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How to Make a Healthy Sandwich

These low-calorie sandwich solutions help you enjoy your favorite lunch the healthy way, without sacrificing taste or satisfaction. We'll help you start a sandwich from scratch and give you recipes for making quick and easy sandwiches.


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    • Sandwiches are one of the most popular midday choices of on-the-go Americans. They're quick, delicious, and, if properly portioned, an option for losing weight. But if you aren't careful, a few ingredients can add hundreds of extra calories and make up more than half your daily limit of artery-clogging saturated fat.

      So before you brown-bag it, make sure you know what hidden calories are lurking between those bread slices. If you make smart choices regarding the four basic elements of a sandwich (explained next!), you'll be building healthier sandwiches in no time.

    • How to Build a Better Sandwich

      Use our four-part formula to create an endless number of healthy, fulfilling, and delicious sandwiches.

      1. Whole grains: Start with a whole grain bread product, such as bread, a pita, an English muffin, or a tortilla. Tip: Look for the words "whole grain" near the top of the ingredients list, not just "whole wheat." Good choices have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Some breads are fortified with extra fiber and contain as many as 12 grams of fiber per serving, helping you achieve the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber a day.

      2. Lean protein: Good sandwich choices include chicken, turkey, ham, lean roast beef, tuna, hummus, and low-fat cheese. Tip: Check the sodium in prepackaged and even deli-fresh meats; most products run high. Cut the sodium by slicing meat you have roasted at home or by asking specifically for meats lower in sodium.

      3. Vegetables: Veggies add both nutrients and flavor. Tomatoes, fresh greens (the darker, the better), red onion, and peppers are all good choices.

      4. Optional toppings: Condiments don't need to be high in fat to be high in flavor. There are low-fat, healthful choices that will give your sandwich the something extra it needs, such as:

      -- Mustard

      -- Honey mustard

      -- Barbecue sauce

      -- Chipotle sauce

      -- Light dressing

    • Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Turkey and Avocado Wrap

      Turkey and avocado complement each other perfectly in this heart-healthy wrap.

      Whole grain: La Tortilla Factory low-carb tortilla

      Lean protein: Four slices of Boar's Head Lower Sodium Skinless Turkey Breast

      Vegetables: Romaine lettuce

      Optional topping: 2 tablespoons of Wholly Guacamole Classic Guacamole or 1/4 sliced avocado

    • Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Roasted Red Pepper and Hummus Sandwich

      This simple vegetarian sandwich is full of fresh flavors. To mix it up, try a flavored hummus in place of original.

      Whole grain: Two toasted slices of Healthy Choice Hearty 100% Whole Grain bread

      Lean protein: 1/4 cup Athenos Original Hummus

      Vegetables: Sliced cucumber, spinach, roasted red peppers

      Tip: If you prefer, use sliced tomatoes instead of red peppers.

    • Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Ranch Chicken Pita Pocket

      This hearth-healthy pita is full of flavors that will make you forget that it's good for you.

      Whole grain: Use 2/3 of a Kangaroo 100% Whole Wheat Pita Pocket

      Lean protein: 2-3 ounces of Hormel breast of chicken in water, no salt added

      Vegetables: Purchased coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw; fresh spinach

      Optional topping: 2 tablespoons Hidden Valley Light Ranch Dressing

      Tip: Save the remaining third of your pita bread and top it with low-calorie hummus for an afternoon snack.

    • Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Cajun Tuna Melt

      This sandwich offers a lighter -- and more flavorful -- take on tuna salad. Enjoy it hot or cold.

      Whole grain: 1 toasted Thomas' Wheat Light English Muffin

      Lean protein: 1 small can of Crown Prince Tongol tuna in spring water, no salt added

      Vegetables: Chopped red onion; 1 large tomato slice

      Optional toppings: 1 tablespoon of Hellmann's Fat-Free Mayonnaise; 1/2 slice Kraft Deli Fresh Pepper Jack Natural Slices

    • Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Tuna and White Bean Panini

      The following sandwiches include full recipes. Most of the recipes serve 4 to 6; alter the recipe if you'd like to make a single sandwich.

      This warm panini satisfies on a cold day. The white kidney beans help you feel full by adding lean protein to your lunch.

      Whole grain: Whole wheat bread

      Lean protein: Tuna; white kidney beans; mozzarella

      Vegetables: Red onion; Tomato

      Optional topping: Light mayonnaise

    • Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Chicken Salad Sandwich

      Makeover a traditionally high-fat sandwich by using our recipe, featuring light mayonnaise and low-fat yogurt to add zip.

      Whole grain: Whole wheat bread

      Lean protein: Chicken breast; hard-cooked egg

      Vegetables: lettuce

      Optional topping: Plain low-fat yogurt; Light mayonnaise

    • Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Barbecue Tempeh Wraps

      Think barbecue flavor means a meat-heavy meal? Think again. This easy wrap is vegetarian, yet includes barbecue sauce and tangy green onion for kick.

      Whole grain: Whole wheat tortilla

      Lean protein: Soy tempeh

      Vegetables: Green onion; shredded cabbage with carrot

      Optional topping: Low-calorie barbecue sauce

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      Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Asian Tuna Wraps

      This easy wrap has a tuna salad taste on a heart-healthy diet. The prep is a 15-minute commitment.

      Whole grain: Whole wheat tortilla

      Lean protein: Tuna

      Vegetables: Bok choy; red pepper; jicama

      Optional topping: Sesame-ginger salad dressing; light mayonnaise

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      Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Chicken Pita Sandwiches

      Enjoy a low-sodium solution to lunch. This recipe uses leftover cooked chicken in place of processed lunchmeat to give you a filling meal on a low-sodium budget.

      Whole grain: Whole wheat pita bread

      Lean protein: Chicken breast; garbanzo beans

      Vegetables: Tomato; red onion; cucumber

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      Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Grilled Cheese Sandwich

      Four ingredients, 10 minutes, and a craving for a childhood favorite meet in this tasty classic.

      Whole grain: Whole wheat bread

      Lean protein: Low-fat cheese

      Vegetable: Tomato

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      Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Turkey and Black Bean Chimichangas

      A little bake time and simple ingredients come together in this warm-you-up twist on a Mexican favorite.

      Whole grain: Whole wheat tortilla

      Lean protein: Ground turkey breast; black beans

      Vegetable: Tomato

      Optional topping: Salsa

      Tip: Beans are an excellent source of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure.

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      Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Breakfast Tortilla Wrap

      For breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this sandwich satisfies our formula with a savory combination of turkey bacon and egg substitute, plus whole wheat tortillas and zippy peppers.

      Whole grain: Whole wheat tortilla

      Lean protein: Turkey bacon; refrigerated egg product

      Vegetable: Green pepper

      Optional topping: Hot pepper sauce

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      Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich Solution: Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps

      Roll up Southwestern flavor in wraps stuffed with fresh ingredients and homemade salsa.

      Whole grain: Whole wheat tortilla

      Lean protein: Chicken breast strips; reduced-fat cheddar cheese

      Vegetables: Peppers

      Optional topping: Salsa; ranch salad dressing

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      Grab-and-Go Sandwich Option #1

      Most purchased sandwiches are high in sodium (because of the seasoned and processed deli meat). Too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and put you at higher risk for a heart attack. The following two widely available sandwiches meet Heart-Healthy Living's dietary guidelines:

      Subway's 6-inch Veggie Delight sandwich on wheat bread (no dressing or cheese)

      Calories: 230

      Sodium: 500 mg

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      Grab-and-Go Sandwich Option #2

      Quizno's Cantina Chicken Sammie (prepared with just veggies, no extras)

      Calories: 205

      Sodium: 445 mg

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      Next Slideshow Best Pantry Picks for a Low-Sodium Diet

      Best Pantry Picks for a Low-Sodium Diet

      We recommend these low-sodium and no-salt-added pantry staples. From condiments and vegetables to soup and meat, each product meets government standards to be labeled as a low-sodium food.
      Begin Slideshow »



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