Health Advocate Blog

Top tips for a healthy sandwich

Sandwiches are a delicious meal option for any day of the year, but National Sandwich Day on November 3rd provides us with the opportunity to celebrate this convenient food. The sandwich has a long history and its origins are unclear–but regardless of when, where and why they came about, there are many ways to make them healthy! Try these tips for making nutritious sandwiches without compromising on taste.

  • Opt for whole grain bread. What makes a sandwich a sandwich? The bread, of course! Carbs have a bad reputation, but they are an important part of your diet. Whole grain breads, rolls, wraps, pitas and English muffins are some of the healthiest bread options for sandwich building.
    • Bonus tip: Whole grains provide greater nutritional benefits than their refined grain counterparts.
  • Pick your protein. Lean proteins such as turkey, chicken, lean roast beef, and tofu all work great on sandwiches. While cold cuts provide a quick and easy protein option, check the nutrition facts on your favorites to get an idea of their fat and sodium content. Also, processed meats may not be healthy when consumed daily.
    • Bonus tip: Make your dinner work double duty. Roast a slightly larger chicken, turkey, pork loin or lean cut of beef than you would normally. Slice extras to use for sandwiches. This can save you money and provide a healthier option for your sandwich.
  • Choose your cheese. Cheese isn’t always a sandwich necessity, but it can add good flavor, another source of protein, plus calcium and Vitamin D. Opt for low-fat cheeses and make sure you don’t add too much.
    • Bonus tip: Cheese can serve as your protein if you like to go meatless.
  • Don’t forget the veggies! Veggies are a great addition to any sandwich. Add sliced tomato, lettuce leaves, sliced peppers, sliced mushrooms…whatever suits your fancy! Veggies are high in nutrients but low in calories and fat, so don’t hold back when adding them to your sandwich.
  • Conclude with condiments. Mayo also has a bad reputation when it comes to nutrition. However, if you look at the nutrition label, you’ll find most brands are high in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. That being said, it still should be consumed in moderation. If you’re looking for new ways to add flavor to your sandwich, try toppings like whole grain mustard, banana peppers, hummus, smashed avocado, light salad dressing, and wasabi. Hold the salt, especially if you’re using processed or deli meats. Find other healthy ways to flavor foods without salt here.

Check out these recipes if you’re looking for additional healthy sandwich inspiration!

Edamame Avocado Salad SandwichThis vegetarian recipe packs a nutritional punch from the edamame, avocado and cilantro.

Tuna Melt – If you’re looking for a new twist on an old standby, check out this tasty tuna melt recipe.

Turkey Sandwich with Watercress and Apples – Swap the white bread called for in this recipe for whole grain bread and you’ll have a healthy and flavorful turkey sandwich.

Healthy Roast Beef Sandwich – Rye bread and horseradish taste great in combination with lean roast beef.

Avocado, Tomato and Chicken Sandwich – This is a simple and quick recipe. It suggests using cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can also use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for greater convenience.

For Health Advocate Members

Looking for more nutrition tips or healthy recipes? If you are a Health Advocate member with access to the wellness coaching component of our Wellness Program, connect with a Wellness Coach for more ways to eat healthy.