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Healthy Sandwich Making 101

Sandwiches are a fast, filling and portable meal and, if you build it right, a great addition to your healthy eating plan.

To build a healthy sandwich, you need to make sure you are incorporating a few important basics. When these items are in place, you can’t go wrong.

Bread

For a really good sandwich, you need really good bread. Choose a whole grain variety to get an added fiber and vitamin B boost and control your blood sugar to avoid cravings later. Cracked wheat, oat bran, 7 grain, whole wheat pita, pumpernickel, American rye, and wheat berry all make wonderful options for the base of your sandwich.

Protein

After you have chosen your favorite whole grain bread variety, next comes the protein. The protein is an important component of any healthy sandwich because it provides some staying power. When choosing protein to add to your sandwich, be sure to take into account the amount of sodium and saturated fat that may be present. Pre-packaged deli meats can often contain large amounts of sodium and fat, so you may be better off choosing fresher cuts at the deli counter. Turkey breast, chicken, roast beef and fish are all lean protein sources and you’re best bet for keeping your sandwich lean. If you don’t eat meat, cheese can be another great protein source in addition to beans, mushrooms, and eggs.

Vegetables

Sandwiches are incredibly versatile. You can combine almost every food group from top to bottom. For individuals who aren’t huge veggie fans, incorporating them into sandwiches can be one way to help meet daily requirements. Onions, tomatoes, and lettuce are the most common; however, just about any vegetable can be included. Avocado, eggplant, green pepper, fresh spinach and cabbage all make wonderful choices. Vegetables are full of nutrients bodies needs to function at their best and getting creative with your sandwich can help you meet your needs and avoid mealtime boredom.

Fruits

Even fruits have a place in some sandwiches. Apple slices, dried cranberries, and even pineapple can enhance flavor and similar to vegetables, slipping fruit into your sandwich can help you meet your daily requirement. By incorporating these into our sandwiches, we increase the nutritional value exponentially.

The Fixins’

Condiments are a huge part of a good sandwich. Although it can be tempting to stick with mayo and mustard, exploring other options can not only keep your meals interesting, but enhance the nutritional value as well.

Hummus, yogurt, honey mustard, salsa, guacamole, pesto, or a splash of extra virgin olive oil combined with red-wine vinegar all make excellent additions. Plus, each carries its own unique blend of nutritional value.

Hummus is a great source of fiber while yogurt is a good choice if you’re looking to amp up your calcium and protein intake. Honey mustard is packed with flavor and low on calories and salsa,¬†similarly, has few calories and can be a great way to boost up your veggie to sandwich ratio. Guacamole is a source of¬† heart healthy fat that will help you feel full and has been shown to have heart protective properties.

Pesto, a great alternative to mayo, has many important antioxidant properties and extra virgin olive oil in combination with red-wine vinegar is a great alternative to dressings like Italian and ranch.

By mixing and matching ingredients, you can develop your own unique sandwich that not only tastes great, but is good for you too.

Also Read:

How to Make a Healthy Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Healthy Lunch Meat Brands for a Better Sandwich

4 Tips for Making a Healthier Panini

November 7th, 2011

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