Thanks to their portability and versatility, sandwiches are the reigning kings of summertime lunches. They’re easy to pack in a cooler for trips to the beach or pool and are quickly customized to a variety of taste preferences. Plus, with the right balance of healthy carbohydrates, protein and vegetables, sandwiches can also be a great nutrition choice.
However, one of the most popular sandwich toppings can easily add 100 extra calories and 10 grams of fat to your sandwich—and that’s only if you stick to the recommended serving size. That’s right: we’re talking about mayonnaise.
Luckily, there are several other healthier—and tastier!—options for sandwich spreads. Here are five options to consider when making your next sandwich:
It’s not just for dipping carrots and pita chips. Hummus is a great, protein-packed addition to your go-to sandwich or wrap. While you can find plenty of different flavors to try in the store, you can also make your own. Try this quick five-minute base recipe and add whatever additions you like to spice it up—like roasted red peppers, olives or even avocado.
Even though it’s traditionally thought of as a topping for hotdogs and hamburgers, mustard is a perfect low calorie option to add some flavor to your sandwiches. Plus, eating more mustard may actually have other health benefits—like inhibiting the growth of cancer cells—especially considering the health history of the mustard seed.
4. Mashed Avocado or Guacamole
Avocados are a well-known super food, but thanks to their creamy texture, they also make a great sandwich spread, either mashed plain or as part of your favorite guacamole recipe. If you’re packing up your sandwich to take on the go, just add a little lemon or lime juice to your mashed avocado to keep it from turning brown before lunchtime.
5. Tzatziki Sauce
Greek yogurt makes a fine substitute for mayonnaise if you’re making tuna or chicken salad, but if you’re just looking for something to spread on your sandwich, try jazzing it up with this tzatziki sauce that is low calorie and full of Mediterranean flavor.
So, next time you’re putting together your favorite sandwich combination, mix it up with one of these five tasty spreads. And if you just aren’t ready to say goodbye to mayo, make sure you stick to a serving size or consider making your own at home to avoid the soybean oil and GMOs that are typically used in store bought versions.
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