Making Healthier Subway Subs the Trucker Way
Truckers are among Subway’s most loyal patrons. As the world’s largest single-brand fast-food chain with over 27,050 locations across the United States alone, truckers will find at least one Subway along their route.
The bottom line: You can learn a few things from truckers about choosing healthier food items from a Subway menu.
But you should not be fooled by the self-touted reputation of Subway as a fast-food restaurant with the healthiest food choices. Keep in mind that just because it’s a sandwich with meat and vegetable fillings does not make it automatically healthy. You can, fortunately, build your own sandwich at Subway so you have more control over your food components than with a pre-made burger from the other fast-food establishments.
Choose Your Bread
When you take a closer look at the menu, you will find that Subway does not really have healthy bread choices, no thanks to enriched wheat flour being one of the main ingredients. But you can choose the lesser of two evils – the 9-grain wheat bread as well as the honey oat bread. While the honey oat bread may have more calories than the 9-grain wheat bread, you will get one more gram of fiber.
With a 6-inch 9-grain wheat bread, you will consume 210 calories, 4 grams fiber, 2 grams fat, and 310 milligrams sodium. With a 6-inch honey oat bread, you will have 260 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of fat, and 330 grams of sodium. The trick is in avoiding the breads with cheese toppings (e.g., the Italian herb and cheese bread) or the garnished breads (e.g., roasted garlic bread) because your calorie count will increase to as much as 250 calories. Your sodium, fat and sugar consumption will also increase.
Choose Your Toppings
While your mind may want to choose the healthiest options, your body may be rebelling since you want as many toppings as possible. You will want deli meat for, indeed, a sub is not a sub without deli meat in generous proportions.
If you must have meat on your Subway sub, you should choose lean meats including the roast beef, turkey, and ham. Think of it as having your meat and eating it, too, without the guilt of adding pounds in your middle and fat in your heart.
With ham, you will get 60 calories, 9 grams protein, 2 grams fat, and 520 milligrams sodium. Roast beef toppings will result in the consumption of 90 calories, 16 grams protein, 2.5 grams fat, and 390 grams sodium. Turkey has the lowest calorie count at 50 calories coupled with 9 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat but there’s a caveat – it contains 500 milligrams of sodium.
But ham is still a better option than the Italian BMT meats, which contains 180 calories, 14 grams fat, and 990 milligrams sodium, as well as the meatballs with their 260 calories, 6 grams fat, and 640 milligrams sodium. Your meal may have that satisfying salty taste but your body will pay the price down the line.
What are Subway sandwiches without the condiments to add oomph? Like the bread and toppings, however, you should make savvy choices about the condiments.
- Avoid the high-fat dressings and creamy sauces, such as chipotle Southwest sauce (100 calories), ranch dressing (110 calories) and mayonnaise (110 calories), as well as the fattening toppings like bacon and pepperoni.
- Choose healthier options like fats-free sweet onion sauce (40 calories); brown or yellow deli mustard (5 calories); and olive oil. Even light mayonnaise is a better choice than its regular counterpart.
- Avoid cheese, if you can. Ask the server to put as little as possible, if you must have it.
You should also keep these tips in mind:
- Choose the 6-inch low-fat sandwiches since these have less than 300 calories and under 6 grams of fat. Your best bets are the Veggie Delite, Turkey Breast, and Oven Roasted Chicken, which are favorites because of their delicious tastes, satisfactory portions, and healthier fillings.
- Select the smaller portions. You can always split a foot-long sandwich with another person, perhaps save it for tomorrow.
- Opt for healthier sides, such as yogurt, apple slices, and baked potatoes. Soups may have lower calorie counts but these have high sodium content.
And if you must add as many toppings as possible on your sub, you should top it with vegetables – tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and onions are yours for the taking, so to speak.