Many people have sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. One ingredient can make a sandwich go from healthy to unhealthy instantly. Sometimes you’d be surprised at what isn’t the right choice for your lunch.
There are different things to consider when creating a healthy sandwich. We’re going to make things a little easier by helping you have healthy sandwiches for weight loss.
Things to Know About Bread
Before anything else, we need to talk about the base of your sandwich: the bread.
With many options to choose from, it can be tricky to know what the healthiest choice might be. Here are things you need to know about them:
- It could be addictive – Did you know that bread could be considered addictive. When we consume bread, our brain feeds off the gluten from the bread and gives us a sense of euphoria.
- Bread could increase blood sugar levels – Wheat contains Amylopectin-A, a type of molecule that is converted into sugar instead of other carbohydrates. When you eat bread, your blood sugar levels increase significantly. You’ll often find that in a matter of hours, you’re once again craving for food. Eating wheat makes you hungry constantly. This is how overeating occurs and weight gain ensues.
- It is difficult to digest – 90% of the time, bread contains gluten. It is processed from wheat and other grains and is found in a lot of foods. The body struggles to properly digest gluten and requires strong stomach acid to process it. It sometimes even takes a total of four weeks to digest a wheat-heavy meal.
- Bread increases mucus production – Bread is the product of refined grains, which produces mucus in the body. It is the body’s natural defense that protects our cells, organs, and tissues from the harmful acid found in bread. While mucus may protect us, a build-up could lead to your nasal passages and lungs being congested. This could further hinder proper digestion.
- It doesn’t have enough nutrients – Bread loses most of its nutritional value (such as minerals and vitamins) during the refining process. This means you’re left with only the bad things about bread.
Different Types of Bread
There are many different variations of bread, such as white bread and brown bread. Here are some of your options:
- Ezekiel – Made without sugar, it has more vitamins such as vitamin c, and minerals such as folate and lysine. This bread is very nutritional compared with its more popular counterparts.
- Flaxseed – It is perfect for fish products and can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
- Rye – This type of bread helps reduce body weight, assists in insulin sensitivity, and lowers cholesterol. It also satisfies your hunger for a longer period.
- Oat bread – It is a slow-digesting type of bread that makes you feel full for a longer period. With low cholesterol, oat bread protects you against colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and digestive problems. It is also good for building muscles.
- Whole wheat – While whole wheat is not high in nutrients, it is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, and magnesium.
- Whole Grain – It contains multiple nutrients, fiber, and healthy plant compounds.
- Multigrain bread – It uses all parts of the grain including kernel, bran, germ, and endosperm.
- Gluten-free bread – This type of bread has no wheat, rye or barely. Instead, it contains rice flour, cornstarch,potato flour, and tapioca starch.
- White bread – This type of bread is incredibly unhealthy and has nearly zero beneficial contents. It is also often associated with obesity. It could even increase your risks of heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions.
Things to Avoid Putting in Your Sandwich
What you put in your sandwich is something to be extremely cautious about. It may seem harmless but you may not know the full extent of what you’re eating.
- Processed meats – These are generally the product of unused animal parts and generally higher in calories, fat, and sodium.
- Imitation cheese – You should be staying away from this just because of the name. Its ingredients are far from healthy. It is made up of corn syrup, sugar, salt, and a high amount of sodium.
- Ranch dressing – This dressing is high in sodium and calories. Another reason to say no to this is that it’s made from sugar, artificial coloring, and preservatives.
Some people will put anything and everything in their sandwich, but you need to be careful as sometimes less is better.
Healthy Things to Put in Your sandwich
Healthy sandwiches for weight loss needs to have the right ingredients. Here are some things to consider adding to your sandwich recipes:
- Avocado – It has antioxidants that fight diseases and promotes anti-aging. It also helps with bad cholesterol and has multiple vitamins, and minerals.
- Hummus – It provides multiple nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant-based protein.
- Basil – It is rich in anti-inflammatory properties, and works to prevent obesity and chronic diseases. Basil is also rich in vitamin A, which fights E. coli and staphylococcus aureus.
- Onion – Like basil, onion helps with inflammation and heart disease, as it protects the blood vessels and reduce cholesterol. It also boosts bone density, bolster immune defenses, balance blood sugar, and prevent cancer.
- Vinegar – Its acetic acid helps control blood pressure. It is also low in calories.
If you don’t have a lot of time to make good lunch sandwiches, think about using these healthy sandwich spreads instead:
- Avocado spread
- Edamame Hummus Spread
- Black bean spread
- Olive Spread (Tapenade)
When eating out, choose healthy deli sandwiches. Here are some tips to avoid raking up calories while dining out:
- Pick the right deli chain – a healthy one.
- Skip salad fillings – a tuna and chicken salad contains more mayo than other choice. More mayo means more calories.
- Choose the correct bread – Avoid white bread at all cost.
- Choose lean meat – Go for turkey breast, ham, or chicken breast.
- Limit the cheese – Three to four slices are more than enough.
- Spread wisely – Look for some healthy spreads we mentioned above
- No melts – Melts use a lot of cheese.
These all are important factors when creating healthy sandwiches for weight loss, or easy healthy sandwiches for lunch.
Good Lunch Sandwiches
You can enjoy healthy sandwiches that are not difficult to make. We’re not going to show you how to make a sandwich but we can tell you the names of some winning options:
- Turkey Reuben Sandwiches.
- Red Onion and Kalamata Olive Tuna Sandwich.
- Prosciutto, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches.
- Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey.
- Warm Prosciutto-Stuffed Focaccia.
- Chipotle Pork and Avocado Wrap.
- Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.
Bad Lunch Sandwiches
Here are examples of bad lunch sandwiches that you should absolutely avoid:
- Chicken Salad – Although it uses chicken, it also has other ingredients like hard-boiled eggs, onion, celery, different mustards, pickles, peppers, and a lot of mayonnaise. This sandwich packs 750 calories and 43 grams of fat
- Rueben – It’s made of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, grilled between rye bread. It has 750 calories, 40 grams of fat
- Veggie Sandwich – There are different types of veggie sandwiches, majority consists of a large quantity of cheese and creamy spreads such as mayo and guacamole. Some veggie sandwich could have as much as 790 calories and 39 grams of fat.
- Italian Sub – Made with ham, capicola, provolone cheese, genoa salami, lettuce, tomato, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano and peppers, an Italian sub has about 834 calories and 47 grams of fat
- Tuna Salad – This sandwich has tuna, celery, onion, mayo, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It could have as much as 956 calories and 55 grams of fat.
When you’re trying lose weight you need to stay away from sandwiches like these that are stuffed with ingredients that have little to no nutritional value. A lot of things add to a rapid weight gain – from the bread you use to the ingredients you put on the bread. You need to ensure that you only have healthy sandwiches for weight loss.
While sandwiches are great diet options, it’s always important to be mindful of what you eat to make sure you’re only choosing the right sandwiches.