich a healthy makeover? Try these tips.
1. Ditch the White Bread
Anything that you can put on white, you can also put on wheat bread, and it will taste just as good.
2. Load up on Vegetables
Those monster sandwiches that you see on restaurant menus aren’t healthy. If you want to get the height you see in advertisements, then you should use lots of veggies.
To fill your stomach without overeating, you need to load the sandwich down with things like pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and green leafy varieties. These garden additives will make each of your sandwiches pop with flavor without extra calories.
3. Size Counts
While that extra serving of ham or chicken seems like a good idea, you should make sure you have no more than 2-4 ounces on your bread. Use the veggies to give your brain the illusion of a big meal and not meat.
Some meats are better than others, and beware of those that are cured with sugar if you’re watching your waistline.
4. Skip Mayo and opt For Mustard Instead
Did you know just one tablespoon of mayonnaise has 45 calories and about five grams of fat? If you like to slather on the mayo, then you could be adding a couple of hundred unnecessary calories to your meal.
Instead, mustard has zero calories and no fat, so you can use as much of it as you want. If you absolutely cannot do without mayo, then use one made with an olive oil base as it’s healthier.
5. Grill Don’t Fry
Sure, frying that chicken tastes better than grilling it, but think of all the extra calories you’re adding? Grilling is the heart-healthy option to help you keep your cholesterol levels in check.
6. Be Leery of High-Calorie Sauces
Do you love to pour thousand island dressing, ranch, and other sauces on your subs? It would help if you opted for something lower in calories and fat. Don’t ruin a perfectly good sandwich with unhealthy sauces.
7. Pile on the Bean Sprouts
Bean sprouts can give you a crunch that is amazing on a wrap or sub. Why not add a heaping pile of crunchy spouts to give your mouth the satisfaction of the crunch that a side of potato chips would bring? You can skip the chips and save on the calories.
8. Use Part-Skim Cheese Not Processed Varieties
Read your labels when you shop for cheese. Some of the famous brands say that they are a cheese product because they are highly processed.
All these fake byproducts are unhealthy, and most won’t even melt. You want real cheese, and you want to make sure it’s made with part-skim milk to reduce the calories.
9. Say Yes to Dark Rye or Pumpernickel Bread
If you want a healthy meal but don’t like wheat dough, you should try rye or pumpernickel bread. They are among the best around that provide low calories and are right for you. It takes some getting used to the pungent taste, but nothing tastes more delicious than eating healthy.
10. Use Olive Oil Rather Than Butter to Grill Your Bread
Who doesn’t like grilled cheese? The next time you crave this deli favorite, why not use an olive oil-based mayo rather than butter?
Olive oil is perfect for you, and it makes a fantastic healthier mayo. Plus, it doesn’t have all the fat and calories of butter. Your bread will be crisp and golden and delicious.
11. Use Strawberry Slices Rather Than Jelly on a PBJ
The iconic PB&J is something that you’ve probably eaten a few hundred times in your life. Jelly and jams are full of sugar and calories. You can skip this overload of carbs by simply adding slices of strawberries to your next sandwich.
Nothing tastes better than fresh berries anyway. You could also top it like “The King of Rock n’ Roll” and have peanut butter and banana sandwich. Just make sure your peanut butter is all-natural so that you avoid added sugars.
12. Grill Onions and Peppers Don’t Cook in Oil
Some sandwiches require onions, bell peppers, and other veggies. You take away from the wholesome goodness of these garden delights when you fry them in fatty oils.
If you must fry, you should use olive oil. However, grilling them is a better option, and it won’t take away from the flavor.
13. Never Buy Premade BBQ Sauce – Make Your Own
Did you know that the average BBQ sauce has around 16 grams of sugar per two tablespoons? Wow, that’s a lot of sugar.
You can make a variety at home that tastes just as good and has half the sugary content. Plus, it’s easy to make a tasty version that is healthier for you.
14. Use a Dressing with A Yogurt Base Rather Than Mayo
Health-conscious people can make a dressing using a yogurt base rather than one with mayo. A lovely Russian sauce or Greek tzatziki is a healthier option that you can enjoy without all the guilt. Plus, the flavorful options are endless.
15. Pile on the Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is a fermented food that is good for your gut health. Not only will it aid in digestion, but it helps you to boost your immune system too. What’s a Rueben or a Bahama mama sausage without the kraut?
16. Wrap it Up and Skip the Bread
Thankfully, your sandwiches don’t all have to be on bread. You have many options to ensure you keep it fresh. There are many low calories and carbohydrate wraps that make excellent sandwiches.
It’s a great option that doesn’t get soggy and is easy to transport. Plus, some varieties have flavorings like spinach or sun-dried tomatoes.
17. Use Lettuce as Your Base and Skip the Extra Carbs
If you’re trying the Keto diet or other low carb lifestyles, then you may want to skip the wraps and bread altogether. Many people love using large leaves of lettuce instead of a bread base.
Lettuce gives you a nice crunch, will hold things together nicely, and is a healthy option. Did you know there are more than 18 different varieties?
18. Steer Clear of Processed Meats
Did you know that many of the meats in your grocery store are heavily process and full of harmful things? A study was conducted on these meats in 2015 with shocking results. People who regularly consume these lunchmeats have a higher chance of developing cancer, specifically colon cancer.
It’s recommended that you don’t look at it more than twice a month, if at all. Choose healthy meats like chicken and turkey, and make your own lunchmeat. Who says you need meat at all? Why not enjoy veggie sandwiches?
19. Use an All-Natural Ketchup or Tomatoes Instead
If you thought that the tomato-based ketchup you eat with everything was useful for you, then guess again. Did you know that three tablespoons of the red condiment have 16 grams of sugar in it? That’s as much sugar as a large donut.
Thankfully, the low carb craze has brought awareness to this overlooked calorie issue. There are sugar-free or all-natural varieties now carried at grocery stores across the country, but you can also easily make it at home. Ketchup is one of those sneaky condiments that can pack a calorie punch.
20. Select Nitrate Free Turkey Instead of Ham
Ham is often cured with sugar, which does nothing but pack on the calories. Read your labels and look for a turkey that is nitrate-free as an option to pork.
Turkey is a lean and healthier option, especially if it doesn’t have the dangerous nitrates added to it. Experts suggest that pregnant women shouldn’t eat lunchmeat as it’s unsafe for the baby, so why should you eat it?
What would a summer picnic be without sandwiches? This iconic food has become a staple in the life of Americans. Yet, these little meal makers can be good or unbelievably bad.
You have the power to make your sandwich a healthy treat or meal that you can enjoy. You must learn to find alternatives that taste great but still give you the nutrition you need without the extra fat and calories.