When you’re eating a sandwich, the bread figures heavily into the nutritional value. Two slices of whole-grain bread contain 138 calories, 6.9 g of protein, 22.5 g of carbohydrates, 2.2 g of fat, 3.8 g of fiber and 218 mg of sodium as well as many vitamins and minerals. There are other options for sandwiches besides bread, though, that are just as healthy or healthier.
Using a flour tortilla to wrap your sandwich ingredients rather than layering them onto bread saves you a few calories, although you’ll get less fiber. One 6-inch tortilla has 94 calories, or 4.7 percent of the calories you should consume if you follow a 2,000 calorie diet. Each tortilla contains 2.3 g of fat, 2.4 g of protein, 15.4 g of carbohydrates and 0.9 g of fiber. This food has 191 mg of sodium and serves as a good source of thiamine and selenium, with 11 and 10 percent of the daily recommended intake, respectively. Thiamine is important for your nervous system and muscles, and selenium keeps your thyroid functioning correctly.
Choose whole-wheat pita bread as a substitute for bread for a sandwich. It contains more calories, but you take in more fiber. One 6 1/2-inch diameter pita bread, or one serving, has 170 calories and 1.6 g of fat. Each pita also provides 6.2 g of protein, or 11 to 13.4 percent of the quantity you should consume daily. A serving of this bread substitute has 35.2 g of carbohydrates and 4.7 g of fiber. The mineral content of pita includes 340 mg of sodium, which is roughly 34 percent of the 2,300 mg recommended for healthy people. You also take in 56 percent of the manganese you need each day as well as 40 percent of the selenium, 12 percent of the phosphorus and 11 percent of the iron and magnesium. Pita serves up 14 percent of the daily recommended intake of thiamine and smaller amounts of B vitamins.
Egg Roll Wrapper
Using an egg-roll wrapper instead of bread means you won’t be able to fit in as much sandwich filling, but it will save on calories and fat. A 7-inch square wrapper contains 93 calories and 0.4 g of fat as well as 3.1 g of protein, 18.5 g of carbohydrates and 0.6 g of fiber. An egg-roll wrapper serves up 183 mg of sodium and is a good source of selenium – 13 percent of the daily recommended intake – and thiamine, with 11 percent of the quantity you should consume each day. Additionally, you get 10 percent of the manganese your body requires.
If you want to try something fresher and crisper than bread, consider wrapping sandwich fillings in a lettuce leaf. One outer leaf weighing 24 g has only 4 calories, trace amounts of fat, 0.3 g of protein, 0.6 g of carbohydrates and 0.3 g of fiber. It is an excellent source of vitamin K, with 52 percent of the amount you need each day as well as 36 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Bread, Multi-Grain (Includes Whole-Grain)
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Tortillas, Ready-To-Bake or -Fry, Flour
- MedlinePlus: Thiamin
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Selenium; May 2009
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Bread, Pita, Whole-Wheat
- USDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010