Menu Navigator: Best (and Worst) Choices at a Sub Shop

We'll show you the healthiest choices (and splurge-only dishes) to help you order wisely at sub shops.

Sub Sandwich Illustration

Illustration by Serge Bloch  

  • Woman at table

    Menu Navigator

    Trying to eat healthy when dining out? We'll show you what to order at a typical restaurant.


There’s a reason Subway has emerged as the world’s biggest fast-food chain: A simple sub sandwich makes a satisfying and reasonably healthy meal. Veer off in the wrong direction, though, and you can easily consume more than 1,000 calories, not including the inevitable chips and soda. Sodium is a big issue, too: Many sandwiches supply more than half a day’s worth, thanks to ingredients like deli-style ham, salami, and cheese. And, of course, saturated fat: Meats and cheeses are major contributors, but so are creamy dressings and sauces.

A smart sub choice doesn’t have to be ­sawdust-dry or beige-boring. A slice of cheese boosts flavor for only 50 to 120 calories. Dressing can add 110 to 240 calories, so ask for it on the side. Use about a tablespoon to keep the calorie count near 100, or choose low-calorie dressing or honey mustard for about 50 calories. We analyzed 6-inch options from U.S. restaurants. Nutrition numbers are estimates: Results vary widely among restaurants.

Smart Sub Shop Strategies

Bulk It Up: Ask for extra lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and other veggies―they lend moisture, nutrients, texture, and heft to your sandwich, leaving you more satisfied.

Go For Grains: Add fiber and appealing nutty flavor by ordering your sandwich on whole-grain or multigrain breads, or breads topped with nuts, seeds, or oats.

Splurge Only:

Ask Your Server:

Healthy Choices:

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