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Healthy Food Swaps to Slim Down Your Sandwich

Will Styer

Sandwiches often get a reputation for being jammed-packed with calories. But before you decide to stop ordering your favorite BLT for lunch, you should know that there are tons of simple ways to build a better, healthier sandwich—without spending your entire morning in the kitchen! Pack heaps more nutrition between those slices with smart food swaps and creative twists. Then, continue your healthy eating streak with 50 Easy Ways to Cut 100 Calories (or More!).

Eat This: Turkey, Fig, and Arugula
1. Stir together 3/4 ounces goat cheese, one pinch thyme, and lemon zest, and spread mixture on both sides of a whole wheat roll. 
2. Top with 1 ounce deli turkey, shaved carrots, one sliced dried fig, and arugula. (To change things up, swap in baby kale or spinach for arugula and lean roast beef for turkey.)

Want take out? Eat This! 
Cosi Tuscan Pesto Chicken Sandwich
Lean chicken gives you tons of protein, while a sun-dried tomato spread adds flavor (and antioxidants) without too much fat. At a little more than 500 calories, this sandwich will help fuel your afternoon workout.

Not That!
Cosi Chicken Margherita Flatbread Pizza
This clocks in at 882 calories. Choosing the Tuscan Pesto Chicken Sandwich saves you about 380 calories.

See below for more ideas on how to makeover your sandwich!

Bread
Choose 100 percent whole-wheat bread or go for a sprouted-grain variety like Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted 100% Whole Grain Bread. Its six whole grains and beans are sprouted and slow-baked into a chewy bread that’s high in protein and fiber—and it's just 80 calories a slice.

Fillings
Pick meat that’s additive-free. Hormel Natural Choice deli meats, like turkey and roast beef, have no preservatives, artificial flavors, or added nitrates or nitrites. For cheesy goodness without the fat overload, try Kraft Natural Slim Cut Slices, which are about 35 calories each. Or opt for a naturally lighter cheese like feta or goat. The chickpeas in Tribe Fiery Sriracha Hummus will keep you full, while the sriracha adds heat. (See more 10 Packaged Foods That Are Surprisingly Healthy.)

Produce
Watercress has more nutrients than other vegetables and fruits, a recent study found. You can also use spinach, romaine lettuce, baby kale, or arugula. Veggies like carrots or red cabbage give sandwiches crunch and color. Fruit adds sweetness as well as vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Try sliced apples or dates. (Or get creative by adding Cilantro, Sorrel, and 8 More Fresh Produce Picks for May.)

Condiments
Rather than regular mayo, stock up on Hellmann's Mayo with Olive Oil for a dose of heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Choose one of Wholly Guacamole’s flavors to add creaminess and beneficial fats. Mustard seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, both of which help protect your brain and heart. Plus, mustard is super low-cal.

For more smart swaps and delicious recipes pick up Eat This, Not That! (2015 edition), available exclusively at eatthis.com.

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