Recently, I was featured in an article in Healthyish, by Bon Appetit, that was all about deli sandwiches. As you know, I advocate for making meals at home whenever possible. However, what if a deli sandwich was the only lunch option? What about when you crave one? This article got me to really think about the different nutritional components of deli sandwiches, and how to make a ‘healthyish’ corner store meal as healthy as can be.
The most important point to remember here is simply portion control. Your body isn’t going to feel great after eating a whole giant sandwich layered with meat and cheese but it will likely feel just fine with half (btw which likely is a normal size). Always, request whole wheat or rye bread and take MOST of the cheese out of your sandwich before you munch (each slice has 100 calories and 8g of fat, 4 slices really add up). The easiest thing to do is to eat half of your sandwich and enjoy the rest later. Everything in moderation is key.
Here is my quick list of sandwiches from least healthy to most. Consider it your lunch time guide!
12. Cubano – Processed meats, a ton of cheese, and pulled pork make this sandwich one of the least healthy options out there.
11. Italian – But there are spices and veggies, you might say! These are redeeming qualities, but do not make up for the abundance of processed meat and cheese.
10. Meatball Sub – This one comes above the Cubano and Italian because of its unprocessed meat. However, it is served on white bread, covered in cheese, and comes in portions the size of your forearm. Not the best option.
9. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese – This hangover favorite is high in protein, but also in saturated fat. I would suggest taking out the cheese before eating.
8. Turkey Club – This sandwich gets the rep of being ‘healthy’ because of its turkey, but we can’t forget the several layers of bread and, more often than not, bacon. You can have a sandwich that is just as good without all of those extras.
7. Ham and Cheese – Ham is another kind of red meat, so try to limit your ham consumption to twice a week.
6. BLT – This sandwich may have the fewest calories, but bacon has a ton of nitrates. But the LT part of this sandwich is something I can get on board with!
5. Turkey and Swiss – Turkey is one of the leaner meats, but the cheese can significantly bring down the nutritional value of this sandwich. I would suggest taking out all but one cheese slice and adding veggies of course!
4. Egg Salad Sandwich – Eggs are a GREAT form of protein, but the mayonnaise can bring this sandwich down. I’d suggest asking for more veggies, and maybe eating half and saving the rest for later.
3. Chicken Salad Sandwich – Keep in mind that these sandwiches can have light meat, dark meat, and the fatty chicken parts in there. There is a lot of protein, yes, but also a lot of mayonnaise!
2. Roast Beef – I’d say get this sandwich without the cheese. Limit your consumption of red meat to twice a week, but these sandwiches are made with pretty lean cuts!
1. Tuna Salad – This is on the top of my list because it’s made with fish! Also, it goes really well with most veggies, so pile them on there.