You can’t go wrong with a simple sandwich for lunch, but they often get a bad rep for being too unhealthy and are often to blame when the pounds start creeping on, but it is possible to have a healthy sandwich, something you can enjoy regularly without waist worry. Here are healthy recipes and ideas for British Sandwich Week.
Are low carb diets the healthy answer?
Sandwiches typically get shunned when we're trying to lose weight because they're often touted as the unhealthiest things we can eat for lunch. But in reality, the unhealthy options are the pre-packaged ones you can buy on the high street. These are mostly packed with fatty ingredients and lots of spreads and sauces that amp up the calories in them.
But in reality, we need carbohydrates to function properly and fuel our body in the right way.
Carbs are one of the major sources of energy that we get from food, but it's important you're choosing the right ones to fuel your body, like vegetables and whole-grains. Eating too many of the bad ones like white pasta or bread, biscuits and cakes are never going to be a healthy option.
Which bread is healthiest option?
There's no reason why you can't eat bread as part of a healthy diet, unless of course you have an intolerance or are coeliac. Some people, however, might want to try healthier carb swaps, such as healthy tortillas.
Making a sandwich though, needs bread, and choosing a particular type of bread could be the thing you need to make it balanced and nutritious. You want to ensure that the ingredients list is short and it contains 100% whole grains. Make sure you look at the ingredients and the bread you choose contains whole wheat flour, this will typically be the healthiest choice for you.
Wholegrains are the best option because they have fibre, minerals, are low in fat, contain some protein, vitamins and more. The combination of nutrients means that they have multiple health benefits that include protection from things like diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart disease.
Should we use a spread?
The food industry might have lead us to believe that a low-fat spread is the best option for our sandwiches and toast, but in reality, they might not be the healthiest choice.
Research has shown that using butter on bread is no worse when it comes to combating stroke and heart disease. However, there are of course some low-fat options that are designed to lower cholesterol.
But in reality, you don't really need to add butter or a spread if you don't want to. Try thinking about different ways to flavour your sandwiches, such as houmous, greek yoghurt that has been flavoured with spices like paprika. You could try a homemade coleslaw or even guacamole to add some moisture to your sandwich.
Which sandwich fillings should we use?
The great thing about a sandwich is that pretty much anything and everything goes. Fill it to your heart's content and pack it with delicious ingredients you love. Include a mixture of salad or vegetables, and then pick a protein to ensure it's well-balanced and will keep you full until your next meal.
Healthy options include eggs, chicken, turkey, chickpeas or beef. Try to avoid eating too much ham, the processed meat is packed with salt. And as much as we love halloumi, the reality is it's quite high in fat, so exercise caution in eating too much.
The Ultimate healthy sandwich tip
Have you considered an open-top sandwich? It may sound obvious, but having an open-top sandwich allows you to cut back on the bread and focus more on the nutrient-rich fillings.