Sandwich Switch

Turn your favorite heros and hoagies into health powerhouses. Dietitian Rachel Paul and Michelle Hanson show how.

Turkey and Swiss

We think of this as a “healthy” sandwich, but it’s still high in sodium and calories, and the standard tomato, iceberg lettuce and white bread offer little fiber.  Calories 667, fat 33g, sodium 2299mg, fiber 4g.

Better Turkey and Swiss

Use 5 ounces deli-style turkey and 1 slice Swiss. Add raw baby spinach and slices of avocado; serve on whole-grain bread. Calories 597, fat 24g, sodium 1,642mg, fiber 12g.

Better Yet: To reduce sodium: use 5 ounces of roasted turkey leg instead of deli turkey and have a total of 502mg of sodium for the sandwich.





Roast Beef

The kaiser roll classic is really high in sodium and loaded with fat, but it’s also easy to adjust; much of the bad stuff comes from the toppings such as mayo and sour cream, which can be cut out with a little creative swapping. Calories 538, fat 24g, 3,158mg sodium, fiber 3g.

Better Roast Beef

Cut down to 4 ounces roast beef and omit the sour cream and mayonnaise. Instead, add 1 slice of Monterey Jack cheese and then top with 2 tsp horseradish and 1 tsp hot sauce to boost flavor. Include greens and red onion for high powered lunch.  Calories 427, fat 15g, sodium 1,990mg, fiber 3g.

Better Yet:  To reduce sodium:  Select 4 ozs of lean roast beef and select a low sodium hot sauce in addition to the ingredients listed above to have a total of 958 mg of sodium or less.

Meatball Sub

Typically, this hoagie comes loaded with four meatballs plus shredded mozzarella. Calories 725, fat 43g, sodium 1,039mg.

Better Meatball Sub

Cut down to 3 meatballs on half a hoagie roll. Add ½ c spinach for fiber; use 1/3c shredded mozzarella, Italian seasoning, and 2 T marinara sauce on an open-faced white hoagie roll. Calories 528, fat 32g, sodium 704mg, fiber 2g. If you can find a low sodium marinara sauce, that will reduce the total sodium content.


Tuna Melt

These can be packed with sugary pickle relish and lots of mayo. Calories 627, fat 32g, sodium 1185mg, fiber 3g.

Better Tuna Melt

After draining water, mix tuna with diced red onion, celery and pickle, and one tsp each of mayo and lemon juice. Top bell pepper halves with tuna and ½ slice of cheddar cheese. Bake at 300°F for 7 minutes.  Calories 327, fat 13g, sodium 673mg, fiber 4g.

General guidelines:

The recommended daily sodium intake is 2300mg or less. Thus, if purchasing premade entrees, shoot for about 700mg or less per entrée.

The nutrition labels on food products are based upon an individual that requires approximately 2000 calories per day to maintain their weight.  Given that assumption, it would be most beneficial to one’s health to divide the total calories needed to maintain their weight throughout the day.

Every person’s maintenance caloric level will vary depending upon their age, current weight, height, gender, and their activity level.


Kelsey Ogletree, Food and Health for AARP magazine, December 2021 and Michelle Hanson, MA, RDN,LD, Dietitian Consultant for Fresh & Natural Foods, June, 2023

Author: Michelle Hanson

Michelle Hanson, MA, RD, LD is Fresh & Natural Food’s Registered Dietitian. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics with a minor in Community Health from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She is a registered dietitian and current member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Michelle has been a nutrition consultant for numerous years as well as a nutrition research director at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Michelle is passionate about food and nutrition and believes in helping people find simple, realistic ways to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lifestyle.
If you are interested in meeting Michelle or have questions for her, you can email her at: She will look forward to meeting you!