There’s likely no American food staple with a less threatening name than the humble sandwich. It’s a friendly name, a light name. A name that doesn’t make you think about fat, calories or sodium. It’s just a sandwich.
It’s such a friendly, welcoming, delicious name that 49% of Americans will eat one today. They’ll spread mayonnaise, or mustard, or dare I say pesto, between two pieces of bread. Then they’ll put – well they’ll put whatever they want in between the slices. A sandwich is diverse. If fulfills any taste and any dietary restriction.
And that’s why, according to a new study from the US Department of Agriculture, the sandwich is so dangerous. Researchers compiled data from a 2010 survey called “What We Eat in America” to discover that nearly half of Americans eat a sandwich on any given day.
They also found two innocent slices of bread can hide a myriad of health traps, the most significant of which is sodium. On average, a single sandwich fulfills 30 to 46% of our daily sodium allotment.
Finally, researchers found sandwich eaters typically consume 300 calories more than their sliced-bread-avoiding counterparts.
“The unanticipated finding that sandwich consumption is associated with higher overall intake of energy underscores the importance of making healthful choices of sandwich ingredients,” the study’s co-author Cecilia Wilkinson Enns told Medical News Today.
It seems the authors took a non-restrictive definition of sandwich, counting burgers and hot dogs along with paninis and wraps, which shows that a sandwich can be a curse but also a blessing. Pick the right ingredients and sandwiches can still be a healthy option.
So as half of us grasp our sliced-bread creations today, remember that like a true friend, it’s what’s on the inside that counts (and of course so does the bread, make sure you pick a whole wheat variety). Need more tips? Check out 5 Fast Lunches for Building More Muscle.