, Diet.com's Diet and Fitness News Reporter
by Shauna Schultz, Diet.com Contributor and Registered Dietitian
Sandwiches are practically an American staple for lunch, and delis offer a fast and convenient option when grabbing lunch on-the-go.
They also seem much healthier than fast food - but are they?
Does the sandwich board leave you at loss when it comes to choosing the healthiest sandwich? Today we'll cover tips on navigating deli menus for healthier fare along with the top 5 best and worst deli sandwiches.
--Consult your Diet.com Dining Out Guide.
This handy guide offers general dining out tips along with healthy choices for 20 different cuisines! You can even print a copy to keep with you. To view healthier deli picks, click here
--Visit restaurant websites and view the menu.
Some restaurants also offer nutrition information. Knowing what you want before you head in the door makes it easier to stick to your healthy eating plan.
• Pick healthy deli chains.
Some deli chains such as Subway have a healthy section on their menu to order from. For example, at Subway, you can order a sandwich with less than 6 grams of fat and balance it out with fruit and water.
• Skip "salad" sandwich fillings.
Tuna and chicken salad is code word for mayo-laden salad. Unless the deli offers low-fat tuna or chicken salads, save these for home where you can save hundreds of calories.
• Choose the right bread.
Go for whole wheat or whole grain bread whenever you can - you'll add more filling fiber. To save calories, choose sliced bread over rolls or fancy bread such as foccacia or cibatta.
• Choose lean meat.
Stick with lean meats such as turkey breast, lean ham, lean roast beef or chicken breast. Skip higher fat meats such as salami, bologna, mortadella or pastrami.
• Easy on the cheese please!
The best thing about a deli - you can be specific about what you want. Instead of the 3-4 slices of cheese that may accompany your sandwich, ask for just one slice.
• Spread wisely.
Skip that mayo, aioli or cream cheese and opt for spicy mustard instead for flavor. Or, ask for a thin spread of flavorful pesto.
• Move over melts!
Melt is codeword for oodles of cheese. Skip hot sandwiches that are drowned in cheese or skip the cheese.
• Veggie doesn't equal healthy.
Many assume that a veggie sandwich is healthy. This is not the case. Many veggie sandwiches come loaded with cheese, cream cheese, avocado or other creamy spreads. Choose veggie sandwiches with one high-fat item and look for those that really pile on the veggies! Hummus is a great, healthy and low-fat spread.
• What about those sides?
Sides can make or break your order. Skip pre-made, fatty sides such as potato or macaroni salad and ask for broth-based soup, green salad or fruit instead.
5 Best and Worst American Menu Items
OK, so we talked about how to navigate deli sandwich menus and order healthfully, but you may be left wondering, what's the bottom line? Or, what specific sandwiches should I steer clear from and what sandwiches earn a green light? Check out the following 5 best and worst deli sandwich items and navigate that menu with ease and confidence!
Danger Zone - 5 Worst Deli Sandwiches
Based on a "regular" sandwich or about 6-8 inches.
• Rueben: 750 calories, 40g fat
• Chicken Salad: 750 calories, 43g fat
• Veggie ... Continue