Vegetables should have a starring role in your daily diet, and putting them between two slices of bread is one smart way to boost your intake of these nutritious foods. A vegetable sandwich can also be low in calories, which is a plus if you're watching your weight or trying to shed excess pounds. Of course, the exact calorie count of your veggie sandwich depends on what type of bread, spreads, toppings and vegetables you include.
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Pile On the Veggies
Raw veggies are a good source of fiber, potassium and other essential vitamins and minerals, and most varieties are also low in calories. Tomatoes, for example, add 4 calories per slice to your sandwich, as well as a good dose of vitamin C. One leaf of romaine or green leaf lettuce adds just 2 calories to your sandwich. You can add an entire cup of cucumber slices to your sandwich for only about 16 calories. An ounce of avocado, which contains heart-healthy unsaturated fats, fiber and potassium, adds between 34 and 47 calories. Roasted veggies, such as bell peppers and onions, are another low-calorie, flavorful option -- but remember that roasting them in oil will add calories to your sandwich.
Bread Makes a Difference
The type of bread you make your sandwich on is another influence on the total number of calories it will contain. White bread contains about 65 calories per slice, and whole-wheat bread has about 69 calories per slice and more fiber than white bread. Rye bread contains 83 calories per slice and sourdough contains 72 calories per slice. Egg bread contains the most, with 115 calories in each slice. Opt for low-calorie bread for between 47 and 50 calories per slice.
Spread With Care
Mayonnaise is among your worst spread options because it contains 94 calories per tablespoon. Mustard is a better choice calorie-wise, with 3 calories per teaspoon, but it also tends to be high in sodium. Adding 1 tablespoon of butter to your sandwich will boost its calorie count by 102. A tablespoon of cream cheese, another common sandwich spread, contains 50 calories.
A slice of cheese is a good way to add protein and calcium to your vegetable sandwich, and the cheese will add between 75 and 114 calories, depending on the type you use. A tablespoon of pickle relish contains 20 calories, and one dill pickle adds 8 calories. One spicy pepper contributes 18 calories to your vegetable sandwich and a tablespoon of salsa adds 5 calories.