Subway Subs Sound Good But They’re Making You Fat

Despite a marketing campaign dedicated to convincing you otherwise, Subway sandwiches can make you pile on the pounds. In fact, some items sneak in more calories than a Big Mac. If you want to eat fresh, you need to think about more than just the name of the restaurant.

Extra Calories

It’s true that Subway lets you pile fresh veggies onto your sandwich. This can be an excellent way to get a more nutritional fast food meal. For example, say yes to the spinach, and you can add vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium to your diet. Go for most of Subway’s vegetable options, and your body will thank you for the fiber and vitamins. However, Subway can still pack on extra calories. In fact, it’s not hard to build a foot-long sub with more than 1,000 calories. With most people needing 2,000-2,500 calories in a day, one foot-long can be the equivalent of eating two meals at once. Spring for chips and soda and you’re looking at a meal with more than 1,250 calories. That’s half of a typical person’s daily nutritional needs. If you eat three meals a day at 1,250 calories each, your body is going to find a place to store that excess weight.

The Italian B.M.T.

Let’s look at an example. The Italian B.M.T. is a Subway classic and a big hit. It also happens to be the Thursday sub of the day. On Italian bread, the most basic version of this sandwich has 390 calories in a six-inch or 780 calories in a foot long. Of course, most people don’t eat a dry sandwich. Add just mayonnaise and provolone, and the sandwich shoots up to more than 1000 calories in a foot long! Change your Italian bread to nine-grain honey oat and add thirty calories for just a six-inch alone. Then, with mayonnaise, bacon, and guacamole, even a six-inch Italian can add up to 740 calories. Add chips and soda and you’re in the danger zone without even saying the words “foot long.”

Excess Fats

The average adult needs 44 to 78 grams of fat per day. Certainly, we all need some unsaturated fat in our diet, both for caloric needs and for other bonuses such as healthy skin. When we eat, healthy fats make us feel full. However, you can walk into Subway and get all your fat for the day in one brief meal. Subway’s tuna sandwich with provolone has twenty-nine grams of fat in a six-inch. Add mayonnaise and make it a foot long and you’re already at forty-one grams in a six-inch sub. Get the foot long, and you’ve blown your fat budget for the entire day in one meal, and we haven’t said a word about chips.

Skimping on the Dressings

All of this diet information comes from Subway’s website. They include a legal disclaimer that says that actual content in a sandwich can vary. Not all Subway sandwiches are the same. However, Subway sandwich artists aren’t known for skimping on the dressings. If you ask for mayonnaise, mayonnaise is what you get. If you skip the mayonnaise, you save more than 100 calories on a six-inch sub. Opt for light mayonnaise to save sixty calories. Stick with the mustard and your dressing only costs you ten calories. Cheese is another big place that you can save on calories when you select your sub. The average cheese packs an extra fifty calories onto a six inch. If you must have cheese, opt for Parmesan, the lightest of Subway’s offerings. While there are ways to make your sandwich healthy, it’s hard to resist the urge to pile on. Subway’s veggies are always a good choice. Asking your sandwich artist to select all of the veggies adds twenty calories to your meal, but also adds a lot of nutrients. Beware of extras such as bacon, guacamole, and pepperoni. These are high-calorie and high-fat options on top of what’s already on a basic sandwich.

It doesn’t matter how many vegetables you eat if you overeat junk along with them. Even carrot sticks can make you fat if you eat enough of them. Eating that Subway sandwich can make you fat, too. Subway’s sandwich artists might make a mean foot long, but they also can be adding inches to your waistline.

Written by Mark Forge

Mark Forge is the founder of FatForge - an information website dedicated to busting nutrition myths, scams and lies while helping people turn their weight around. If you want to lose weight I suggest starting here.


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  1. You talked about a Subway Italian sub then claimed the person would put mayonnaise on it- that’s not an Italian sub- oil and vinegar makes it Italian. Sounds like you’re being paid by a Subway competitor.
    Luckily almost half of Americans are so dumb they won’t spot the slanted article.

  2. The name of any given Subway sandwich doesn’t make much difference when the customer is asked what ingredients to add at every step of the process. It is why I stopped going there about twenty years ago. Just prepare the food already, let me pay for it, and I’ll be on my way.

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