Sandwich Secret Lunch Ideas - FamilyEducation

Skinny Sandwich Secrets

Learn great lunch ideas on how to make your favorite sandwiches lower in calories and fat.

When people decide to cut back on fat and calories, they often assume that sandwiches are out. And while it's true that sandwiches piled high with ingredients like fatty cold cuts, quarter-pound greasy burgers, bacon, full-fat cheeses, mayonnaise, and special sauces can be a nutritional nightmare, just about any sandwich can be slimmed down enough to be part of a healthy diet. A few simple ingredient substitutions can make a big fat — and calorie — difference in your favorite sandwiches. Here are some tips for trimming the fat and calories from your favorite sandwiches.

  • Spread bread with mustard or nonfat or low-fat mayonnaise instead of full-fat mayonnaise. For a change of pace, try moistening your sandwiches with fat-free ranch salad dressing or other nonfat dressings.

  • Substitute nonfat or reduced-fat cream cheese for regular cream cheese in sandwich fillings.

  • Use nonfat or reduced-fat mayonnaise and sour cream in sandwich fillings.

  • When making grilled cheese and other grilled sandwiches, spread the bread with a thin layer of reduced-fat margarine or light butter instead of regular margarine or butter. Or spray the bread lightly with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray before grilling.

  • Substitute water-packed tuna for oil-packed tuna.

  • Substitute nonfat or reduced-fat Cheddar, Swiss, and other firm and hard cheeses for their full-fat counterparts.

  • Douse subs with oil-free Italian dressing or a splash of vinegar instead of a full-fat dressing or oil.

  • Replace fatty cold cuts with their lean counterparts.

  • Limit meat to 2 to 3 ounces per sandwich, and make up the volume by piling on extra lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, grated carrots, sprouts, and other vegetables.

  • Experiment with a wide variety of yeast breads, sub rolls, burger buns, English muffins, bagels, pita bread, and tortillas when making your sandwiches. Keep in mind that, with the exception of biscuits and croissants, most breads are quite low in fat. For maximum nutrients and fiber — and a heartier flavor — choose whole grain breads over refined white breads as often as possible.

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