Easy Lunch Substitutions to Save Calories, Carbs, and Sodium

If you are trying to lose weight along with managing your blood glucose, consider these calorie, carbohydrate, and sodium substitutions suggested by certified diabetes educator Tami Ross and culinary nutritionist Jackie Newgent.

To reduce calories

TR: Nestle your lunch sandwich between two slices of light whole wheat bread rather than regular bread.
Calorie savings = 100

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JN: Enjoy hummus or bean dip in place of mayonnaise. It’ll pump up the protein and soluble fiber to boost satiety while providing fewer calories.
Calorie savings per tablespoon = 55

To reduce carbohydrates

TR: Dunk one cup of cucumber slices in salsa rather than 15 tortilla chips.
Carb savings = 27 grams (plus bonus 200 calories!)

JN: Go breadless by serving traditional burrito, wrap, or sandwich fillings chopped up in a bowl with extra leafy greens or non-starchy vegetables; squirt with lemon or lime or splash with vinegar.
Carb savings = 30–40 grams (plus bonus 150 calories!)

To reduce sodium

TR: Add crunch to a salad with [unsalted] almonds, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, toasted sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds instead of bacon bits and croutons. For one tablespoon of raw almonds versus one tablespoon of bacon bits, sodium savings = 170 mg.

JN: Upgrade a deli sandwich or salad by using leftover grilled or roasted fresh chicken, turkey, or pork. Add international intrigue [and flavor] with spices. For 4 ounces of fresh roasted chicken versus 4 ounces of turkey deli meat, sodium savings = 670 mg.