Like most foods, sandwiches can go either way – they can be super-healthy and nutritious, making for an entire balanced meal by themselves, or they can be unhealthy and loaded with calories. If you do them right, you can eat them for just about any meal and even carry them with you to work or when you travel. Here’s how you can build the perfect sandwiches, that are both healthy and tasty!
1. Opt for multi-grain or whole-wheat bread.
You know what they say – the whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead! White bread is made of refined flour that has no nutritional value, and brown bread isn’t much healthier, since very often it’s just the same refined flour with added colouring. Make your sandwich with either multi-grain or whole-wheat bread, since they are complex carbs that have more fibre.
2. Make your own spread.
Skip the ready-made sandwich spreads that are loaded with sugar, salt, calories and artificial colours and flavours. Make your own spread by hanging some curd and adding salt and herbs. Oregano, chilli, parsley, garlic, coriander, basil – pick whichever ones you like and add them in. Alternatively, you can mash up an avocado and make guacamole or make green chutney and use that instead.
3. Load up on healthy proteins.
Non-vegetarians can choose from egg, chicken, ham, turkey, fish or mutton. Stick to fresh, unprocessed meats, rather than processed ones.
Vegetarians can opt for hummus, nut butters, paneer or tofu.
4. Add some cheese.
Just because the sandwich is healthy, doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Add a slice of cheese if you like, preferably a fresh variety and not a packaged one. Cheese is fattening but it's also rich in calcium, proteins, zinc, phosphorous and Vitamins A and B.
5. Pile on the veggies.
Slice up some veggies and layer them on to the sandwich. You can stick to more traditional ones like tomato, cucumber, onion, potato or lettuce, or you can add unusual ones like radish, corn, mushrooms, sprouts, spinach, beets, capsicum, olives or jalapenos. Contrary to popular belief, veggies are not the extras in the salad; they are the main feature!
6. Toast it, if you like.
Grilling or toasting the sandwich doesn’t add any calories, and it can help melt the cheese and bring all the flavours together.