Healthy Cooking Picks the Best Bread Thins, Pockets, and Wraps

Bag of Thomas Bagel Thins

Bagel Thins Photo Credit: Flickr: slgckgc

I’m a big fan of sandwiches, especially for lunch and sometimes even for breakfast and dinner. I realize I’m not alone. Sandwiches are popular for good reason. They are quick, easy, convenient and versatile.

Unfortunately, they are not always healthy or low calorie. It all depends on the ingredients you use to make your sandwiches and, of course, bread is a big component.

It took me a long time to realize  and then accept that I’m really sensitive to starch and sugar. Eating too much bread leaves me looking a lot like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. (He’s cute, but his look isn’t one that works well for me.)

So, to enjoy sandwiches while keeping the calories and carbs in check, I’m always looking for ways to minimize the amount of bread I use. There are lots approaches you can take. You can have half a sandwich or an open faced sandwich. You can opt for light bread. You can skip the bread altogether and wrap your filling in lettuce leaves. Or you can experiment with the many skinny bread options flooding the markets these days.

This month (February/March 2012) Healthy Cooking taste-tested several whole-grain options to determine their favorites. They didn’t mention how many brands they tested or include runners-up – only their favorite whole grain bagel thin, pocket, sandwich thin and wrap are mentioned. (They didn’t include the nutritional details either, so I did some research on the web to find them.) Their winners were:

Thomas’ 100 Whole Wheat Bagel Thins (110 calories, 1 g fat, 24 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 6 g protein,, and 3 WW Points+), which they described as less chewy than a good old-fashioned bagel, but with lots of flavor. These pre-sliced Bagel Thins are as wide as a bagel but much thinner and lighter.

Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat Thin Style Buns (110 calories, 2 g fat, 20 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein and 3 WW Points+), the only sandwich bun the Healthy Cooking staff found to be moist and full of flavor. These pockets are pre-opened and ready to fill, which is nice.

Kangaroo Honey Wheat Salad Pockets (90 calories, 1 g fat, 18 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein and 2 WW Points+), The freshest tasting of those the staff sampled.

Toufayan Bakeries Wholesome Wheat Wraps (160 calories, 3 g fat, 25 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein and 4 WW Points+), which they found to be supple enough to hold their shape and not to split apart.

A few years back, Hungry-Girl weighed in with her thoughts on the topic of sandwich thins, comparing those from Arnold Select/Oroweat with Pepperidge Farm, each with around 100 calories/3 Points+. She described them as nearly identical — both great tasting and full of fiber.

I’m a fan of Thomas’ Bagel Thins. I think the Oroweat and Pepperidge Farm sandwich thins are a little dry, but fine for sandwiches, especially when lightly toasted. I’ve never even noticed the Kangaroo or Toufayan Bakeries products, but intend to look for them the next time I’m at Sprouts. And I’m looking forward to give the Sara Lee brand a try.

Do you have a favorite bread thin, pocket or wrap? Or a strategy for eating less bread while still enjoying sandwiches?

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