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Burn More Calories with This Sandwich Choice

Burn More Calories with This Sandwich Choice

Energy used for digestion accounts for a good chunk of your daily calorie burn. And you can boost that burn even higher just by choosing whole-grain breads over processed ones.

In a recent study, researchers found that people's bodies used significantly more energy digesting sandwiches made of wholesome ingredients compared to sandwiches made with refined ones.

Turn Up the Bread Burn
Burning more calories without doing a thing sounds pretty great. Just choose whole fruits, whole vegetables, and 100% whole-wheat bread over more processed options. In the study, sandwiches made of multigrain bread and real cheddar cheese required twice as much energy for digestion, compared with sandwiches made of white bread and processed cheese. And that energy difference held true despite the fact that both meals contained similar amounts of fat and protein. Researchers think it was the extra fiber in the whole grains that helped boost the amount of energy needed for digestion. And extra energy used means more calories burned. (Related: You can burn 80 extra calories today just by drinking some of this.)

Slow-Burning Digestion
Milling and refining cereal grains remove the bran and germ and strip away much of the good stuff, like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals -- as well as fiber and protein. In the study, the researchers used multigrain bread made with some sunflower seeds and whole-grain kernels. But your best sandwich choice is bread that has the highest fiber and is made with 100 percent whole wheat. Pair it with a whole apple (rather than apple sauce) and you've got yourself an extra wholesome meal worthy of all your digestive powers. (Related: Find out how eating more whole grains can help get rid of belly fat.)

Want to burn even more calories without breaking a sweat? Here are a few sneaky ways to turn up the burn:

Medically reviewed in September 2019.

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