Though technically a fast food restaurant, Subway restaurants carved out a unique niche for themselves when a customer, known simply as “Jared” was discovered to have lost over 100 pounds on a diet consisting only of Subway sandwiches. Specifically, he consumed two of the ‘light’ 6” Subway sandwiches daily, for lunch and dinner. There are eight sandwiches on the light menu but only six of them provide 6 g of total fat or less (without cheese and certain condiments), thus the “Six for 6 g of fat or less” slogan.
Jared Fogel became the official Spokesperson, for Subway—marketing the restaurant’s lighter menu—in mid-2000. The light menu also includes eight 6” flatbread sandwiches that provide 7 g fat or less. Though it’s a stretch to count Subway’s lettuce, tomato and onion sandwich topping medley as a full serving of vegetables, if you are in a hurry, hungry and are watching your caloric intake, it will due in a pinch.
How many calories are in Subway sandwiches?
The calorie count for Subway sandwiches varies greatly and depends, first and foremost, on whether you choose a footlong™ or a 6” sandwich. The nutrition values for the menu items are published on Subway’s web site and, for the sandwiches, are standardized. They represent values for those made on 9-grain wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers only. The addition of cheese and condiments increases the calorie count. A mere tablespoon of mayonnaise increases the sandwich’s total calories by over 100. The light 6” subway and flatbread sandwiches range in calories from 230, for the 6” Veggie Delite®, to 390 for the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki on flatbread. As advertised and topped with only veggies, each provides a maximum of 7 g fat per sandwich.
The regular menu boasts ‘standard’ sandwiches, such as the Buffalo Chicken with Ranch Dressing and the Cold Cut Combo. These range in calories from 370 for the 6” Subway Melt to 570 for the 6” Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt, both of which include cheese as a standard ingredient. Total fat (in grams) for these sandwiches ranges from 10g to 28g each.
Subway’s low-fat footlong™ sandwiches are, quite literally, a double version of the 6” sandwiches. The same eight varieties are available and range in calories from 460 for the Veggie Delite® to 750 for the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki and provide 4.5 to 10 g total fat. While not specified on the Subway nutrition information file, a footlong™ version of any of the regular sandwiches provides approximately double the amount of calories and fat. A footlong™ Subway Melt, for example, provides about 750 calories and a footlong™ Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt, over 1,100 calories. The type of bread you choose makes a slight difference. A 6” Italian white subway roll provides 200 calories, while a 6” Honey Oat roll provides 260 calories. There is a large variety of breakfast sandwiches, prepared with whole eggs or egg whites, on English muffins, flatbread or sandwich rolls, on Subway’s extensive menu. The flatbread and 6” breakfast sandwiches range in calories from 320 to 660 each, providing 3.5 to 42 g total fat.
Subway Calories: Best and Worst Choices
The best choice, if you are looking at total calories, for a Subway sandwich, is the 6” Veggie Delite®, without cheese, for 230 calories and 2.5 g total fat. However, it is very light in substance, offering little more than veggies on bread and only 8 g protein. To stave off hunger, you are better off choosing the 6” Turkey Breast or Turkey and Black Forest Ham on 9-grain wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers. Either sandwich provides 280 calories and 3.5 to 4g fat. In terms of other good choices, there are many calorie-controlled options, such as the chicken salad on baby spinach with fat-free Italian dressing for 165 calories and 2.5 g fat. A 10-oz. bowl of minestrone soup provides only 90 calories and 1 g fat.
As far as worst choices are concerned, you’d be well served to avoid the Subway footlong™ breakfast sandwiches, particularly those made with whole egg and cheese versus egg whites! One sandwich can provide a whole day’s worth of calories and fat and more than two day’s worth of saturated fat. While eating breakfast is extremely important for weight control, Subway takes the whole idea of breakfast to another level. These sandwiches make their 8” pizzas look like diet-friendly options. Dubbed one of the worst breakfast options by “Men’s Health” and WebMD, the footlong™ Mega comes on either a sandwich roll or flatbread and provides 1,310 and 1,320 calories and 79 and 83g fat, respectively. It contains real egg, bacon, cheese and other ‘goodies.’ A Mega Subway sandwich provides 31 g of artery-clogging saturated fat and nearly 3,500 mg of sodium. The second worst choice is the footlong™ Sausage and Cheese on a sandwich roll or flatbread providing 1,210 and 1,230 calories and 71 and 76 g fat, respectively. These choices are also very high in saturated fat and sodium.
- Subway Nutrition Information File: http://www.subway.com/nutrition/files/nutritionvalues.pdf
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010: Food Components to Reduce: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/Chapter3.pdf