Every day, nearly half of Americans over 20 years old eat a sandwich. Sandwiches are convenient but may not always have many good-for-you fillings. The good news? We can turn a sandwich into a nutritional powerhouse at any meal!
Beth Peralta, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Media Spokesperson with the Eastern Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and University of Illinois Extension has three tips for making your sandwich even better this summer.
Three Tips Today:
* Look for 100% whole grain breads.
o Whole grains are delicious and filling. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends we eat half of our overall grain intake as whole grains. A whole grain contains all three parts of the kernel – bran, endosperm, and germ. When grains are processed, typically the germ and bran are removed, which removes B vitamins and fiber. Other nutrients in whole grains include protein and iron.
o Current research shows that whole grains may help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and several digestive system cancers.
o Find whole grains by looking at a Nutrition Facts Label. If the first ingredient is some sort of “whole” grain or whole grain flour, that’s a great choice! Foods like 100% whole wheat bread, oats, corn tortillas, and brown rice are good choices.
* Load up the vegetables, fruits, and other tasty fillings. Sandwiches are a fantastic way to move more vegetables and fruits into your day, too.
o Take advantage of seasonal produce offerings and add lettuce, tomatoes, and more to burgers.
o Chop up celery, apples, and grapes to add to tuna salad.
o Sauté mushrooms and onions to top an egg sandwich at breakfast.
o Look for lighter spreads and sauces, such as mustard, salsa, and guacamole.
* Try a twist on your favorite ‘melt’. Salmon Melts are easy to make for a quick dinner or lunch at home. You can substitute tuna or canned chicken for this recipe, too. Drain and rinse salmon to reduce sodium content, too.
Salmon Melts: Serves: 4
* 1 (6 ounce) can or pouch salmon, drained
* ¼ cup green onions, chopped
* ¼ cup celery, chopped
* ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
* ¼ teaspoon black pepper
* ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
* ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
* 4 100% whole wheat hamburger buns or English muffins, sliced in half
* 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese
1. In a medium bowl, combine first seven ingredients (through garlic powder) and mix well.
2. Toast rolls in a toaster oven or broiler until lightly browned and crispy.
3. Spread salmon mixture on each half roll, about 2-3 tablespoons each.
4. Top each with 1/8 cup shredded cheese
5. Return to toaster oven or broiler until cheese melts on top. Serve immediately.
Find more recipes on University of Illinois Extension’s EAT.MOVE.SAVE.: Making Healthier Choices on a Budget at go.Illinois.edu/EatMoveSave