Now That's What I Call a Sandwich

By Judy Davie, The Food Coach

The next time you decide to have a sandwich for lunch, think beyond grabbing the nearest and quickest one that sounds tasty enough. Apart from the obvious, that it should taste great, for good health and to sustain you for several hours into the afternoon how you construct a sandwich must be carefully considered, from the type of bread right down to those little condiments that are easily overlooked.

First the bread

Ideally choose a wholegrain sourdough. It's the most digestible bread there is, and with the combination of sourdough starter in place of yeast and the whole grains, this bread has a lower GI than many other breads. It also has more B group vitamins and protein. If wholegrain sourdough is unavailable choose a wholemeal flat bread wrap, or other grainy bread/roll. Don't choose white Turkish, baguette, or plain white bread as they all taste of nothing, have a high GI and are nutritionally valueless.

What to spread over the bread?

Avocado - that's it. Forget the butter, margarines or even those cholesterol-lowering spreads (the chances are the sandwich shop won't offer that anyway). Avocado is a monounsaturated fat with cholesterol lowering properties and has the added advantage of fibre, Vitamin E with a great taste.

At this point ask for some capers

Why now and why the capers? The capers will attach themselves to the avocado and being vinegary they will help you digest the sandwich. Lemon juice or baby cornichons would have the same effect.

Add some protein

For satiety lean protein served at each meal is important and especially important in the middle of the day when you have a lot to do in the afternoon. I stress lean, which means steer clear of the crumbed schnitzels and chopped chicken where the skin is often left on. A great choice is tuna, salmon, and egg (provided they are not mixed up with mayonnaise) lean beef and lean chicken. This part of the sandwich holds the key to staying satisfied for at least three hours after eating.

Would you like some salad?

YES you would and lots of it. If you aim to eat five serves of veggies a day you have to add enough salad to make up two of those serves. And why? If you're sitting in an air-conditioned office all day exposed to whatever germs are being passed around, saying yes to salad is a preventative measure to protect you against infection. It also bulks up your lunch and helps you fill up on low energy nutrient dense food.

Choose rocket instead of pale green cos or iceberg lettuce as it contains many more antioxidants including betacarotene, carotenoids, lutein and zeanthin, vitamins C, K, folate, iron, magnesium amongst other nutrients. A few onions (never mind the breath) as they contain sulphur compounds and antioxidants thought to help protect against cancer and heart disease, tomato for antioxidants lycopene and vitamin C, carrot for beta carotene and fibre, beetroot for folate and fibre, and sprouts for more of all the above.

Finish with some cracked black pepper as it can help boost the metabolism and a little salt to enhance the flavour of it all.