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Summer means more picnics and the most popular picnic food is the humble sandwich!

The sandwich was supposedly invented by John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich, who asked his servant to bring him his meat tucked between two pieces of bread, so that he could continue playing cards without getting his hands greasy from the meat. Others who wanted this asked for “the same as Sandwich”!

Today sandwiches come in many different forms but all using some type of bread and a filling. The nutritional value of sandwiches can differ widely. Two slices of white bread spread with chocolate spread certainly have a different nutritional value than a tuna sandwich on granary bread and filled with lettuce and tomato.

Here are three different ways to get the most from your sandwich:

  1. The bread. Unless you have complex gastric problems, wholegrain bread is a healthier choice than white bread. Whole grains contain more fibre and nutrients. These days, bakeries make a wide variety of seeded loaves and sourdough breads which contain more nutrition and may have a lesser effect on your blood sugar levels (which we want to keep steady) than white bread.

  2. The filling. If you want your sandwich to keep you feeling full till the next meal, then keep your filling protein-based. When combined with the complex carbohydrates in your wholegrain bread, the protein can increase satiety (the feeling of fullness). Examples are tuna, chicken, hummus, egg, cheese and salmon.

  3. The extras. Add more vitamins to your sandwich by adding some veggies, for example, sliced tomato, spinach leaves or cucumber. If you like a crunchy sandwich, add some sliced radish or grated carrot. Leftover cooked vegetables can make your sandwich a bit different.

Here are some of my favourite sandwiches:

  • Sourdough bread with sliced egg, mashed avocado and roast aubergine

  • Granary bread with cheddar cheese, sliced tomato and a thin layer of mustard

  • Wholemeal pitta filled with hummus, grated carrot, salad leaves and olives

  • Rye bread with chicken mixed with a little mayo, chopped celery and pickle cucumber

  • Black bread with tuna mayonnaise, mixed with leftover peas, sliced cucumber and spinach

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