7 High-Protein Sandwiches Under 500 Calories & Protein Tips

A delicious flaked white tuna salad sandwich with tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, and pickles.

It can often feel like your lunch options start and end with salad. We love salad, especially when loaded up with high protein toppings—but sometimes you want something hearty and filling. Something you can really get your hands on and sink your teeth into. Something like a high-protein sandwich.

While many average sandwiches overdo it on the simple carbs and fatty spreads, there’s no need to avoid them completely when looking for a satisfying midday meal. When done right, sandwiches are the perfect vehicle for the protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates (AKA the satiating nutrient trifecta). Even the fanciest versions take little to no time to assemble, and they’re portable. What more could you want?

Protein is an important macronutrient that can help fuel weight loss by contributing to muscle growth and helping you feel satiated. Try one of these seven sandwiches for a healthy meal that packs at least 16 grams of protein for less than 500 calories.

  1. Steak Sandwich

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 446; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 67mg; Sodium: 495mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 25g

2. Salmon Smorgasbord Sandwich

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 286; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 23mg; Sodium: 539mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 18g

3. Egg Sandwich-Quick and Easy to make.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 369; Total Fat: 21g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 241mg; Sodium: 464mg; Carbohydrate: 27g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 18g

4. Garlic Bacon and Spinach Grilled Cheese

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 293; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 33mg; Sodium: 666mg; Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 16g

5. Turkey Sausage Sandwich

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 273; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 57mg; Sodium: 277mg; Carbohydrate: 27g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 20g

6. Grilled Chicken Sandwich With Avocado And Tomato

Nutrition info: 253 calories; 18 grams protein

7. Spicy Chunky Tuna Sandwich

Nutrition info: 421 calories; 20 grams protein

Protein is necessary for many things. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, recover from a tough workout, feel more satiated at mealtime or simply maintain good health, it’s important to get adequate amounts of healthy protein.

Protein is a crucial component of every cell in our bodies. It’s used to build and repair tissues (like skeletal muscle, bone, hair, fingernails, cartilage, skin and blood), as well as make enzymes and hormones that help regulate metabolism, growth and many other things. Like carbohydrates and fat, protein also provides energy, but because it has so many other important functions and can’t be stored, the body relies first on carbohydrates and fat for energy.

Protein gets digested into amino acids that are absorbed by the small intestine and distributed throughout the body. Cells take what they need and rearrange amino acids to make new proteins or repair older ones. Because the body doesn’t store protein, any excess amino acids are either converted into glucose and subsequently glycogen to use as energy if the body is short on carbohydrates, or converted into fatty acids and stored as fat. Getting enough protein is important so the body can perform these functions on a daily basis. But just like carbs and fat, excess protein gets converted into fat and stored as fat.

Protein is found in a variety of foods: most notably meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy and even grains. From a dietary perspective, meats, poultry, fish, eggs and soybeans are complete proteins — that is, they provide all of the amino acids required by our body. Other protein sources like legumes, some nuts and seeds, grains and leafy greens, don’t provide adequate amounts of the essential amino acids by themselves but can when

Our body changes every day as cells grow, divide and die — these processes depend on protein to supply vital building blocks to our cells. Because of this, you need to eat enough protein to maintain lean muscle mass and support other important body functions.eaten in combination with other foods and as part of a balanced diet.

As a lifter of heavy weights, you should intake around 1.4-2 grams/ per kilogram of your body weight. So a 100kg man should take in 140-200 grams/day of protein.

Here’s a quick list of protein-rich foods:

No matter how you meet your protein goals, these seven tips help you get the most out of protein:

1. SPREAD OUT PROTEIN BETWEEN MEALS

Protein-rich foods don’t come cheap, but you can maximize your body’s ability to digest, absorb and use protein by distributing it evenly throughout meals and snacks. Just take the total grams of protein you need daily and divide it into the total number of meals and snacks you eat daily.

2. EAT PROTEIN IMMEDIATELY AFTER EXERCISE

Having a high-protein snack soon after exercise (ideally before the one-hour mark) is best because this is when muscles are sensitive to nutrients they can use to repair and grow.

3. PAIR PROTEIN WITH CARBS

This is especially important when you’re refueling after aerobic exercise (like running) since protein is needed for muscle repair and carbs are needed to restock energy stores. Remember: Macros (carbs, fat and protein) like to work together.

4. SEEK OUT MORE PLANT PROTEIN

Vegetarian or not, we can all benefit from eating more plant-based protein. In addition to being great sources of protein, foods like beans, peas, quinoa and lentils are rich in other nutrients like fiber, vitamins and minerals.

5. CHOOSE LEAN CUTS OF MEAT

Meat eaters, look for lean cuts like pork and beef tenderloin. A general rule of thumb when shopping: Cuts that have round, chuck or loin in the name are usually lean.

Some cuts may take a bit longer to prepare (try marinating or braising), but if prepared right, they’re equally as delicious as fattier cuts. Since ground meats are typically high in fat, look for the leaner options, like 90/10 ground beef, which contains 90% lean meat and only 10% fat. If you’re a steak or burger-lover, limit red meat to once or twice per week since it’s high in saturated fat.

6. MAKE SMART POULTRY CHOICES

Skin aside, poultry is generally lean — but beware when buying ground chicken or turkey. Unless it says 100% ground turkey breast or chicken breast on the package, the meat has likely been ground up with the skin and fat, which means that turkey burger may not be any healthier than one made from ground beef.

7. INCREASE YOUR FISH INTAKE

If you enjoy fish, aim to eat 3–4 ounces of it twice a week. Frozen or fresh, fish can be a great source of protein. Some — like salmon — are rich in omega-3’s, a healthy, unsaturated fat.

So get that protein in Guys!

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