Tuna sandwiches are quick and easy to make and have great nutritional value. With everyone seemingly pressed for time and eating on the run how can we grab a quick sandwich that is easy to make yet healthy? Fortunately the packaging today makes it easier. We’ll take a quick look at some nutritional pros and cons of tuna and then some easy recipes.
These days there are many different varieties of tuna and tuna in many different packaging available. Consider these points. The great thing is tuna has no saturated fat, no sugar, is high in niacin, selenium and Vitamin B-12 but can be higher in cholesterol and sodium.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Some come in water others in oils. Ideally, select those in water. Oils can increase the fat content and can change the texture of the tuna itself.
(In recent years some studies have discussed and shown an increase in certain metals in canned foods from the metal of the cans especially if the food has been in cans for a prolonged period of time.) Some cans you can mix ingredients in the can or empty into a bowl then mix and you are good to go.
Nutritional Content: (average serving size) Calories: 157; Fat: 1.4g Protein: 25g
Packaged, Non-Canned Tuna
Packaged tuna is an alternative for those concerned about the potential metals that may be absorbed into the tuna from storage in cans. These are great for adding ingredients and mixing right in the bag and ready to go.
Nutritional Content: (average serving size) Calories: 30 calories, Fat: 0.5 g, Protein: 24g
Just pick up from your local grocery, fish market or sushi bar. Add a few ingredients or drizzle with olive oil and have a great sandwich.
Nutritional Content: (average steak) Calories: 123 for medium piece, Fat: 7g, Protein: 27.6g.
Ready Made Sandwich Spreads
These can be a good alternative but tend to be higher in fat, sodium and sugars because of the ingredients they use and to prolong shelf life. Just look at the label and see how many ingredients you can actually pronounce.
As with the huge popularity of cooking shows there is also a huge spice industry that has expanded to every day eating and even the simplest recipes can turn exotic.
Instead of the usual salt and pepper, add or use different spices altogether. Salt adds sodium. Use premade seasoning combinations but watch the salt content. Some add salt others do not. If you need a flavor kick and to add some color try ground sage, or basil for a sweet taste or paprika or turmeric, and garlic for subtle flavors. If you like a bit more of a spicy flare try a sprinkle or two of cayenne pepper or even sprinkle mixtures used for dry rubs. These are a great alternative to just pepper and keep the sodium levels down.
Use dried fruits, nuts, or vegetables to add some fun, color and texture to your sandwich. Dried fruits can give a softer texture than nuts and add a bit of sweetness. If you have to watch your sugar intake nuts or vegetables are other alternatives for more protein. Chop up celery and red, yellow or green bell peppers for color and sweetness or grate carrots into short strips for a different spin. Although nuts are great sources of protein they are higher in fat but you don’t need many. Fruits and vegetables are very low in calories but add great flavor.
Mayo and Other Binders
Mayo and other sauces are often used to help hold the ingredients together but contain sugars and fats for flavor. Use light or fat-free mayo or try yogurt or sour cream, the lighter and fat-free versions of course. You can also use grated cheeses with oils such as parmesan and olive oils as binders to hold the ingredients together.
The traditional sandwich is typically surrounded by two pieces of bread. Now we have so many more options with less sugars and carbohydrates and calories.
Tortilla wraps – Wheat, spinach, chickpea, and even gluten free and wheat free wraps are available.
Pita Bread – great pockets of light, thinner bread, also available in different varieties, give just a little bit of your carbohydrate intake for the day without eating more bread than there are ingredients.
Endive Leaf – yes, endive the vegetable. Depending upon the leaf you can either hold lengthwise or simply roll the ingredients in the leaf. Quick and easy.
As you can see you can make any type of sandwich with healthy ingredients and great flavor without a low calories, low sugar, low sodium but higher protein advantages. Use these tips with any sandwich or meal preparation.
Experiment with seasonings and have fun with food. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor to enjoy healthy and energizing foods.
Sample 1 : In small bowl:
Add can, package or one tuna steak cut into 1/4 inch pieces. (Drained)
Add 2 Tbsp. fat free yogurt. 1/4 c dried cranberries.
1/4 c. chopped celery.
1 tsp basil.
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic
Add more seasonings to taste and more yogurt for desired consistency and texture.
Sample 2: In small bowl:
Add tuna as above.
1/4 c diced tomatoes
1/4 c chopped red onion
1/8 c. grated parmesan cheese
Add 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic
Adjust seasonings and olive oil to taste and texture.
Sample 3: In small bowl:
Add fresh tuna steak cut into small pieces
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp sea salt.
If using with wrap or pita add leaf of lettuce and slice tomato.
Using endive leave off lettuce.