Top tips for healthier sandwiches

Your bread
Opt for denser whole-wheat, whole-grain or seeded breads with high fibre content.
When choosing from flat breads, pita or wraps use smaller portion sizes and choose whole grain or whole-wheat variants.

Now for the filling

  • Pilchards and sardines make wonderful, health-promoting sandwich fillings. 
  • Try tuna or skinless chicken (mixed with a combination of low oil mayonnaise and fat free plain yoghurt).
  • Vegetarian proteins, such as beans, hummus, nut butters, tahini, and tofu are a healthy alternative to processed meats.  Aim to have these on your sandwich at least twice a week.  
  • A serving of deli meat should be no more than 30-60 g.  This is because processed deli meats tend to be high in sodium.  Check the nutrition information tables and use varieties with the lowest amounts of sodium.


  • Pay attention to the portion of cheese you eat with your sandwich.  One serving is 30 g, or about the size of a match box.  
  • Choose cottage cheese, mozzarella and Ricotta cheese more often as these tend to be lower in fat and sodium.  
  • Avocado or hummus can take the place of cheese for a dairy-free or vegan option.  They also help to increase your intake of healthy fats.  

Vegetables and Fruits

  • Adding vegetables and fruits is a great way to make a sandwich healthier, tastier and more filling.  Go wild with building your veggie-based Dagwood!
  • Add sliced or shredded vegetables including beetroot, carrots, celery, cucumbers, onions, peppers, radishes, tomatoes and zucchini.
  • Add sliced fruits such as apple, avocado and pear for extra sweetness and crunch.

Condiments and Seasonings

  • When using condiments like tomato sauce or mayonnaise, pay attention to your portion.  A serving is about 1 tablespoon.  
  • Alternatives to commercially prepared condiments include: fruit relish, guacamole, horseradish, hummus, pesto and salsa.
  • Use herbs, spices and salt-free seasonings instead of salt to add flavour.
Adapted from the American Heart Association’s Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit.

Pick n Pay is committed to promoting health and wellbeing among South Africans, and employs the services of a registered dietitian to provide food and nutrition-related advice to the public. For more nutrition tips on healthy eating, email or call 0800 11 22 88.

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