4 Steps for Making Healthy Sandwiches
Good 'Wich: Go for whole wheat bread or mix things up with a whole-grain wrap or pita. Choose a variety that is high in fiber — at least 2 grams per slice — which will help you stay satisfied longer.
Wicked 'Wich: Avoid highly refined carbs like white bread, rolls, and croissants since fiber is removed during the milling process. Also beware of wheat breads disguised as whole grain — check the label carefully to make sure you're getting the real thing.
Quick Tip: The first ingredient on the bread label must say either whole grain or whole wheat.
Good 'Wich: Choose 3-ounce servings of a low-calorie and low-fat protein like turkey (2 slices), tuna (1/2 can), chicken, or salmon. For a vegetarian option, try a Mediterranean-inspired sandwich with 4 tablespoons of hummus.
Wicked 'Wich: Bologna, liverwurst, and pastrami are typically higher in calories, fat, and saturated fat. Just one slice of bologna can have up to 90 calories (about three times more than turkey) and 3 grams of saturated fat.
Quick Tip: One serving of chicken (3 ounces) is about the same size as a deck of cards.
Good 'Wich: The more, the better. Veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, cucumbers, and spinach are good sources of fiber and water, which quench hunger.
Wicked 'Wich: There's no such thing as a "bad" fruit or veggie, but watch out for pitfalls. Go easy on avocados, which contain healthy fats yet are high in calories. Stick with a few thin slices or a tablespoon of guacamole. Rinse and drain canned veggies like mushrooms or olives to get rid of excess oil.
Quick Tip: 1/2 cup sliced apples or pears adds crunch and flavor for fewer than 50 calories.
Good 'Wich: Perk up your sandwich with a spread that has 50 calories or fewer, such as honey or Dijon mustard or low-fat mayo.
Wicked 'Wich: Cheese is the biggest diet danger — one slice of the full-fat kind contains more than 100 calories and about 10 grams of fat. Cheese lovers should opt for an ounce or less of a variety marked 50% or 75% reduced fat. Even a small portion of grated cheddar, goat cheese, provolone, or Muenster adds a lot of flavor.
Quick Tip: Whip up your own condiment — blend Dijon mustard with apricot jam.
Originally published in the April 1, 2010, issue of Family Circle magazine.