Special Reports

Diet Detours: Sandwich showdown!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Whether you get takeout for lunch or grab a sandwich on the go, you can still stay on a healthy course.

Before you pick up your next lunchtime favorite, check with us because some of the diet detours between two pieces of bread just might surprise you!

Registered dietician Joyce Nichols runs a nutrition and fitness company called The Bikini Kitchen. She says some healthy sandwich options might surprise you.

Guess which Potbelly pick is better for the kids: Big Jack's PB and J or a pizza sandwich complete with pepperoni?

"They are going to think, 'Let's opt for the peanut butter and jelly, that's got to be healthier because of the nuts and the grapes and the jelly,'" said Joyce. "But this actually has over 800 calories and 38 grams of fat, which is way too much for a child to consume."

So prepare for your first big surprise!

"Let them eat pizza!" exclaimed Joyce. "Eat pizza, kids!"

Because we chose the thin crust bread, we shaved off 100 calories and got this sandwich down to 384 calories and 18 grams of fat..

Now to a chicken sandwich challenge: Potbelly's chicken salad versus the grilled chicken and cheddar.

"I think the biggest thing about a chicken salad sandwich is that people forget about the mayo," said Joyce.

That calorie-laden condiment is your diet detour. The chicken salad sandwich came in at 591 calories.

Even with the cheese, the grilled chicken option is your winner at 470 calories and 14 grams of fat.

Now to Wawa, where two hometown favorites go head-to-head: the cheese steak versus the classic meatball Shorti.

"Everyone is going to be so excited that I am actually going to give the okay on this," said Joyce.

The iconic Philly cheese steak is the victor with 440 calories and 17 grams of fat compared to the 620 calories and 32 grams in that meatball sub.

Now here's a tough one: Wawa's Chicken Strip Sandwich versus the chicken salad sandwich?

With 550 calories and roughly 23 grams it fat it still beats the chicken salad which has an additional 160 calories and 14 more grams of fat.

So the lesson of the day is no mayo.

At Subway, the two sandwiches in the ring are the chicken and bacon Ranch Melt versus the Steak and Cheese.

"There are a lot of folks who say I will choose chicken over red meat," said Joyce. "Not this time."

The cheese steak actually has 380 calories versus 570 for the Chicken and Bacon Melt.

Finally, Subway's sweet onion chicken teriyaki sandwich goes up against the tuna sub.

"You might think, 'I am going to eat lighter. I am going to eat tuna,'" said Joyce. "You are really making a detour."

Once again, the mayo sends it up to 470 calories versus the 380 in the chicken sandwich.

So instead of mayo, opt for avocado or greek yogurt or choose a lower calorie option like mustard, salsa or a balsamic vinaigrette. And be sure to add lots of onions and herbs for flavor!

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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diet, special reports, alicia vitarelli
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