Italian hero

A 6-inch traditional hero usually calls for salami, ham, prosciutto, provolone, pepperoni, and oil and vinegar dressing, on Italian bread.

868 calories, 49g fat, 2,495mg sodium, 3g fiber

Better Italian hero

Swap in low-sodium roast turkey for the ham, pepperoni and salami, though keep the cheese and prosciutto for that authentic Italian flavor. Use romaine lettuce for more fiber and only red-wine vinegar, instead of the dressing. Top with sliced onion and tomato; sprinkle with oregano and black pepper.

509 calories, 13g fat, 1,600mg sodium, 4g fiber


Turkey and Swiss

We think of this as a “healthy” sandwich, but it’s still high in sodium and calories, and the standard tomato, iceberg lettuce and white bread offer little fiber.

667 calories, 33g fat, 2,299mg sodium, 4g fiber

Better Turkey and Swiss

Use 5 ounces deli-style turkey and 1 slice Swiss. Add raw baby spinach and slices of avocado; serve on whole-grain bread.

597 calories, 24g fat, 1,642mg sodium, 12g fiber.


Roast Beef

The kaiser roll classic is really high in sodium; much of the fat comes from toppings such as mayo and sour cream.

538 calories, 24g fat, 3,158mg sodium, 3g fiber

Better roast beef

Cut down to 4 ounces roast beef and 1 slice Monterey Jack cheese; include sliced onion and a handful of arugula. Instead of mayo and sour cream, top with 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish and 1 teaspoon hot sauce, for extra flavor.

427 calories, 15g fat, 1,990mg sodium, 3g fiber


Tuna melt

These can be packed with sugary pickle relish and lots of mayo.

627 calories, 32g fat, 1,185mg sodium, 3g fiber

Better tuna melt

After draining water, mix tuna with diced red onion, celery and pickle, and 1 teaspoon each mayo and lemon juice. Top bell pepper halves with tuna and ½ slice cheddar. Bake at 300°F for 7 minutes.

327 calories, 13g fat, 673mg sodium, 4g fiber


Meatball sub

Typically, this hoagie comes loaded with four meatballs plus shredded mozzarella.

745 calories, 43g fat, 1,039mg sodium, 4g fiber

Better meatball sub

To cut calories, reduce to three meatballs on half a hoagie roll. Add spinach for fiber; go light with the cheese. Recipe: 3 meatballs, ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella, ½ cup raw spinach, Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons marinara sauce on an open-faced white hoagie roll. 528 calories,

528 calories, 32g fat, 704mg sodium, 2g fiber


Smears to You

Sandwich spreads, by the tablespoon

  • Yellow mustard 0 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 grams sugar
  • Honey mustard 65 calories, 5.5 grams fat, 3 grams sugar
  • Ketchup 15 calories, 0 grams fat, 3 grams sugar
  • Mayo90 calories, 10 grams fat, 0 grams sugar
  • Russian dressing 53 calories, 4 grams fat, 3 grams sugar
  • Salsa 4 calories, 0 grams fat, 1 gram sugar
  • Balsamic vinegar & olive oil20 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 grams sugar
  • Fig jam33 calories, 0 grams fat, 7 grams sugar
  • Butter 102 calories, 12 grams fat, 0 grams sugar

  • Article written by Kelsey Ogletree for AARP: https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2021/healthy-sandwich-recipes.html

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