Think a Subway sandwich is a healthy takeaway meal? Think again. Our dietitian Melissa Meier ranks the best and worst choices.
Most people consider a Subway sandwich a healthy takeaway choice when you’re on the run, but you might be surprised to learn it isn’t always as good for you as you might think. In fact, some menu items are on par with what you’d find at McDonalds. Yikes!
Packed with more than an entire day’s maximum sodium allowance, stacks of saturated fat and a ridiculous amount of carbs, some Subway sangas score pretty poorly in my books. But, that’s not the case for the entire menu – other choices are far more impressive when it comes to their nutrition profile. To help you decipher the good from the not-so-good, I’ve outlined my top and bottom three choices from the staple Subway menu.
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The healthy sandwich criteria
In case you’re wondering about my criteria, here’s what I look for when it comes to a healthy sandwich:
Opting for a foot-long version over a six inch sub means the calorie content of your sambo sky rockets. For some context, the average energy intake for an adult is 8700 kilojoules (2080 calories). Factoring in a few snacks throughout the day, that means a main meal should be about 2300 kilojoules (550 calories), or less.
Low in saturated fat
Saturated fat is detrimental to heart health as it raises your cholesterol levels. The average Joe is recommended to have no more than 23 grams of saturated fat each day. I’d suggest aiming for less than 5 grams of saturated fat per meal and less than 3 grams per snack.
Low in sodium
Another nutrient that’s bad for heart health, the maximum amount of sodium you should consume each day is 2000mg – and the less, the better. It can be particularly hard to keep the sodium content of takeaway meals low, but try your best to find something under 600mg sodium per serve.
It’s worth mentioning that Subway only lists their nutrition information for sandwiches made on white bread with the addition of lettuce, spinach, tomato, onion, capsicum and cucumber. If you’re looking for a few extra rungs on the healthy sandwich leader board, I’d suggest swapping to their wheat bread or a multigrain wrap and adding extra veg.
The healthiest and least healthy Subway sandwiches
Three least healthy Subway orders:
1. Footlong Meatball Melt (with Marinara): 3840kJ, 44g protein, 38.8g fat, 16.6g saturated fat, 96.6g carbs, 19.8g sugar and 1528mg sodium per serve
2. Footlong Pizza Melt (with Marinara): 3460kJ, 39.8g protein, 36.4g fat, 15.2g sat fat, 82.8g carbs, 13.6g sugar and 1858mg sodium per serve
3. Footlong Italian B.M.T.: 3140kJ, 40.4g protein, 29.6g fat, 10.6g sat fat, 79.4g carbs, 11.4g sugar and 2020mg sodium per serve
Three healthiest Subway orders
1. 6-inch Veggie Patty: 1690kJ, 16g protein, 11.7g fat, 2.2g sat fat, 54.4g carbs, 7.3g sugar, 9.2g fibre and 573mg sodium per serve
2. 6-inch Chicken Strips: 1170kJ, 22.8g protein, 4g fat, 0.9g sat fat, 38.5g carbs, 5.3g sugar, 3.9g fibre and 517mg sodium per serve
3. 6-inch Chicken Schnitzel: 1810kJ, 29.2g protein, 2.4g sat fat, 46.5g carbs, 5.5g sugar, 3g fibre and 616mg sodium per serve
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practicing dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.