Insights & Actions for Healthy Living
Recipe Renovation™ to Reduce the Sodium in Our Sandwiches

Recipe Renovation™ to Reduce the Sodium in Our Sandwiches

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 ItemSodiumRenovationSodiumSodium Reduced
White Bread - 1 sliceWheat Bread - 1 slice
159 mgRegular sliced 138 mg 21 mg
Thin sliced 106 mg 53 mg
Burger Bun 206 mgPita Bread 4" wheat 117 mg 89 mg
Rye Bread - 1 slice 151 mgPumpernickel - 1 slice 119 mg 32 mg
Ciabatta Roll 440 mgHard Roll / Kaiser Roll 310 mg 130 mg
Wheat Bread - 1 slice 138 mgLettuce Leaf Wrap <50 mg 85 mg
Croissant 266 mgTortilla wheat 6" 131 mg 135 mg
American Cheese 1oz 300 mgLacey Swiss Cheese 1oz 35 mg 265 mg
Bologna 1oz 360 mgTurkey Bologna 260 mg 100 mg
Turkey Breast 1oz 300 mgNo Salt Added Turkey 1oz 170 mg 280 mg
Bacon 1 slice 185 mgTurkey Bacon 1 slice 80 mg 105 mg
Ketchup 1 tbsp 178 mgLower Sodium Ketchup 1 tbsp 5 mg 173 mg
Fresh Tomato Slice 1 mg 177 mg
Pickle slices 1oz (not whole pickle) 363 mgPickle relish 1 tbsp 164 mg 199 mg
Fresh Cucumber Slice 2 mg 361 mg
Mayonnaise 1 tbsp 88 mgLow Sodium Mayonnaise 1 tbsp 15 mg 73 mg
Salt 1 tsp2325 mgPepper 1 tsp 0 mg 2325 mg
Sea Salt 1 tsp1960 mg 365 mg

turkey luncheon meat labels

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 SandwichSodiumSandwich RenovationSodiumSodium Reduced
Turkey Club

3 slices White Bread
2 oz turkey
1 slice bacon
1 oz Cheese
2463 mgLower 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 mg1182 mg (48%!)

sandwich side viewThe 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.

sandwich meat labelTry 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.

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