The Best and Worst Sandwiches

The Best and Worst Sandwiches

They are a summer staple; sandwiches. But you may be surprised just how
much some of your favorite grab and go sandwiches are adding to your

Studio 5 Health and Fitness Contributor Melanie Douglass dishes on the
best and worst sandwiches, and offers tips to make them a little bit

Let me start with this: the more complicated a sandwich sounds, the more calories it likely contains. A name like Tuscan Chicken with Bacon on Asiago Cheese Bread, is likely trouble for your waistline. When it
comes to sandwiches there are simple rules that can help you order what you want, while keeping it sensible and tasty too. And remember, eating in restaurants always packs more calories than we think, so a meal “out” should be followed by several meals “in” – and regular solid workouts.

In general, remember these three things:

1. Count about 100 cals per substantive ingredient. This means you count about 100 calories for each ounce (slice/side) of bread, each slice of cheese, each kind of meat, nuts, mayo, avocado, etc.

2. Other than subway, most sandwiches from a restaurant have about 600 – 800 calories. And that’s just the sandwich! That leads to tip 3…

3. If you order a whole sandwich, skip the sides (or only order fruit or carrots on the side). If you must have a side, then go for a small/half sandwich.

4. To put the info you read below into perspective, the basic guidelines for a healthy meal are:

a. 500 calories
To keep calories low – choose one starch, one meat or cheese and light dressing (+ any veggies you want!)

b. 15 – 20 grams of fat
To keep fat low, skip mayo! Order Dijon mustard or light vinaigrettes

c. 500 mg of sodium
Low sodium options are tough to find in the real world. Restaurant food is just too high in sodium. The biggest contributors of sodium are meats (especially bacon) and cheese.

Okay, let’s look at some specifics:


· Best Choice:

o Any of the 6 Grams of Fat or Less sandwiches/flatbread except the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki
~300 cals, <6 g fat, ~800 mg sodium

· Watch Out for:

o Meatball Marina with cheese
~ 630 cals, 25 g fat, 1520 mg sodium

· Helpful Hints:

o Pile on the veggies!!

o Surprisingly, the highest calorie bread option is Honey Oat (260 cals)

o Best bread choice is 9-Grain (210 cals) or “mini wheat” (140 cals)

o Choose Red Wine Vinaigrette (30 cals) over mayo and/or dressings

o Ranch dressing adds 110 cals

o Regular Mayo adds 100 cals

o Light Mayo adds 50 cals

o Olive oil adds 45 cals

o Cheese adds 40 – 60 cals

Jimmy Johns®

· Good Choice:
o Turkey Tom on wheat with vinaigrette
500 cals, 14 g fat, 1094 mg sodium

· Watch Out for:
o Italian Night Club
948 cals, 51 g fat, 2165 mg sodium
This is double calories, triple the fat and double the sodium

· Helpful Hints:

o Choose vinaigrette (80 cal, 8 fat) over mayo (193 cal, 21 fat)
HALF the calories and fat of mayo

o Cheese adds 100 calories, 8 grams fat

o Save 250 calories and 430 mg of sodium per sandwich by trying the “unwich”
A Turkey Tom Unwich with vinaigrette has just 157 calories and 9 g fat!

o Add 4 grams of fiber by ordering the wheat bread


· BEST Choice:

o Roast Turkey and Swiss Wrap, no mayo
400 cals, 13 g fat, 1430 mg sodium

· Watch Out for:

o Grilled Chicken and Pecan Salad sandwich
844 cals, 44 g fat, 1220 mg sodium

· Helpful Hints:

o Most of the Market Fresh Sandwiches have 700 – 800 cals and 30 g fat
A Roast Beef Classic only has 360 cals, 14 g fat!
Better yet, a Ham & Swiss Melt only has 300 cals, 8 g fat!

o Order “wraps” over sandwiches to save ~ 200 calories

o Bacon adds a bunch of sodium! (~500 mg)

o Drop 100 calories and cut the fat in half by skipping the mayo


· BEST Choice:

o Honey Bourbon Chicken
530 cals, 10 g fat, 1370 mg sodium

· Watch Out for:

o Double Cheese Cheesesteak
1100 cals, 68 g fat, 2760 mg sodium
This is a full-day supply of fat and sodium!

· Helpful Hints:

o Average med/regular sub is ~700 – 800 calories and ~40 grams of fat

o Veggie sandwich still has 790 calories, about the same as other subs (often due to guacamole, avocado,mayo, cheese, olives)

o Skip the “dressing”
Quiznos dressing adds about 200 calories

o Sammies and Bullets are lower in calories, but also lower in fiber because they do not offer a whole-grain version

o The Roadhouse Steak Sammie is only 270 calories – low in calories, but not whole grain

o The Turkey Pesto Bullet is only 380 calories – low in calories, but not whole grain

The Corner Bakery®

· BEST Choice:

o Any of the Mom’s Sandwiches (except Tuna Salad) on whole-grain
~ 500 cals, ~10 g fat, ~1500 mg sodium

· Watch Out for:

o Pablano Roast Beef on Pablano Cheese Bread
850 cals, 42 g fat, 2080 mg sodium

· Helpful Hints:

o “Salad” sandwiches are always higher in calories and fat (like egg, tuna or chicken)

o Choose Dijon mustard over mayo
Dijon has just 10 calories per serving! (vs ~100 for mayo)

o If your order a whole sandwich, skip the sides (or go for the carrots or fruit)

o If you want a side, eat ½ a sandwich

o A slice of cake can have 700 calories

o A brownie has around 600 calories

o A frozen lemonade can have around 350 calories

o Thick, creamy soups have about 400 calories

o A side of chips has about 150 calories

o A side of carrots or fruit is only about 40 – 70 calories (and no fat)

*Remember, things like cheese, mayo and dressing can vary between restaurants due to portion sizes. The serving size for mayo may be bigger at one restaurant verses another – so mayo can add 200 calories at one restaurant and 100 at another.

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