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

a Subway sandwich
Subway
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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. 

Given 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—just click the "Nutrition Calculator” button below the nutritional data provided for each sandwich.

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 consulting nutritionists.

Here’s a look at how the nutrition of Subway’s most popular menu items stacks 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.

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

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

380 calories, 15g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 940 mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, and 19g protein

Least Nutritious Option

910 calories, 41g fat, 13g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 2380 mg sodium, 89g carbohydrate, 7g sugar, and 40g protein

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 flatbread has only 270 calories, 4g of fat, and 720 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 Egg, Steak, 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 of fat, 45g of saturated fat, 101g carbs, and 5110 mg 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 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 double the values.

Most Nutritious Option

Veggie Delite (6”)

200 calories, 2g fat, 0g saturated fat, 280 mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 5g sugar, and 9g protein

Least Nutritious Option

1170 calories, 58g fat, 18g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 2470 mg sodium, 86g carbohydrate, 12g sugar, and 58g protein

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 66 of fat and 3260 mg sodium.

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 and avoid extras that can add back (or even go beyond) the calories you cut by choosing a wrap.

Most Nutritious Option

Veggie Delite (6”)

330 calories, 8g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 800 mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate, 5g sugar, and 10g protein

Least Nutritious Option

1280 calories, 63g fat, 25g saturated fat, 1g trans fat, 3020 mg sodium, 110g carbohydrates, 6g sugar, and 65g protein

Subway’s 6-inch 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.

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.

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

60 calories, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 75 mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 6g sugar, and 3g protein

Least Nutritious Option

460 calories, 32g fat, 11g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 1000 mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 7g sugar, and 27g protein

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.

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 and add a little protein compared to the Veggie Delite.

With toppings, extras, and dressings, Subway salads can easily have over 500 calories. Starting with a 60-calorie Veggie Delite salad, if you add feta cheese, avocado, bacon, extra veggies, oil, red wine vinegar, and chipotle southwest dressing, it becomes a 510 calorie salad with 39g fat and 1350 mg 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

45 calories, 0g fat, 0 mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 8g sugar, and 0g protein

Least Nutritious Option

330 calories, 22g fat, 3g saturated fat, 500mg sodium, 30g carb, <1g sugar, and 3g protein

Desserts

Subway only offers cookies for a sweet treat, typically as part of a meal. As of 2019, the chain's website only provides the full nutrition facts for one flavor of cookie–Raspberry Lemonade.

In the past, Subway has carried most standard cookie flavors, such as oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, peanut butter, and M&M. Subway’s ingredient list notes its cookies may contain fruit, nuts, and other allergens—particularly in special flavors like Raspberry Cheesecake and White Chip Macadamia Nut.

230 calories, 11g fat, 6g saturated fat, 100 mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 20g sugar, and 2g protein

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.

Beverages

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

35 calories, 0g fat, 15 mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 8g sugar, and 0g protein

Least Nutritious Option

Barq’s Red Creme Soda (30-oz fountain drink—no ice)

450 calories, 0g fat, 170 mg sodium, 112g carbohydrate, 112g sugar, 0g protein

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

On the website, you can download a PDF document with information about each ingredient Subway uses at its U.S. locations, including products that include meat, dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, and fish.

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

  • Roast Beef Salad
  • Tuna Salad
  • Oven-Roasted Chicken Salad
  • Black Forest Ham Salad
  • Rotisserie-Style Chicken Salad

Diabetes-friendly

  • Veggie Delite Salad, Oven-Roasted Chicken Salad, or Tuna Salad
  • Oil & Vinegar, Chipotle Southwest Dressing, Buffalo Sauce, Hot Pepper Relish, Mayonnaise, and Mustard
  • All types of cheese, chicken strips, tuna, egg/egg white, egg salad, roast beef, rotisserie-style chicken, and turkey breast
  • Veggies and other toppings (guacamole, avocado, bacon, pepperoni)

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)
  • Turkey Breast (6” sub)
  • 9-Grain Wheat Bread
  • Veggie Delite salad
  • Turkey Breast Salad
  • All veggies, Sweet Onion Dressing, Parmesan, Feta, or mozzarella cheese, turkey breast, and chicken strips

Low-sodium

  • Veggie Delite (6” sub)
  • 9-Grain Wheat Bread
  • Veggie Delite or Tuna salad
  • Parmesan, Swiss, or cheddar cheese
  • Falafel
  • Most veggies (avocado, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, spinach)
  • Oil & Vinegar or Sweet Onion Dressing

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

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 some options that seem healthy may 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, 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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