Free Diet Menu #8: BLT Sandwich
Written by Thin Thin
Keys to Making a Lighter, Leaner BLT Sandwich
Can you really enjoy a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich while you're attempting to lose unwanted fat? Yes you can - and we'll show you how.
Before we get started with our tips, let's take a moment to point out that this sandwich contains all five of the official food groups when a slice of low fat (40 calorie) cheese is added - or a side of reduced fat yogurt or light cottage cheese:
Grain Group: Use whole grain bread and dare to be different; rather than reaching for the white wheat bread, try rye instead - or use a kangaroo or pita pocket.
Vegetable Group: Lettuce
Protein Group: That would be the bacon.
Dairy Group: That slice of reduced fat cheese that we referenced earlier.
Fruit Group: Tomato
While bacon can present a lot of fatty acid challenges, it can still be a part of a healthy daily diet plan.
After all, you know that at some point in time your weight loss plan is going to end; either you'll lose all of the unwanted weight - or unfortunately, the plan will end in failure (which is the case for more than 95% of individuals).
And when it ends (hopefully on a positive, happy note) you'll have to face former 'food demons' from your past eating plan. For many post-dieters, bacon is near the top of the list.
Creating Your BLT, Tips for Holding Down Caloric Values
Hot Spots for BLT's
1. Mayo; just say 'nay-o' to Mayo and opt for the lighter creamy spreads of salad dressing instead. But if you can't do without your full-blown wonder, then spread it on thin.
2. Bacon; those fattier cuts can bulk up the plate when pan fried. We have tips to assist below.
3. Bread; gourmet varieties can come to the meal plate containing hefty caloric values - some at more than 150 kcals per slice. It requires two to prepare our sandwich, so we're already looking at 300 kcals which is not a good base. Therefore, look for the varieties holding 40 to 70 kcals per slice.
Nutrition Labels Aren't Accurate Where Bacon (as well as other products) are Concerned
But it doesn't have to be avoided when these tips are followed:
Weeding the fattier bacon out of the available selections.
1. When shopping at the market, take time to look at the nutrition label. Note the fat distribution along with the caloric values.
Keep in mind that the nutrition label is a general rule of thumb that assists the consumer with making the best choices - but we must also apply our common sense because while 50 kcals per slice might be listed on the packaging - if you'll turn the product over and view the back side of the strips of raw bacon and compare it with other packages of the same brand, you'll readily see that some packets are fattier than others while some are leaner than others. The nutrition label is simply a general good estimate of the amount of calories in the product.
You'll want to opt for the leanest looking package.
Preparing the skinniest bacon possible.
2. When you're ready to prepare your sandwich - or use the product for other recipes, if you'll cook it in the microwave you'll end up with a very skinny strip.
Even those strips that have been estimated on the nutrition label to contain 70 calories each will end up at about 25 calories after being cooked in the microwave.
When I prepare ours, I use Scott paper towels because they do not stick to the product as it cooks.
I place one on the bottom of a microwave-proof round plate, add the strips and place another paper towel on top. Four strips take about five minutes to prepare in our microwave - but it's a very tiny, inexpensive model. Others may only require a couple of minutes.
How to Prepare
Place both slices with the spread side up onto a plate. Add the lettuce and tomatoes to one side, then add up to four slices of bacon. I like to use only two and I break each slice in half so that they fit nicely onto the vegetables. Add a slice of reduced fat cheese if you wish and then the remaining slice of bread.
The total calories for this sandwich without the cheese and with using the reduced fat spread over Mayo as well as two strips of microwaved bacon and 60 kcal per slice bread equals about 225 kcals.
Be sure to pair your sandwich with other healthy side items. A serving of baked chips, a low calorie beverage to enjoy with your meal, a small plate of raw carrot sticks, celery and cucumber with light dressing - and a fresh fruit selection all make great options for your meal.