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Ways to Make Your Sandwiches Healthier

7 Steps to a Healthier Sandwich

Whether it's the recession or our increasing need for simplicity, sandwiches are having a moment. They're one of my favorite easy lunches and very healthy if you make them right. But it's important not to get stuck in an unhealthy or unimaginative sandwich rut.

Some healthy-sandwich strategies are obvious: avoid fried foods and super-oily sauces, opt for whole-grain bread instead of sliced white. But that's only the beginning. For my seven tips on making sandwiches that are both delicious and nutritious,


  • Open it up! An open-faced sandwich made with one slice of wheat bread instead of two can save around 70 calories.
  • Go green. In place of empty iceberg lettuce, opt for iron-rich greens like spinach or romaine. Try pressing a cup of raw spinach into a hot panini.
  • Load up on veggies. Sneaking veggies into sandwiches is a great way to get your five a day. Think beyond tomatoes and add everything from roasted beets to cucumbers to carrots.
  • And don't forget fruit! Similarly, you can increase your fruit intake through your sandwiches. I suggest sliced apples and cheese or figs and nut butter.
  • Hold the mayo. I'm sure you know this, but here's a reminder: mustard is a much better choice. One ounce of yellow mustard has just 19 calories and one gram of fat, while the same amount of mayo packs 210 calories and 21 grams of fat.
  • Speaking of mayo, try swapping it out for nonfat yogurt to make a healthier tuna or chicken salad.
  • Don't say cheese. Rather than eliminating the creamy texture of cheese, replace it with sliced avocado. One ounce has just 45 calories and loads of healthy fat.
arcticpuppet arcticpuppet 7 years
hummus + red pepper + avocado + grainy mustard + spinach + mushrooms + super wheaty bread = my favorite sandwich ever!! :D
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I do open-faced sandwiches and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes to get them hot and bubbly...SO yummy. I never use mayo because I hate it, but I do sometimes put mustard or salsa on my sandwiches. Ham and mustard with a little bit of Swiss cheese on whole wheat bread is really yummy.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
Mmmm.... panini... expensive as sin in Venice. I'm not giving up cheese in my 'wiches either. i just go with one slice and load up on the spinach, flax seed and turkey meat, with the spicy mustard. Yum. I never heard of yogurt for tuna tho. I'll give it try, because i do love my tuna salad sandwiches, but everytime i drop in the tbsp of mayo I cringe.
Vanonymous Vanonymous 7 years
Get a panini press and any sandwich will taste amazing. Just last night for dinner I had pastrami, american cheese and avocado on whole wheat bread. Put it in the panini and you get a warm toasted sandwich with gooey melted cheese <3 ! An otherwise boring sandwich made amazing.
lmwilliams2009 lmwilliams2009 7 years
I also use olive oil. Its amazing!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
ella - that's okay - you just got excited! Good ideas. I don't normally eat sandwiches just because I always feel they are not that healthy. Will try veggie sandwiches though.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
okay, clearly I was typing too quickly to put both "e's" in all of my "cheeses", but you get the idea :)
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
Love sandwiches. Fat free or light Miracle whip is also great to use with "salad sandwiches". I'm a veggie, so I only do egg salad, but I imagine that chicken, tuna, etc could work as well. I use pitas a lot. You can still get the "sandwich" effect with out sacrificing one of the pieces of bread - a handy little pocket. One piece of chese is usually less than 100 calories, so if you are looking for protein and calcium, I say splurge... but I have also used the 2% chese slices - when on a sandwich, you don't notice the difference. Or if it's in a pita, I'll sprinkle in some 2% grated cheese. Also, a toaster oven can make okay sandwiches fantastic. Cheese, tomato, avacado & spinach in a pita, throw in the toaster oven, yum. I will also often bring a pita with me when I have a salad. That way I can throw in some healthy carbs and make at least part of my salad SEEM like a sandwich! Good ideas fit.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
good tips. Hummus is also a good spread to use in place of mayo.
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