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Diet Sandwich How-To Advice from a Dietician

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Sandwiches can be part of a healthy diet advises dietician

Have you given up sandwiches to meet your dieting goals? It’s not necessary if you learn how to do sandwiches the right way with this diet sandwich how-to advice from Dietitian Patricia Bannan. Plus, one example on how to create a healthy and delicious tuna sandwich without the mayo.


According to Dietitian Patricia Bannan, "Sandwiches can be a dietary disaster, or they can be a nutrition powerhouse. It's the size of the sandwich and what you put in it," says Ms. Bannan for an ABC Eyewitness News report about how you can create healthy sandwiches for dieting.

News Video on Creating a Diet Sandwich

Key Points on Creating a Diet Sandwich

Pick the right sandwich stuffers. Choosing healthier option proteins, fats and carbohydrates is the key to making a sandwich for any type of healthy meal plan.

Rather than lose a component, go for quality. Lay off the packaged and processed deli meat you probably had as a kid for your school lunch. Choose fresh sliced turkey or chicken breast from a roast or the grill.

Non-meat protein alternatives work well. Tofu, hummus, beans or a breakfast egg with some low-fat cheese are good choices.

Grill up extra vegetables. Have those extra grilled vegetables in the fridge on hand for adding to your sandwich creation to add flavor and fiber.

Use Old Bread. By “Old Bread” we mean breads baked using ancient unmodified grain mixes such as amaranth, millet, buckwheat, rye, spelt and quinoa that offer much more flavor and fiber than processed white sandwich bread.

Spice up your spread. Now’s the time to get inventive by going with just a tablespoon of a wide variety of mustards that you’ve never tried before that are a better choice than butter and mayo.

Mayo-Free Tuscan Tuna and Bean Sandwich Recipe

Speaking of mayo, mayo is the real reason why we find that tuna fish sandwich so appealing—and so fattening. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s a mayo-free way to create a delicious Tuscan tuna and bean sandwich for dieting:

Ingredients for 4 servings (Sandwiches)

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• 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper


• 2 (6-ounce) cans Italian tuna in oil, drained
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley
• ¼ cup pitted Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, finely chopped
• 1 celery rib, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ⅛ teaspoon black pepper


• 8 (⅓-inch-thick) slices rustic Italian bread or 4 oval panini rolls
• 1 cup loosely packed, trimmed watercress sprigs


In a medium bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork. Stir in garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, 2 tablespoons parsley, and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, flake tuna with a fork, then stir in basil, olives, celery, onion, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper.

Spoon one-quarter of bean mixture on each of four bread slices, and then top each with one-quarter of the tuna mixture. Top with watercress and close sandwiches. Serve.

For more dieting advice from a dietician, here are 5 Diet Foods You Should Never Eat.


ABC 7 Eyewitness News―”Expert tips to make sandwiches a great part of dieting

Epicurious.com―“Tuscan Tuna-and-Bean Sandwiches