By Mike Pomranz
Updated July 27, 2016
Sandwiches Are Hurting Your Diet
Credit: © Getty Images/iStockphoto

A sandwich might be an easy meal choice, but that casual attitude toward getting something to eat apparently also results in a more lax attitude when it comes to nutrition, and it could be compromising your diet according to a recent study published in the journal Public Health.

In a paper entitled “Sandwich consumption in relation to daily dietary intake and diet quality among US adults, 2003–2012,” researchers at the University of Illinois pored over a decade’s worth of data on sandwich eating culled from 27,075 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Remarkably, on any given day over this period, around 53.2 percent of US adults consumed sandwiches. (No wonder Subway is able to stay in business.) But as incredible as Americans’ hunger for sandwiches may be, the health ramifications proved even more intriguing: On the days people ate sandwiches they also consumed close to 100 more calories, as well as more sodium and fat, according to Live Science. In smaller ways, eating sandwiches was also associated with an increase in sugar intake and a drop in consumption of vegetables, fruit and fiber. Sounds like our BLTs could use a bit more “L” and “T.”

Basically, though sandwiches excel in convenience, they often suck nutritionally. According to Ruopeng An, who co-authored the study, the sandwiches Americans reach for, like those filled with cold cuts, burgers and poultry, tend to be high in calories, fat and sodium, and low in produce. His team’s conclusion, “Consumers should prudently evaluate the calorie/nutrient content of a sandwich in order to make healthier dietary choices.”

An’s tips for healthier sammies: Use whole wheat bread, go with more vegetables and less meat, avoid processed meats, and stay away from fatty dressings like mayo. He also suggested making your sandwiches yourself so you know exactly what’s going into them. I guess that means I’m supposed to stop having my mom make my sandwiches for me.