Cut the Salt in Savory Sandwiches

Cut the Salt in Savory Sandwiches

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You’ve heard for years to cut back on salt. Nearly half of American adults eat sandwiches on any given day. These meals account approximately for one-fifth of our sodium intake, according to a recent study. But just what does watching your sodium do for your health?

For one, your kidneys can suffer from too much salt. . Your kidneys leaving site icon play a key role in filtering sodium out of your blood. When they don’t work as well, more salt stays in your body, which can raise your blood pressure. Now you’re in a catch-22. Extra salt can also work against your body to add up to heart disease and strokes. leaving site icon

Build A Smarter Sandwich

Most Americans have far more than the 2,300 daily mg of sodium recommended for healthy adults leaving site icon (those with high blood pressure or heart problems should stick to 1,500 mg). Cut back on salt and your blood pressure can drop in a matter of weeks.

To reduce your sandwich’s damage:

  • Mind your meats. Just six thin slices of cold cuts or cured meats can provide as much as half of your daily sodium needs. Check nutrition labels for lower-sodium versions.
  • Back off on bread. Whether white, wheat, or pumpernickel, bread and rolls also count as a major source of salt. Yeah, not just a carb load, but a salt load, too! One slice can contain anywhere from 80 to 230 mg of sodium—so opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added versions.
  • Cut out condiments. Use only a small amount of barbecue sauce, mustard, ketchup, horseradish, or pickles. Instead, flavor your food with a garlic-infused oil or spread, herbs, and spices.
  • Peek at your peanut butter. Just a two tablespoon serving of your childhood favorite peanut butter leaving site icon can have 40 mg to 250 mg of sodium. (Organic versions tend to have less.) Try reduced sodium or unsalted peanut butters for less salt and better flavor. Besides, higher sodium peanut butters tend to mask the peanut flavor.
More Ways To Shake Your Salt Shaker

Other healthier lunch tips include:

  • Add veggies. They help decrease your blood pressure by providing potassium and other nutrients.
  • Go halvsies. Eat a half sandwich with a side salad. Use low-sodium dressing or plain oil and vinegar.
  • Check nutrition facts. Most chain restaurants offer them. If your favorite lunch spot doesn’t, ask them to provide details—and lower-sodium offerings.
  • Can the soup. If you typically eat a bowl of canned soup or instant soup with your sandwich, ditch it! Both are usually high in sodium. Look for low-sodium choices or make your own and freeze into daily lunch- sized portions.

Use our digital recipe book to search for healthy, delicious recipes by health consideration, meal type or world cuisines.

How do you keep salt from snowballing in your diet?

Originally published 9/21/2015; Revised 2019, 2022