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How to Spot an Unhealthy Wrap at the Salad Bar

Ever been at the lunch counter, completely indecisive, and order a wrap as an alternative of a sandwich as a result of it’s “right” and “healthy”? Yep, us too––and why not? As opposed to thick, bread-laden sandwiches, wraps look like a reasonably wholesome and low-cal, low-carb various. Heck, most of them are even variations of salads.

Although the wrap seems to be higher for you, in accordance to a few of the specialists we talked to, the reverse is oftentimes true. “It’s easy to think you’re making healthy decisions by choosing a wrap,” explains Trish Kellogg, a registered dietician and founding father of Feed to Nourish. “But if you don’t pick carefully, you can wind up with a wrap that’s 1,000 or more calories!”

One thousand energy?! Gulp.

Before that quantity urges you to swear off wraps endlessly, belief us (and the specialists we interviewed) that not all wraps are so excessive in energy. In reality, it’s so much simpler to spot an unhealthy wrap than you may assume––for those who maintain these issues in thoughts.

What does the wrap seem like?

While the thickness of a slice of bread may lead to you consider it has extra energy than a wrap, regardless of their look, tortillas are fairly misleading. “Flour tortillas can be extremely high in sodium (often 500mg of sodium or more per tortilla) and can be high in fat as well,” says Rebecca Lewis, in-house dietician at HelloFresh. “Not to mention, they often contain a huge list of ingredients with additives, hydrogenated fats, preservatives, dough conditioners, artificial flavors and artificial colors.”

Instead of flour, Lewis recommends choosing a wrap product of corn, leafy greens or seaweed.

Where’s the meat?

While your wrap could also be jam-packed with veggies, quinoa and different wholesome additions, if it doesn’t include a supply of protein, in accordance to Kellogg, you’re neglecting an completely important macronutrient out of your meal. “Make sure the wrap includes some type of lean protein, like turkey, grilled chicken breast, fish or tuna,” she says.

But as Lewis additionally explains, not all meat varieties are made the similar. “Deli lunch meats are extremely processed and loaded with sodium, typically 500mg or extra per two ounces,” she warns. “Instead, opt for freshly cooked or grilled meats. Shrimp or tuna are great lighter meat-based options as well.”

A non-meat eater? Stick with protein-rich vegetarian add-ins like chickpeas, black beans, edamame or tofu.

Is the wrap leaking at the edges?

Like salads, it’s not sometimes the dry components that trigger a “good” wrap to go “bad,” says registered dietician Tracy Lockwood. And most of the time, the calorie and fats tipping level lies in the juices you’re mixing in.

“Unhealthy wraps are usually overflowing with fatty sauces,” says Lockwood. “When possible, ask for the sauces on the side so you can determine how much you want. Grocery stores and fast-casual restaurants can dump nearly a fourth of a cup of dressing into a wrap without even thinking twice.”

If you continue to want your creamy wrap repair, Lockwood suggests hummus, avocado or Greek yogurt.

It’s stuffed––however with what?

Naturally, the level of a wrap is that it might maintain a lot. But as an alternative of filling wraps with leafy greens, fiber-rich beans and piles of protein like they have been meant to, it may be all too widespread to see wraps jam-packed with cheeses, croutons, mayonnaise or different fatty add-ins.

“If possible, keep fats to a minimum of two,” says Kellogg. “Either it can have cheese, hummus, avocado or olive oil––but not all four. But stay far away from bacon, cream cheese, mayonnaise and guacamole if you can.”

Use your greatest judgment

One of Lockwood’s favourite ideas for retaining the calorie-count of wraps down? Use a bit of higher judgement. “By far my most practical tip, regardless of the type of wrap, is to always peel off and discard the extra pieces of the wrap that aren’t used to hold your ingredients together,” she says. “It’s unnecessary, added carbs. Trust me, you won’t miss it!”


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