Is subway healthy?

Is Subway Healthy

The tagline of the subway with “Eat Fresh” screams of all things fit and healthy. There’s no doubt that the subway strives at providing healthy meals that contain food items which adhere to our health essentials. However, there’s more to the story. The ingredients that Subway adds to their wraps are a healthy mix of veggies, fruits, paneer or chicken. However, the wrap is made up of bread which adds to the overall calorie content of the food. Although Subway tries to use bread made up of multi-grain, the authenticity of it is still lacking. Most of the foods of Subway have attained for themselves the status of Heart Check Certification from American Heart Association which makes them heart-friendly meals. The meals are generally high in protein and low in calories & fat content. At the same time some of their foods have hidden calories in them and are also high in sodium content. The meals provided by the subway aren’t the healthiest but they are better than most fast food franchises. Continue reading further to know more on the healthy and unhealthy food items that subway provides as well as know the answer to your frequently asked doubt of, “is subway healthy?” 

What is Subway?

Subway is a large fast-food chain that is known to serve its delicious salads and sandwiches. Subway makes for the go-to option for a bundle of people out there who are looking for a quick and tasty bite. The fast food chain is often considered a healthier option than most of the other franchises out there. One thing that gives Subway an edge over other fast-food chains is their remarkable feature of customization. The option of customizing allows you to personalize your sandwiches according to your choice. There’s a plethora of options to customize from ranging from various greens, vegetables, and proteins, such as chicken or turkey that lets you create a filling and nutritious meal. 9-grain wheat bread or multigrain flatbread is considered to be one of the healthiest options when it comes to customizing your sandwiches. The overall content of the Subway meal can be enhanced in terms of its nutrition if only one chooses the items considerably. 

Is Subway unhealthy?

Given Subway’s tagline which dedicatedly promotes eating fresh coupled with the convenient meal they provide, we often come across the doubt, “is subway healthy?” Subway has been striving since long to provide its customers with foods that don’t contain any antioxidants. However, it has been observed that a number of their meals have hidden calories and are also rich in fat and sodium content. The fast food chain Subway, which has come to be a go-to option for many foodies out there, does beg the question of how healthy is subway? Beneath the multi grain and variety of greens, there are also certain unhealthy meals on the menu which are high in sodium and fat content. The sandwiches with processed meats and certain dressings are especially high in sodium content. Excess of sodium intake can lead to several health complications such as high blood pressure and hampering heart health. There are also other meals which are substantially high in calorie content and equally high in sodium such as a Spicy Italian With Cheese (530 calories) and Meatball Marinara With Cheese (530 calories). The presence of additives such as dextrose and sodium nitrate in certain meats can contribute to release of unhealthy amounts of sodium and fat in the body giving way to cardiovascular problems. 

However, the presence of unhealthy options does come with a way out.  The trick to serving yourself the healthiest delight at Subway is through customizing your order wisely. You can create a salad, sandwich or any wrap by knowing the nutritional value of the ingredients involved as well as understanding the serving size and feed yourself a healthy and nutrient-dense meal at Subway. For instance, instead of ordering a 12-inch serving, go for 6-inch. There is a variety of lean proteins that subway offers such as ham, tuna or chicken and even paneer. While opting for paneer make sure it isn’t marinated. It is also recommended to avoid bread and rather order the whole veggie salad, however in case you do want to opt for bread, go for multigrain flatbread.  When opting for toppings, choose the low-calorie ones like hot sauce, mustard, and vinegar. As for sauces, there are plenty of unhealthy options which you avoid like mayonnaise or sweet onion. Rather go for healthier options such as ones with less sugar like red chili, BBQ sauce or marinara sauce. 

Healthy Subway Options

Often the question of, “is Subway healthy?” crosses our mind while ordering food from Subway. The answer lies in what all meals you are ordering. It is always recommended to utilize the customisation feature to make for yourself the healthiest meal.  As in when choosing for toppings, go for healthier options such as banana or green peppers which are healthy and delicious. Below mentioned are some of the healthy subway options that you can unhesitatingly order. 

  1. Veggie Delight
  2. Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich
  3. Paneer Tikka Sub
  4. Rotisserie-style Chicken
  5. Turkey and Ham

1. Veggie Delight

Veggie Delight is indeed a true delight for people browsing for healthier vegan or vegetarian options and the sandwich comes with jolly and fresh flavors. This particular meal is the least-calorie containing item on the entire menu of Subway. The food has just 2gm of fat content and the calories are as low as just 200. The low calorie option comes supplemented with the nutrient-packed layers of fresh veggie, black olives, green peppers, refreshing cucumbers, lettuce and red onions. The veggie delight provides the body with a considerable amount of protein to keep the muscle mass growing, despite being solely vegetarian. The presence of veggies helps one fulfill their vitamins and minerals requirements. 

2. Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich

Sweet onion chicken teriyaki sandwich is considered as one of the most tasty delicacies from the Subway’s Fresh Fit Menu falling between the sweet and savory sides. Apart from being tasty, the meal is also a healthy blend of various nourishing ingredients. The sandwich is a fitting combination of grilled chicken blended in teriyaki sauce consisting of all the nutritionally sound veggies with a dressing of sweet onion sauce. This power-packed sandwich with not more than just 340 calories in its 6 inch serving. The meal is rich in protein with its overall content being 24 gms, the nutrient which supports our muscle and bone health along with boosting the immunity. 

3. Paneer Tikka Sub

Another protein filled option at Subway include paneer tikka sub which is a satisfying combination of paneer cubes marinated in aromatic spices. It is recommended to opt for multigrain flatbread if going for wraps or sandwiches which can assist in fiber intake and further promote fullness as well as aid in digestion. Mint or yogurt-based sauce is what’s recommended to keep the nutrition and taste at par. In the 6 inch serving of paneer tikka sub, the protein content is 21 g, consumption of which will enhance our muscle and bone health. Paneer also forms a good source of phosphorus and calcium which further promotes our bone health. 

4. Rotisserie-style Chicken

Rotisserie chicken is another one of the most enjoyed recipes from the Subway menu. Chicken falls under lean protein and is known for departing various health benefits. Consumption of lean protein lowers blood pressure, promotes brain health as well as boosts the metabolic rate. A healthy metabolism directly promotes a healthy weight. Above all protein also contains the satiating factor which keeps one feeling full and prevents overeating. The sodium content in the 6-inch serving of the meal is considerably less which is around 550 mg along with being low in calories and fat at just 300 kcal and 6 g respectively. 

5. Turkey and Ham

Turkey and ham is one of the best and most sought after options in the Subway’s Fresh Fit Menu especially when it comes to weight loss. This particular meal substantially helps in avoiding excess added sugars which are generally found in high amounts in all the processed foods. The content of ham is rich in  thiamine, iron, other B vitamins and essential amino acids. The item also contains a healthy amount of selenium, a mineral which helps fight infections along with keeping the thyroid in check. 

The least healthy meals at Subway

We often ponder upon the doubt of, is subway healthy? There are plenty of meals in the Subway menu that are unhealthy and are high in fat and calorie content. Sandwiches with high calorie breads and processed meats as well as extreme dressing are all considered as one of the least healthy meals at Subway. The sauces in the menu of the Subway are also considered unhealthy, especially the ones which are high in sugar such as ranch, mayo and sweet onion sauce. Below listed are some of the food options at Subway that are considered least healthy. 

  1. Chilli Cheese Sandwich
  2. 3 Cheese Melt Sandwich 
  3. Tuna Sandwich
  4. Egg ‘n Cheese Sandwich
  5. Cookies 

1. Chili Cheese Sandwich

Chili cheese sandwich is infused with soy and barley, the ingredients which promote skin health. However, the presence of fried aloo patty and cheese makes the overall nutritional value of the meal poor. The sub also utilizes chili mayo, an ingredient excessively high in fat and high cholesterol. Both of these can give way to fatty liver and hamper the lipid profiles by increasing the cholesterol levels. 

2. 3 Cheese Melt Sandwich 

The 3 cheese melt sandwich contains plenty of veggies. However, it’s dipped in a trio of cheese which escalates its fat content considerably. Cheese doesn’t have any fiber and thus extreme consumption of the same can give way to constipation. 

3. Tuna Sandwich

Although tuna is a healthy ingredient consisting of omega-6 fatty acid and Vitamin D. However, the same should be avoided by people with elevated lipid profiles as the fat might lead to higher cholesterol levels. These sandwiches are also heavily dipped in mayo which can increase the intake of saturated fats in the body as well as increase cholesterol leading to heart related risks. 

4. Egg ‘n Cheese Sandwich

The Egg ‘n Cheese Sandwich has an elevated number of calories which is 683 kcal in a single serving. The meal also comes stuffed and dipped into layers of cheese and cheese slices, increasing the overall fat intake of the body. The contents of cheese are high in lactose which makes them difficult to digest. The issue of indigestion can give further rise to problems like constipation or bloating.  

5. Cookies 

Subway offers a bundle of healthy options, however the extremely sweetened cookies aren’t one of them. Some of these cookies do contain the delicacy of fruits in them. Despite that, these food items are substantially rich in their calories and fat content. These fat content can elevate the lipid profile which can give further rise to problems related to heart, excess weight gain or even obesity. 

What can kids have at Subway

On every family outing, we are extra careful with food choices for kids. The consistent doubt of, “is Subway healthy” roots out highly when we are choosing meals for kids. They are still at their developing age and everything that they consume adds up to their growth. The food should consist of a bundle of highly nutritious ingredients rich in essential minerals and vitamins. Below mentioned are some of the meals that are kids friendly at Subway. 

1. Corn and peas sandwich
The Corn and peas sandwich contains a variety of veggies such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers. They are also wrapped in multigrain bread making it further healthy. 

Protein  11g
Carbs 53g
Fat 12g 
Fiber 53g
Calories 359 kcal

2. Veg shammi sandwich
Veg shammi sandwich is another healthy delight made with multigrain bread and stuffed with numerous veggies such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers. 

Protein  15g
Carbs 63g
Fat 6g 
Fiber 63g
Calories 365 kcal

3. Veggie delight
Veggie delight comprises the nutritious combination of fresh lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olive and wrapped with multigrain bread which is rich in dietary fiber making it helpful in preventing digestive issues and constipation. 

Protein  9g
Carbs 46g
Fat 3g 
Fiber 47g
Calories 242 kcal

4. Chicken slice sandwich
The chicken slice sandwich contains chicken slices which is an excellent source of protein which promotes tissue repair and muscle growth. They are also wrapped nutritionally with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers. 

Protein  23g
Carbs 37g
Fat 23g 
Fiber 2g
Calories 290 kcal

The best and worst Subway toppings

Toppings are the extra layer of delight, usually a sauce or pieces of food which are added on the top of the actual meal to add some additional flavor and taste to the overall meal. When juggling with the doubt of, is Subway healthy, one should be considerate with the toppings that they are ordering for their subs or wraps. Subway offers a bundle of topping options ranging from cucumbers, bell peppers, spinach, lettuce, chipotle, ranch and so many others. However, not all of these toppings are considered healthy and one should be careful with what they are opting for in order to serve themselves with the healthiest of meals. Below mentioned is the list of best and worst Subway toppings.

Best Subway toppings

1. Spinach: The content of spinach is rich in iron, vitamin C and E, potassium, and magnesium. The leafy delight is also known to provide various health benefits such as reducing blood sugar levels, boosting eye and bone health, along with having anti-inflammatory properties. 

2. Lettuce: Another leafy topping of lettuce is rich in beta carotene (vitamin A) which is responsible for promoting eye, bone and skin health substantially. They are also a good source of Vitamin C and K along with possessing hydrating qualities. 

3. Tomatoes: Apart from being tasty and refreshing, tomatoes contain antioxidants which can help fight several diseases. They are also rich in lycopene, the component which can help prevent cancer, promote heart health as well as shield against sunburn. 

4. Avocado: Avocados are low in carbs and also have a low GI which makes them a healthy and perfect option for maintaining a healthy weight. They are rich in monounsaturated fats and are a good source of fiber which promotes satiety and keeps overeating at bay.  

Worst Subway toppings

1. Chipotle southwest dressing: Chipotle is made up of an abundance of chillies which can severely hamper our gut health. The sodium content of this topping is also incredibly high making it an unhealthy choice.

2. Ranch dressing: Although possessing great taste, ranch dressing contains a high amount of saturated fats and sodium. Intake of excess saturated fats can elevate one’s lipid profile and lead to heart diseases or even stroke. Sodium is yet another component whose excess can increase blood pressure and give way to  heart complications. 

3. Cheese: Cheese is a good source of protein and calcium. However, they are also rich in saturated fats and salt, making them harmful for overall lipid profiles and heart health. 

4. Pepperoni: Pepperoni is made up of red meat which is extremely unhealthy for our overall health. Red meat can elevate the cholesterol levels in our body giving way to heart related issues and strokes. 

The best and worst Subway Sauces

The sauces of Subway are known to add great flavor and taste to every meal. However, some sauces are only good in taste adding no nutritional value to your body. Sauces like ranch, mayo or onion sauce have added sugar and might not be considered a healthy option. On the other hand, marinara, red chili and BBQ sauces are some that are low in calories and can be consumed despite hampering our health. Below mentioned are the list of best and worst Subway sauces that you can take note of.  

Best Subway Sauces

1. Mustard: Mustard is one of the tastiest options on the Subway menu and it also comes loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. As they also contain mustard seeds, it is also rich in phytochemicals which are said to have potential anti-cancer properties.  

2. Red Wine Vinaigrette: The Red Wine Vinaigrette is low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Since it includes red wine it benefits in promoting a healthy heart and regulating blood sugar levels. 

3. BBQ Sauce: The vinegar present in the BBQ sauce adds to the acidity whereas the sugar content tilts to the sweetness. Aside from being a delicious mix, the sauce is also extremely low in fat. 

4. Honey Mustard: The Honey Mustard Sauce is made with an excellent blend of honey, Dijon mustard, and spices. It is a healthier alternative to other sauces containing fewer calories and being low in saturated fats. The mustard seeds also add the richness of antioxidants which can help fight many diseases. 

Worst Subway Sauces

1. Sweet Onion Teriyaki Sauce: The sweet onion sauce however delicious is high in added sugars and isn’t good for health. Consumption of added sugars in large amounts can lead to weight gain and also increase the risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. 

2. Regular Mayonnaise: In just 14g of serving, there are 100 calories present in mayonnaise. They are also rich in saturated fats, both of which are harmful for the overall health of an individual. 

3. American Cheese: The American Cheese is incredibly high in sodium content. In just 11g serving of American Cheese, there is 210 mg of sodium. The high sodium can increase the blood pressure level and give risk to heart related complications. 

4. Ranch: The sugar content in ranch sauce is considerably higher which makes it unhealthy and may lead to weight gain. They are also rich in calories. 

Key Takeaways

“Is Subway actually healthy” or “Is eating Subway healthy” are some of the common questions that we stumble on while thinking of eating out at Subway. The famous fast-food chain of Subway is known for its sandwiches and wraps. Like most fast food chains, there are health concerns that are attached to its menu. Although there are options available at Subway that can be considered unhealthy such as subs with lots of bread, processed meats or excessive dressings. Foods containing toppings of high-fat, added sugar, and poor nutrition sauces are deemed unhealthy. However, there are options available at Subway that involve the filling of a variety of greens, lean proteins and other healthy delights. Most importantly, Subway offers the option to customize your own meals. Through this, you can make your meal nutritious by having the knowledge of the nutritional values of all the items and considerably choosing the serving size. To answer the question of, is eating Subway healthy, the answer can be somewhat yes provided one avoids toppings and sauces that are unhealthy. 


“For adolescents, Subway food may not be much healthier than McDonald’s, UCLA study finds.” 2023. UCLA Health.

Hamblin, James. 2013. “Study: Subway Sandwiches Are Worse Than We Think.” The Atlantic.


1. What should I skip at subway if I’m trying to eat healthy?

Subway offers the option to customize your own meals which allows one to make the healthiest for themselves. When eating at Subway, it’s recommended to avoid meals with processed meats or the ones with excessive bread as well as avoid excessive dressings and toppings. Sauces which are high in sugar such as ranch, mayo, onion sauce are some of the options that one should stay away from. Now, you know the answer to, is Subway healthy? 

2. What are the healthy options to try out at Subway?

Whenever eating out, we ask ourselves, is Subway healthy? Well, you can make it. Multigrain flatbread is the healthiest option when going for sandwiches at Subway. It is suggested to opt for a 6-inch meal instead of 12- inch ones. Choosing lean proteins like chicken or tuna is what should be preferred. Veggies delight, paneer tikka sub, chicken teriyaki are some of the healthy options at Subway. 

3. Is subway healthy?

A lot of us ponder on the doubt, is Subway healthy? Let us answer it for you. Although, there are plenty of unhealthy options at Subway such as the sauces with added sugars, processed meats. 

4. Which is the healthiest sandwich in Subway?

Veggies delight with its low calorie content and stuffed with nutrition of many vegetables can be considered one of the healthiest sandwiches in Subway. Rotisserie-style chicken can also be considered one of the healthiest options, especially in the non-veg section. 

5. Is Subway more healthy than McDonald’s?

The answer to your question, is Subway healthy even more than McDonald’s, can be yes to an extent. The fillings in subway sandwiches and wraps are higher on the veggies side than that of McDonald’s. More importantly, Subway gives out the option of customizing your meals which gives one the upper hand of making their meals more nutritious from all the options available. 

6. Which Subway bread is healthiest?

The multigrain flatbread is the healthiest Subway bread as it has great nutritional value. They offer 4gm of fiber in each 6-inch serving increasing the fiber content in your meal. Now, you may have your answer to, “is subway actually healthy?”

7. Which Subway topping is healthiest?

Cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and lettuce are some of the healthiest subway toppings as they are rich in essential vitamins and minerals which can promote heart health along with maintaining blood sugar levels, improving skin, eye and bone health.  

8. Which Subway sauce is healthiest?

From dwelling on, “is eating subway healthy?”, the doubts escalate to choosing the healthiest sauces. Red wine vinegar or olive oil can be considered one of the healthiest options for sauces at Subway. They are rich in antioxidants and have unsaturated fats that are heart-friendly. 

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