When it comes to lunchtime favorites, sandwiches tend to top the list. With a variety of breads, condiments and toppings to choose from, there is a sandwich to suit everyone’s taste. In addition to delivering on taste, it is important to make sure your sandwich is stacked with healthy ingredients. To help you create a healthy and tasty sandwich for you and your family, follow these five simple sandwich stacking tips:
1) Choose a better bread: Choose bread, pitas or tortillas made with whole grains. Whole grain products are made from the entire grain kernel, where refined grains have removed parts that include important nutrients. Whole grains are a good source of fiber and other key nutrients (iron, antioxidants, B vitamins). Rather than selecting bread based on color, (brown bread is not necessarily whole grain), check the ingredient list and choose those with whole grain or whole wheat flour listed as the first ingredient. Also look for bread products that contain at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving.
2) Consider your condiments: From mustard to mayo, there are many different condiments to choose from, but which are healthiest? To add flavor without adding lots of extra fat and calories, try adding mustard or reduced-fat mayo or margarine.
3) Layer on the fruits and veggies: When it comes to fruits and veggies, most of us fall short so try sneaking a few extra servings onto your sandwich. Vegetables that make a great addition to sandwiches include tomatoes, spinach or romaine leaves, shredded carrots or bell pepper slices. To add some flavor with fruit, try adding bananas or berries to peanut butter sandwiches or try adding sliced apples or pears to turkey or chicken sandwiches.
4) Say cheese: Cheese is a great way to add some bone-building calcium to your sandwich. Try a slice of reduced-fat cheese, which adds great flavor without the added fat and calories.
5) Go for lean protein: In addition to providing the building blocks for muscles and other important functions in our body, protein helps to keep us feeling satisfied longer so we can make it through the work or school day without hitting that mid-afternoon slump. Go for lean protein sources such as deli chicken, turkey, roast beef or ham. Avoid bologna, salami or pastrami, which tend to be higher in fat. Other healthy protein sources include peanut butter, hummus, tuna or salmon.