We’ve all have been hearing a lot recently that our children are eating too much sodium on a daily basis and that one of the prime culprits is the sandwiches we give them.
Many of us also find ourselves choosing sandwiches that are high in sodium as a way to get a quick meal (I won’t even mention the chips we might have with those sandwiches).
What exactly is adding to the sodium from our sandwiches? It is almost hard to believe until we stop to think about what choices we make for protein between the bread and even the condiments we squeeze or spoon onto the bread or roll.
On any given day in America half of us pick a sandwich to eat. The sodium in the sandwiches could contribute close to 50% of the total sodium in our diet that day (maybe more). That doesn’t include the chips, soup and pickle we eat with our sandwich!
So does that mean sandwiches are to be avoided at all costs? Definitely not! Sandwich on but let’s make those sandwiches a little bit healthier with the following renovations!
Sodium in Our Sandwiches
Let’s take a look at some sample sandwich components and the sodium them bring with them:
|Food Item||Sodium||Renovation||Sodium||Sodium Reduced|
|White Bread - 1 slice||Wheat Bread - 1 slice|
|159 mg||Regular sliced||138 mg||21 mg|
|Thin sliced||106 mg||53 mg|
|Burger Bun||206 mg||Pita Bread 4" wheat||117 mg||89 mg|
|Rye Bread - 1 slice||151 mg||Pumpernickel - 1 slice||119 mg||32 mg|
|Ciabatta Roll||440 mg||Hard Roll / Kaiser Roll||310 mg||130 mg|
|Wheat Bread - 1 slice||138 mg||Lettuce Leaf Wrap||<50 mg||85 mg|
|Croissant||266 mg||Tortilla wheat 6"||131 mg||135 mg|
|American Cheese 1oz||300 mg||Lacey Swiss Cheese 1oz||35 mg||265 mg|
|Bologna 1oz||360 mg||Turkey Bologna||260 mg||100 mg|
|Turkey Breast 1oz||300 mg||No Salt Added Turkey 1oz||170 mg||280 mg|
|Bacon 1 slice||185 mg||Turkey Bacon 1 slice||80 mg||105 mg|
|Ketchup 1 tbsp||178 mg||Lower Sodium Ketchup 1 tbsp||5 mg||173 mg|
|Fresh Tomato Slice||1 mg||177 mg|
|Pickle slices 1oz (not whole pickle)||363 mg||Pickle relish 1 tbsp||164 mg||199 mg|
|Fresh Cucumber Slice||2 mg||361 mg|
|Mayonnaise 1 tbsp||88 mg||Low Sodium Mayonnaise 1 tbsp||15 mg||73 mg|
|Salt 1 tsp||2325 mg||Pepper 1 tsp||0 mg||2325 mg|
|Sea Salt 1 tsp||1960 mg||365 mg|
Recipe Renovation™ Time!
How do we reduce the sodium our kids (and we) are getting without giving up our sandwiches? We renovate them, that’s how!
Here’s a sample sandwich Recipe Renovation™:
|Typical Sandwich||Sodium||Sandwich Renovation||Sodium||Sodium Reduced|
3 slices White Bread
2 oz turkey
1 slice bacon
1 oz Cheese
|2463 mg||Lower Sodium Turkey Sandwich|
2 slices of Wheat Bread
2 oz No Salt Added Turkey
1 oz Lacey Swiss Cheese
Fresh Tomato Slice
2 Cucumber slices
1 tbsp Low Sodium Mayonnaise
1 tsp Pickle Relish
|1281 mg||1182 mg (48%!)|
The recommended amount of sodium per day is 2,300 mgs for adults and if you already have high blood pressure the American Heart Association recommends only 1,500 mgs per day.
The typical sandwich above exceeds the daily recommendations and that is without added salt!
The lower sodium renovation is 56% of the recommendation for the entire day so could still be made lower by eliminating the pickle relish or by using thin sliced bread to further lower the sodium content by 164 mg.
If you eat only half a sandwich, maybe combined with a side salad or fresh fruit cup, you would further be lowering your sodium intake.
Check the Label for Sodium
When we buy our own foods from the supermarket and make our own sandwiches we can read the nutrition fact panel and select the lowest sodium items. All brands vary on their sodium content even in the same food type. For example, all turkey or bacon has different sodium levels so find the lowest one you can buy.
Try a lot of different products until you find the ones your taste buds prefer. It may take a little time to adjust to the different flavor that lowering the sodium can bring.
Be careful when you eat out and are not in control of the actual food products. If we were using an Italian cold cut sandwich from a sub shop and at the long version we would be consuming 2,520 mgs of sodium in the sandwich alone (no salt from the shaker added yet!).
Individually, each of the savings on the renovated food items may not seem like much until you add it onto a complete sandwich. Being savvy about the amount of sodium you eat can mean a big difference in your health, heart health and blood pressure.
The little bit of time you spend getting the facts on your foods at the grocery store will pay off in your health.