Illustration by Serge Bloch
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.
Ask Your Server: