Switch Up Your Grilled Cheese Selection for a Healthier Sandwich

Sunrise Senior Living  |  April 9, 2014

If you head out to the streets and ask for a random show of hands to see how many people enjoy a good grilled cheese every now and then, all of the positive responses probably won't be surprising. With National Grilled Cheese Day upon us, people throughout your senior living community - and everyone else across the country, for that matter - have an ideal excuse to chow down on this childhood favorite. While simply thinking about biting into one of these crispy yet melty treats may make your mouth water, reflecting on its nutritional facts could hold you back. By following some of these pointers, you can cut out dietary offenders, while still having yourself a gooey grilled cheese.

Pick a better bread
Normally, white bread is the building block of this classic sandwich. However, Eating Well pointed out that this is simply not a smart dietary choice. Crammed with simple carbs, this variety of bread will make your blood sugar levels spike, then quickly crash. This is not ideal for anyone, especially people with diabetes. The source advises you to select a more nutritious whole-wheat loaf. Not only will this keep your glucose levels stable, but it will also taste a whole lot better on your adult palette.

Fill it up
Once you've selected your healthy bread option, tackle the filling. Cheese is undeniably scrumptious, but it tends to contain ample amounts of fat and sodium. For this reason, you should think of skipping your go-to American cheese and opting for a kind that has a stronger flavor. If you go with anything from extra-sharp cheddar to gouda, you will have to use less cheese to make your sandwich tasty. Making this change could allow you to cut calorie, fat and sodium content in one fell swoop.

You may want to add some substance to your sandwich because you won't be packing it with cheese. You can incorporate a couple of healthy complements to your grilled cheese. Put a scoop of beans in between the bread, or maybe mix it up with greens or artichoke hearts. If you're in the mood for a bit of a bite, toss in hot peppers or salsa. Dr. Oz suggested that you translate your favorite accompaniment - tomato soup - into a part of your sandwich by adding juicy slices of tomatoes

Start the sizzle
After you fill up your sandwich with all sorts of healthy accoutrements, it's time for you to put it in the pan and let the melting action begin. Rather than using butter - which is caloric, fatty and high in cholesterol - you should use a vegetable oil. Selecting olive or canola oil means that you'll be taking in good fats.