A simple sandwich that has 2 ounces of turkey and two slices of white bread contains approximately 210 calories, but where's the fun in that? Remember that the toppings, condiments and bread you choose can add on considerable sandwich calories.
How you make your turkey sandwich matters. A gourmet version with bacon, avocado and cheese is definitely going to cost you more calories than one made on whole-grain bread with lots of lettuce.
A standard turkey sandwich made with white bread and 2 ounces of deli turkey contains 210 calories. But if you change the bread type, add more turkey, and pile on the condiments and fillings, your sandwich's calorie count changes dramatically.
Bread Counts for Sandwich Calories
The bread you choose can make a big difference in the total number of calories in your turkey sandwich. Two regular slices of commercial white bread add about 150 calories, but put your turkey on a pretzel roll and it adds 220 calories.
Read more: Why Isn't White Bread Good For You?
A wheat sandwich roll adds about 210 calories to your sandwich, as well as lots of nutritional fiber. Two slices of whole-grain oatmeal bread have 200 calories. Ultimately, you should consult the label of the bread that you choose to best determine how it will contribute to your turkey sandwich's calorie count.
It would be smart to use whole-grain bread for your turkey sandwich, however, regardless of a few extra calories this adds. Research published in BMJ in June 2016 explains that a higher intake of whole grains is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and all cause of premature mortality.
Whole grains are particularly beneficial because they contain the entirety of the grain, including the bran and the germ, making them rich in fiber and micronutrients. Look for breads labeled "100 percent whole wheat" or "whole grain." Other important whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, barley and bran.
Turkey is Just the Start
A turkey sandwich usually includes more than just meat and bread. Two ounces of turkey contains about 60 calories, but condiments and fillings definitely increase your sandwich's caloric value.
Watery, crisp vegetables such as iceberg or romaine lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, pickles and tomatoes all add few calories. But, if you were to add avocado slices (about 2 ounces) you'd increase your sandwich calories by a whopping 90.
Even if the addition of avocado makes your sandwich a bit more calorie-hefty, it adds great dietary value. Nutrition Journal published research in January 2013 showing that people who consume avocados have a better diet quality, greater intakes of fruits and vegetables, and ingest fewer added sugars in their diets.
Read more: Can You Lose Weight Eating Sandwiches?
Avocados are also rich in fiber, potassium, folate and vitamins B6, C and E, notes the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
You may be tempted to add a little cheese to your turkey sandwich. A slice of Swiss ups your sandwich's density by 110 calories, while adding a slice of Havarti increases the count by 90. Furthermore, for every slice of cooked bacon you add to heighten the flavor of your turkey sandwich, you add 110 more calories as well.
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Deli Slices Turkey Breast"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "White Bread"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Pretzel Sandwich Roll"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Wheat Sandwich Rolls"
- BMJ: "Whole Grains and Public Health"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Whole Grain Oatmeal Bread"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Mayonnaise"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Mustards"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Avocado"
- Nutrition Journal: "Avocado Consumption is Associated with Better Diet Quality and Nutrient Intake, and Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk in US Adults: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Swiss Cheese"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Havarti Cheese"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Bacon, Sliced"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Healthy Fats"