Heart-Healthy Lunch: Easy Salmon Sandwich

Packing your lunch for work will not only save you money, but some calories and fat as well if you’re bringing the right foods. I know the last thing people want to think about after a long day at work and the evening routine is what they’re going to bring for lunch the following day, which is why frozen entrees are a popular choice for work lunches. With a little planning, it isn’t difficult to pack a fresh, healthy and fast heart-healthy lunch.

How many times have you gotten to work with the plan to just figure out what to eat for lunch when it comes time? Alas, when lunchtime comes and passes and you’re still at your desk working, famished and envisioning something high fat and hearty to keep you going. At that point, you’ve lost track of any sensible plan to buy something healthy and make an unhealthy choice instead. You’re not alone, but packing your food the night before can eliminate this from happening.

Like weight-loss lunches, heart-healthy lunches are lower in saturated fat and higher in fiber. To keep energy high throughout the afternoon, it’s a good idea to eat a lunch high in complex carbohydrates (i.e. whole grains) along with a little protein, such as: whole wheat pasta with grilled chicken, turkey wrap, whole grain crackers with tuna salad. Foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids will help reduce the amount of plaque in your arteries. Since time is an issue for most people, the easier the lunch is to make, the greater chance that you’ll actually pack it each night.

Common brown bag lunches include: salads, wraps, sandwiches, leftovers, frozen dinners, energy bars and pre-portioned, packaged foods. There are obviously some meals that are better than others in terms of providing a nutrient-dense meal.

Consider Fish For Lunch

The American Heart Association recommends eating salmon twice a week (10 ounces a week) for optimal cardiovascular benefits. The reason why: a diet high in Omega 3s, especially from fish, can improve cholesterol ratio, lower triglycerides and has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, which helps improve blood flow.

The benefits continue when high consumption is linked to:
  • lowering blood pressure
  • decreasing risk of prostate and colorectal cancer
  • macular degeneration
  • reducing depression and Alzheimers

Can we say POWER food? One of the easiest ways to incorporate more salmon in your diet is by using canned salmon, but of course you could grill some extra salmon fillets and then reserve one for the week to mix with pasta, eat on a whole grain hamburger bun or make into “salmon salad.”

Heart Healthy Lunch Option

Easy salmon sandwich with tomatoes & spinach on whole grain bread
Apple slices
Whole Grain Crackers with low-fat cheese wedge

Easy Salmon Sandwich Recipe

Makes 1 large sandwich
  • 1 (5 ounce) can pink salmon, skinless and boneless
  • 1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon
  • ½ teaspoon capers, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • black pepper, to taste
  • tomato slices
  • spinach leaves

  1. Rinse and drain salmon under running water to reduce sodium.
  2. Combine in a bowl with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, capers, sweet relish, juice of lemon wedge and black pepper.
  3. Mix well, serve on whole grain bread, top with tomatoes and spinach leaves.

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  1. This sounds really good. I'm somewhat sad I've wasted so many lunches on canned tuna and mayo and never considered the salmon alternative.