Many restaurants, and even express eateries, offer the option of a sandwich wrap. A sandwich wrap differs from the traditional sandwich in that the fillings are served in a tortilla, as opposed to two pieces of bread or a roll. Anything can be stuffed into a sandwich wrap, from meat to cheese to veggies. Some sandwich wraps even include rice and/or beans. Basically, a sandwich wrap is pretty much a glorified burrito that markets itself to be much healthier. While a sandwich wrap puts a unique spin on an ordinary sandwich and appears to be a smart lunch choice, this isn’t always the case.
Calories in a Sandwich Wrap
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact amount of calories in a sandwich wrap, as it depends on many factors including:
- The type of tortilla
- The size of tortilla
- The ingredients stuffed in a sandwich wrap
- The amount of ingredients stuffed in a tortilla wrap
Let’s start with the calorie content of a tortilla. A small tortilla is around 80 calories with 15 calories from fat. However, if your sandwich is wrapped in a large 13 inch flour tortilla, it contains 330 calories and 70 calories from fat. If the tortilla is whole wheat, corn or low-carb, it can contain fewer calories and deliver more nutrients.
What goes into your sandwich wrap will greatly influence the overall calorie count of your wrap. For example, a grilled chicken breast contains around 120 calories and not much fat, while a fried chicken breast clocks in at 200 calories and 115 calories from fat. If your wrap contains cheese, add about 100 calories (give or take), and if the contents are smothered in ranch dressing, add another 150-200 calories.
Therefore, if you order a small wrap that contains grilled chicken breast, veggies and low fat condiments, the sandwich wrap equals about 350 calories and delivers an abundance of nutrients. However, if your wrap is oversized and loaded with meat or fried chicken, bacon, cheese and a fatty sauce, it can clock in at around 1000 calories, and supply you with enough calories for 2 meals (and an unhealthy amount of fat).
Dangers of Sandwich Wraps
The biggest danger of sandwich wraps is their size. The tortilla presents a threat to the calorie content of a wrap, because it gives the chef room to add a great deal of fillings. You might not realize how big the tortilla actually is or how much is stuffed inside. That’s why it’s important to question the waitress before ordering a wrap, to ensure you know exactly what’s going into your mouth. Try to get a nutritional handout if possible; that way, you’ll know exactly how many calories are present in the wrap you’re ordering.
The other danger of the wrap is obvious: the filling. While you might have control over what goes inside your wrap, you don’t have control over how much goes into it when you’re eating out. You might order a wrap with healthy contents, but the serving size might be doubled or even tripled. Also, an extra amount of condiments and sauces might be lurking inside you’re wrap. It’s hard to gauge exactly how much is inside a tortilla.