By: Faith Pawley

With students on the go and people rushing onto buses, they need a portable and light lunch. The choices given today were roast beef sandwiches in boxes and turkey pita wraps in brown bags. They seem pretty standard, but how healthy are they?

First, the turkey pita wraps contained thin turkey slices, romaine lettuce leaves, cheddar cheese and a light mayonnaise. The sides included plain Lays chips and a Granny Smith apple. This light, yet compact, lunch provides a very balanced diet.

“Eating foods like turkey that are high in protein help to increase the feeling of satiety and make you feel fuller longer.” – says. “Getting enough protein ensures maintenance of lean muscle mass and can keep insulin levels stable after meals.”

Turkey pita wraps can vary in calorie count, but a normal wrap will consist of about 345 calories. The whole meal was packaged in a brown bag and the wrap was individually wrapped in a clear slip. This meal was sponsored by Jason’s Deli and was served to the County Court, Media and other delegates that remained at the hotel for the day. However, the delegates headed to the Capital received an alternative boxed lunch. The wrap for the YAG delegates had approximately 50 calories, the apple contained 80 calories and the chips had 240 calories. Therefore, the total calorie count was 470 calories in the bagged lunch.

The boxed lunch, also from Jason’s Deli, had a roast beef sandwich, a white chocolate chip and raisin cookie, a pickle and Lays chips. Their lunch was a little more complex and heavier in protein.

“Roast beef from lean cuts of beef is low in fat, rich in protein and loaded with beneficial minerals.” says.  “Roast beef from a lean cut, such as a round or chuck, is naturally low in calories.”

Roast beef by itself is usually 50 calories, but in a sandwich the count goes up to 150 to 200. The pickle contained 7 calories, the chips 240 and the cookie had 87 calories. The total count was 484 calories.

Both lunches were quick, easy, portable and light. They were high in protein, but also in calories. When comparing the two total calorie count of both lunches, the turkey pita wraps were the healthier option over the roast beef sandwich.