New Year, New You?
The end of each year is widely known as a time to make resolutions. In a recent year-end survey from You.Gov, 68% of people surveyed said they were planning to make resolutions. The most popular for 2018? Eating Better, Exercising More and Spending Less Money. As the Sandwich Authority, we here at Sandwich America® want to take a run at helping you stay on course. For January’s Sandwich Night in America, we’ll share Ten Tips on How Sandwiches Can Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions on Track.
Let’s start from the top (and bottom): Bread
Every sandwich (usually) starts with the bread. So let’s start there to show how sandwiches can keep your New Year’s Resolutions on track. The nutrition – and calories – in bread can vary greatly. When you’re looking to stay on track, consider what you reach for to start your sandwich.
- Better Your Bread – We always urge you to select the highest quality ingredients as it makes a difference in the taste and quality of sandwiches. When seeking healthier alternatives, this is important not only for texture and flavor but also calories.
- Find Fiber Rich – The nutrition found in whole grain bread (be it wheat or some other type of grain) typically trumps white bread. Both from a calorie and fiber standpoint. Fiber is important as it helps keep you fuller longer. Be sure to read labels as 100% whole grain is very different than whole grain flour.
- Chunk It Altogether – Want a simple way to cut calories? Get rid of the bread, or at least half of the bread. Open-faced sandwiches are a quick and easy way to cut half the calories. Or, get rid of the bread entirely and consider a lettuce wrap to cut 100-200 calories.
What’s in the Middle Counts: Protein
- Cut the Cold Cuts – Store bought processed meats can not only be calorie-filled, they often pack a nutrition bomb with lots of sodium and preservatives. Of course, the occasional deli meat or bacon is fine, but this is something to be mindful when making healthier choices. Rather than buying at the deli counter, or processed store meat, make your meat fresh and put homemade leftovers to use. Homemade BBQ brisket, marinated and grilled chicken or roast pork all make great sandwich stars when you have leftovers. Try grassfed beef instead of traditional grain-fed.
- Lighten Up Lunch – Tuna, egg, shrimp and chicken salad sandwiches can be some of the best sandwiches. Consider lightening p these by using low-fat mayo with yogurt to add creaminess with fewer calories and more protein.
- Pack on Protein – Don’t get us wrong, meat can be part of a healthy sandwich. Just choose lean, healthy sources of protein. Speaking of protein, it can come from non-meat sources. Add a hard-boiled egg, or even a fried egg to add more protein. Chick-peas or tofu are also good choices to add a little extra protein.
Keep the Condiments Under Control
Mayo, ketchup, and butter all can play a role in great sandwiches, but the choices don’t end there, especially when healthier sandwiches are the goal. Many of the ‘sauces’ are added to bring moisture and binding to sandwiches to keep them together.
- Condiment Creativity – Guacamole – or even just smashed avocado not only add healthy fats, and nutrients but add vitamins, taste, and color to sandwiches. Hummus is another choice full of heart-healthy fats and smooth flavor. Salsa is a great way to add moisture, too, or try a pesto. Or, if flavor is your goal, consider using concentrated ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes or pickled onions – one of Jennifer’s favorites.
- Venture Deeper into Veggies – Speaking of pickled onions…why not skip the meat altogether sometimes? Lettuce and tomato are perhaps the most often used veggies on sandwiches, but there are lots of ways to get creative. Try substituting arugula instead of lettuce for a more peppery bite. Grated carrots – or even pickles – give a sandwich crunch without the calories. Adding lots of veggies builds a fiber-rich sandwich so you stay full longer.
- Healthier Sides – While the sandwich is often the star of the plate, we’re realistic and know people don’t subsist on sandwiches alone. Sandwich sides are an area to look at too when trying to stick to a healthier diet. Instead of fried, perhaps a side salad with a simple vinaigrette. Instead of potato chips, choose fruit. Or, make the sandwich the star and skip the side.
Sandwiches can keep your New Year’s Resolutions on track
As Oscar Wilde wrote, “Everything in Moderation, Including Moderation”. This philosophy translates to eating too. Deciding to eat healthier more often is something that sandwiches can help with by keeping these tips in mind. No need to eliminate EVERYTHING from your diet – we love a juicy, melty topping-heavy burger with the best of them – but pay attention to your choices and you’ll find out like we have that sandwiches can keep your New Year’s Resolutions on track, too.