There’s nothing quite like tucking into a wholesome sandwich. Sweet or savoury there is so much potential between two soft slices of fresh bread.
Sandwiches are as fantastic as they are convenient, easy to handle, extremely versatile and can be as affordable or extravagant as the pocket allows.
I love my bread especially a good sandwich when I’m on the go however, my husband is the opposite. He hates bread but his opinion changed a little when Head Dietician from Future life – Lara visited us recently at home.
Futurelife’s Head Dietician Lara de Santana shares her top tips on how to create the perfect sandwich:
1. Low GI bread
Choose breads that are low GI (Glycaemic Index). This means that the carbohydrates are broken down slower leading to a steady, gradual increase in blood sugar levels which our body responds well to, compared to a quick spike as shown in the graph below2,3. Futurelife Smart bread is a great option here, as not only are both the White and Brown variants low GI but the Futurelife Smart White Bread is high in Omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fat which is very good for your heart and brain) and is a source of fibre, while the Futurelife Smart Brown Bread is higher in fibre and a source of omega-3’s.
Low GI foods are generally more of your browner, whole-wheat options that are higher in fibre. For example Futurelife Smart Brown Bread, brown rice etc3; however in this case Futurelife Smart White Bread boasting a low GI is an exception to this due to its unique recipe.
Look out for these logos when shopping:
2. Lean protein
One can even reduce the GI of a sandwich by including a protein into the filling. Besides improving how your body will break down and use it, protein has been proven to increase the feeling of fullness3,4. Leaner proteins are preferred to reduce the saturated fat intake which may have a negative effect on your heart and circulation4,5. Add some thinly sliced grilled chicken, tinned tuna, pilchards, bean sprouts, mozzarella or cottage cheese etc.
3. Dash of fat
Add a dash of your healthy fats which decrease inflammation, improve heart health and assist in you feeling fuller3,4,5. Add some sliced avocados, olive tapenade or a sprinkle of pumpkin or flaxseeds/linseeds for an extra crunch3. Futurelife Smart Brown Bread and Smart White Bread both contain omega-3’s due to the linseeds and linseed oil respectively in the recipes. Futurelife Smart White Bread can be considered high in omega-3’s with 214mg per serving.
4. Turn up the flavour
Sandwiches are one of those items that can turn bland and boring very quickly. The old favourite peanut butter and syrup or jam and butter may work for you still but if you are seeking some excitement try add some flavourful sauces like a basil pesto, pepper paste, chilli sauce, balsamic glaze, hummus, or flavoured cottage cheese. Even adding a sprinkle of fresh pepper and herbs can do wonders.
5. Portion with caution
Like everything else we eat, we should always take note of the amount we are consuming. This also applies to bread. One easy way to monitor your portions with no effort is to buy sliced bread over whole loaves. We all know how tricky it can be to cut fresh bread so you land up with a very chunky slice instead of the suggested 30-40g slice found in sliced bread. Another way to monitor your portions is to have open sandwiches with filling on top of only one slice.
Following our recipe for a great sandwich by using low GI breads, lean proteins and healthy fats will also help you to feel fuller for longer and prevent you from feeling the need to eat more.
6. Package properly
While we know how delicious and nutritious a sandwich has the potential to be, most of us can’t tolerate those few ‘soggy’ patches often brought on by those juicy veggie toppings and sauces. And let’s face it, while our work lunchboxes sit in one place for the day, our kids sarmies are typically dragged through a range of activities in their breaks. The easiest way to avoid the dreaded ‘sog’ is to get a segmented hard lunchbox, ensuring the sandwich doesn’t get squished and the juicy toppings are placed in a separate segment to be added as needed.
LARA’S TOP TIPS FOR A HEALTHY SARMIE:
- Choose low GI breads like Futurelife Smart Bread for your sandwiches to give your body sustained energy and will keep you fuller for longer, leaving you energetic and feeling great.
- Lean proteins such as chicken and tuna are great on sandwiches to keep you fuller for longer and reduce your saturated fat intake.
- Healthy fats from avocados, olives and seeds can add a twist to your sandwich and leave your heart and brain happy.
- Bulk up your sarmie with fibre by adding fresh veggies such as sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, rainbow coleslaw or even some legumes such as sprouts.
To find out more about Futurelife, visit www.futurelife.co.za.
- Thompson JL, Manore MM, Vaughan LA. Science of Nutrition. San Francisco: Pearson Education;2008.
- Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S, Raymond JL. Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process. Missouri;2012