What to Eat at Subway: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

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With over 40,000 locations globally, Subway is one of the most popular fast-food restaurants in the world. The sandwich shop has built a successful franchise around a menu that caters to its customer's customizations. While Subway may be your go-to if you're looking for a healthier fast food option, some items on its menu are actually quite high in calories, fat, salt, and sugar. 

But because you can create a sandwich, wrap, or salad to order, with knowledge of the nutritional content of the ingredients used and an understanding of what is considered a serving, you can build a relatively healthy meal at Subway.

You can also use Subway’s comprehensive nutrition guide to estimate the nutrition information for your custom-built meal before you order.

Compared to other fast food establishments (or supermarket delis like Publix), Subway is committed to being transparent about the nutritional information of its food and provides readily available reports on its website. These guides include important considerations for people with food allergies; policies regarding the sourcing of ingredients, marketing practices, and food safety and quality; and commentary from a team of registered dietitians nutritionists.

What Experts Say

"Subway offers the ability to customize your sandwich. For example, you can add veggies and opt for whole grain bread. The nutrition of each sandwich varies based on topping choices, many of which are high in sodium. If eating here on a regular basis, order extra veggies and minimize the sodium content in your other meals to help balance your daily intake."

Willow Jarosh, MS, RD

Navigating the Menu

Here’s a look at how the nutrition of Subway’s most popular menu items stack up. You can use this information as a guide to help you make choices that are in line with your specific dietary needs and preferences, as well as your overall health goals.

Most Nutritious Options
  • Egg and cheese flatbread (Breakfast)

  • Veggie Delite (Sandwiches)

  • Veggie Delite (Wraps)

  • Veggie Delite (Salads)

  • Musselman’s unsweetened applesauce (Sides)

  • Raspberry cheesecake cookie (Dessert)

  • Honest Kids organic juice box (Drinks)

Least Nutritious Options
  • Bacon, egg, and cheese flatbread (Breakfast)

  • Turkey & bacon guacamole (Sandwiches)

  • Chicken & bacon ranch melt (Wraps)

  • Chicken & bacon ranch (Salads)

  • Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos (Sides)

  • Sugar cookie (Dessert)

  • Barq's Red Creme Soda (Drinks)

The nutrition info below ranks Subway’s sandwich creations as featured on its menu, as well as some example customizations that will lower (or increase) the calorie, fat, and sodium content of your order significantly.

With nearly endless possibilities to customize your sandwich according to your tastes, you may discover other healthy swaps that work just as well—or better!

Breakfast

Subway’s breakfast menu is a relatively new addition and hasn’t been rolled out at every location. While the options for breakfast flatbread sandwiches are limited, they can be customized much the same way as the chain's lunch-and-dinner subs.

Most Nutritious Option

The egg and cheese flatbread (6”) offers 380 calories, 15g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 44g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 19g protein, and 940mg sodium.

By asking for a few changes, you can make an even healthier breakfast choice. Try ordering a 6” egg white flatbread on 9-grain bread with no cheese, then add green peppers, tomatoes, red onions, and spinach. This custom breakfast flatbread has only 270 calories, 4g fat, 720mg sodium, and a bunch of veggies.

Least Nutritious Option

The bacon, egg, and cheese flatbread (6") comes in at 450 calories, 20g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 45g carbohydrate, 4g sugar, 25g protein, and 1,190mg sodium.

Up your order to the footlong size and you'll see several of those stats more than double with 910 calories, 41g fat, 13g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 89g carbohydrate, 7g sugar, 40g protein, and 2,380 mg sodium.

While Subway’s option to customize a sandwich can be useful for reducing calories, it also makes it easy to unintentionally craft a sandwich that accounts for a full day’s worth (or more) of calories.

For example, a footlong steak, egg, and cheese flatbread sandwich on cheesy garlic bread with double meat, bacon, oil, tomatoes, spinach, red onions, and green peppers, has over 2,000 calories, 126g fat, 45g saturated fat, 101g carbs, and 5,110mg of sodium (almost five times the recommended daily value for adults).

Sandwiches

Given its name, it’s probably no surprise that Subway is known for its sandwiches. Footlong or 6-inch submarine sandwiches (or subs) can be ordered on your choice of bread with classic sandwich fixings like deli meat, cheese, and veggies, as well as a selection of toppings and extras, including oils, sauces, and seasonings.

When reviewing nutrition information presented on Subway’s menu, be aware that the calorie counts provided are for 6" sandwiches. If you buy a footlong sub, you’ll need to approximately double the values.

Most Nutritious Option

A 6" Veggie Delite sandwich provides 200 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 39g carbohydrate, 5g sugar, 9g protein, and 280mg sodium.

The Veggie Delite is one of Subway's eight 6" Fresh Fit subs, which are prepared on the 9-grain wheat bread and offer two servings of vegetables.

Least Nutritious Option

The turkey & bacon guacamole 6" sub comes in at 800 calories, 30g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 85g carbohydrate, 12g sugar, 45g protein, and 2,070mg sodium.

Sandwiches on the Subway Fresh Fit menu are among the healthier choices, but even these options can be made into high-calorie meals if ordered in a larger size or with too many add-ons.

For example, a regular 6” turkey breast sub on 9-grain bread with veggies and no cheese has just 250 calories and 3g fat. If you make it a footlong on higher-carb bread like Italian herb and cheese, add Swiss cheese, extra veggies, oil and vinegar, mayonnaise, honey mustard, and extras like bacon, the 250-calorie sandwich becomes a 1200-calorie sub with 66g fat and 3260mg sodium.

Signature Wraps

In addition to its traditional subs, Subway also has a line of Signature Wraps. Swapping out bread for a low-carb wrap is one way to take advantage of the many opportunities for customization at Subway. Just keep an eye on portion size (on average the wraps are generally much larger than the 6" sub versions) and avoid extras that can add back (or even go beyond) the calories you cut by choosing a wrap.

Most Nutritious Option

The Veggie Delite wrap (285g) is the most nutritious among the wraps, but compared to the Fresh Fit 6" sub version (163g), the wrap has slightly higher stats because of the larger serving size, providing 330 calories, 8g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 56g carbohydrate, 5g sugar, 10g protein, and 800mg sodium.

Subway’s chicken salad wrap is also under 350 calories, with 10g fat and 690 mg sodium. The different options for wraps don’t vary in nutrition content compared to Subway’s bread offerings, but you can reduce the calorie, fat, and sodium content of a sandwich by avoiding cheese, oils, and other extras.

Least Nutritious Option

The chicken and bacon ranch melt provides 1,590 calories, 78g fat, 30g saturated fat, 1.5g trans fat, 112g carbohydrates, 7g sugar, 118g protein, and 3,930mg sodium.

As with Subway's regular subs, an otherwise healthy wrap can be easily overpacked with high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sodium add-ons.

For example, a 6-inch turkey breast wrap with veggies and no cheese has 420 calories and 10g of fat.

Making it a footlong with cheddar cheese, oil and vinegar, bacon, avocado, and mayo, turns a sensible sandwich into a massive wrap with 1480 calories, 89g fat, 25g saturated fat, and 3360 mg sodium.

Chopped Salads

In addition to sandwiches, Subway also has a line of chopped salads which reflect the fillings of some of its most popular subs. Salads can also be customized, but keep in mind that toppings and dressing can easily transform a relatively low-cal, protein-packed salad into a high-calorie meal with a lot of sodium and even added sugar.

Most Nutritious Option

The Veggie Delite salad with no dressing, like the sandwich and wrap versions, is the most nutritious of the salads with 60 calories, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrate, 6g sugar, 3g protein, and 75mg sodium.

Add the Subway vinaigrette and you can count on an additional 70 calories, 7g total fat, 2g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, and 220mg sodium.

Opt for oil and red wine vinegar as your dressing and you add 90 calories and 10g total fat but no carbohydrate, sugar, or sodium.

Subway’s black forest ham, turkey breast, Subway club, rotisserie-style chicken, roast beef, oven-roasted chicken, and cold cut combo salads are all under 200 calories (with no dressing) and add a little protein compared to the Veggie Delite.

Least Nutritious Option

The chicken & bacon ranch salad comes in at 460 calories, 32g fat, 11g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 15g carbohydrate, 7g sugar, 27g protein, and 1,000 mg sodium.

Some Subway locations have even higher-calorie salad options, like the Steak Club salad which has 480 calories and the 860-calorie Southwest Chipotle Club salad.

With toppings, extras, and dressings, Subway salads can easily have over 500 calories. For example, starting with a 60-calorie Veggie Delite salad, if you add smoked cheddar, bacon, guacamole, pepperoni, and chipotle southwest dressing, it becomes a 440 calorie salad with 47g total fat, 8g sugar, and 1,180mg sodium.

Sides

Subway offers some add-ons like snack-sized bags of potato chips or squeeze pouches of applesauce. These are usually part of a meal deal, along with a drink, but can also be purchased individually. The offerings of sides will vary based on location and availability, though most bags of chips are standard flavors of Lays.

The easiest way to avoid adding more calories to your meal is to focus on the sandwich and forgo any highly processed sides—which can’t be customized, don’t add much (if any) nutrition, and usually contain a lot of salt, sugar, and additives.

Most Nutritious Option

Musselman’s unsweetened applesauce (3.17oz pouch) offers 45 calories, 0g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 8g sugar, 0g protein, 0mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos (2oz bag) provides 330 calories, 22g fat, 3g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrate, <1g sugar, 3g protein, and 500mg sodium.

Desserts

Subway only offers cookies for a sweet treat, typically as part of a meal. Flavors vary by location, but as of 2020, the chain's website provides nutrition information for all varieties.

Most Nutritious Option

While still high in calories and sugar, the raspberry cheesecake cookie in among the smaller cookies at 45g and comes in at 200 calories, 9g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 29g carbohydrate, 16g sugar, 2g protein, and 120mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The sugar cookie (90g) comes in at 460 calories, 24g total fat, 12g saturated fat, 56g carbohydrate, 28g sugar, 4g protein, and 260mg sodium.

Given the high sugar and calorie content, plan to skip dessert. If you order a meal deal at Subway, choose a side or dessert rather than both.

Drinks

Subway offers a mix of bottled and fountain drinks, including water, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, and soda. In the U.S., Subway primarily carries Coca-Cola fountain drinks but elsewhere in the world, Pepsi products are often available.

Locations that have a breakfast menu also offer hot brewed coffee.

Most Nutritious Option

The most nutritious option will always be a glass of good dol water, but if you're looking for something with a little more flavor, you can try Honest Kids organic juice box with provides 35 calories, 0g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 8g sugar, 0g protein, and 15mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

Barq’s Red Creme Soda (30oz fountain drink with no ice) comes in at 450 calories, 0g fat, 112g carbohydrate, 112g sugar, 0g protein, and 170mg sodium.

Whether you’re eating in or dining out, water is always the healthiest beverage choice. If you're on the go and bottled water isn't available, ask for a cup and some ice. Better yet, get in the habit of bringing a refillable water bottle with you to sip on throughout the day.

Diet-Specific Options

Subway offers choices for gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian, and vegan diets, but doesn’t have low sodium menu items.

Gluten-Free

Subway does offer limited gluten-free bread options. However, the company provides a statement to clarify what it means by “gluten-free.”

Subway Gluten Allergy Statement

"Not baked in-restaurant. The Gluten-Free bread is manufactured in a gluten-free facility. However, other menu items and ingredients in our restaurants contain gluten and are prepared on shared equipment, so we cannot guarantee that our menu items are 100% gluten-free."

Items on Subway’s menu that do not contain gluten include:

  • Cold cut, sliced, and rotisserie-style meat (turkey, ham, chicken, steak, pepperoni, roast beef, bacon, and salami)
  • Tuna
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Veggie Delite salad
  • All cheeses, most veggies, and condiments like oil and vinegar, guacamole, mustard, and mayo

Low-Carb

  • Tuna salad (7g net carb)
  • Rotisserie-style chicken salad (7g net carb)
  • Oven roasted chicken salad (8g net carb)
  • Roast beef salad (8g net carb)
  • Black Forest ham salad (9g net carb)

Instead of adding creamy dressings and carb-heavy toppings, drizzle a little oil and vinegar on your salad. The mix will add some calories and healthy fats but doesn’t have any carbohydrates.

Low-Fat

  • Veggie Delite 6” sub (18 calories from fat)
  • Turkey breast 6” sub (27 calories from fat)
  • Veggie Delite salad (9 calories from fat)
  • Turkey breast salad (18 calories from fat)
  • Black Forest ham salad (27 calories from fat)

Vegetarian & Vegan

Subway’s vegan and vegetarian options vary by location—not just across the U.S., but globally. The United Kingdom has some of the more robust vegan-friendly menu items in the world.

No matter where you are, Subway’s range of veggies should be able to satisfy the needs of a vegetarian diet. If you want something other than a salad, several bread options—including the lower-carb wraps—are vegan.

  • Veggie Delite sub
  • Veggie Delite salad
  • 9-Grain, Sourdough, or Italian bread
  • Spinach or tomato basil wrap
  • Yellow mustard, oil and vinegar, sweet onion sauce

Food Allergies and Safety

Subway provides an allergen chart in the form of a downloadable PDF document noting the presence of common food allergens, including:

In addition to listing the presence of the most common food allergens, Subway also notes which items on its menu have added nitrates or nitrites.

A Word From Verywell

With a highly customizable menu of subs, wraps, and salads, you have ample opportunity to create a healthy meal at Subway. That said, sometimes having so many choices can be overwhelming—and sometimes options that seem healthy may actually be higher in calories, fat, salt, and even sugar than you’d think. Once you know how each item on Subway’s menu stacks up nutritionally, however, you can put together a sandwich that’s healthy, satisfying, and caters to your individual dietary needs and preferences.

With Subway’s growing global presence, you also have the ability to order ahead online, at which time you can get an estimate of the nutrition content of your custom-made meal before you go. Don’t have time to make your own? Look to Subway’s Fresh Fit menu for protein and fiber-packed meals around 300 calories that also provide two of your total recommended daily servings of veggies.

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