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Are Sandwich Wraps Healthier Than a Regular Sandwich?

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There's nothing better than that happy feeling of ordering a dish you feel is both healthy and delicious—it's like you can almost feel the angels singing for your virtuous decision. But sometimes that health halo leads us to buy things that aren't actually as healthy as we think. Take, for example, humble sandwich wraps. Without those hunks of bread, your lunch is basically a salad (wrapped in a different tasty carb blanket) so it's totally good for you, right? It's definitely better than having a regular sandwich or a slice of pizza.

Actually, though, it's not: Wraps, fillings included, contain at least 267 calories, but up to 1,000—as many as a personal 12-inch pizza or super-size fast food meal, according to a recent survey by food safety organization SafeFood. Researchers checked out the nutritional content of 240 takeout sandwich wraps from over 80 stores. They found that despite the fact that the average tortilla wrap at 149 calories (sans fillings) had similar calorie content to two regular slices of white bread at 158 calories, one in three people still say they believe wraps are a healthier choice. (Gonna go for the bread? Try one of these 10 Tasty Sandwiches Under 300 Calories.)

Futhermore, because people think they're saving calories on the outside, people often load up on condiments and toppings loaded with fat, salt, and sugar moreso than they would in a sandwich.

Well what if you opt for the spinach or sun-dried tomato wrap? Even "healthy" whole-grain or vegetable-flavored options are still highly caloric and white flour is often still the main ingredient.

But if you forget the health halo and focus on picking healthy toppings you can still make it a healthy meal, the researchers said. They advise going for lean meats, lots of veggies and low-calorie spreads. And to save about 200 calories while getting an extra serving of vegetables, swap the tortilla for a lettuce wrap. (Learn how in Wrap Sheet: Your Guide to Satisfying Green Wraps.) That should put a little shine back in your halo!

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