A healthy twist to Philadelphia’s famous cheesesteak
The Philly Cheesesteak is a local icon for a reason: it’s an intensely craveable blend of melted cheese, chewy bread, and thinly sliced beef. But, when it comes to nutrition, it’s much more of “a swing and a miss” than a “home run.” The sodium content alone is enough to trigger serious inflammation throughout the body – not to mention the mountain of grease that they tend to be soaked in. What’s a Philadelphia native to do when they’re craving the local special, without having their body pay the price? Try whipping up a healthier – yet equally satisfying – cheesesteak using the healthier substitutes below.
- Start with a whole wheat base. Whether gluten causes inflammation or not is still under investigation – but dietitians and researchers do agree that whole wheat breads are significantly healthier than their white counterparts. Skip the ultra-processed hoagie roll in favor of a whole grain bun.
- Substitute the Cheez Whiz for a lower-fat alternative. While skipping the “cheese” part of the Philly cheesesteak is unthinkable, using a healthier dairy product (like reduced fat provolone) is a simple swap.
- Sautee up flank steak in coconut oil. Studies have found many health benefits linked to coconut oil; for example, it’s high in saturated fats which helps promote heart health by increasing the healthy cholesterol (HDL) in the body. (Other ideas: consider using lean chicken or even seitan, a plant-based protein, to make the nutritional profile even better).
- Go heavy on the toppings. No, not the fatty mayo or sugar-laden ketchup – we’re talking onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers for a boost of vitamins in your meal. A few dabs of hot sauce can help bring a burst of flavor as well.
While what you eat can have a noticeable impact on how you feel, it’s not always possible to manage neck or back pain through diet alone. However, when combined with other healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising regularly and staying within a reasonable weight range, small dietary choices can add up to big results.
For those who have been making lifestyle changes and using nonsurgical back pain treatments, such as medication and physical therapy, there are still several options to consider. At Laser Spine Institute, we perform minimally invasive spine surgery and have helped more than 60,000 patients since 2005. If you’d like to find out if you’re a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, today.