Subway Nutrition Facts: A Closer Look


From time to time, I will go to Subway to grab a pretty healthy meal. I typically get a foot long oven roasted chicken breast sub without any extras. In other words, no cheese, no mayo, and only spinach and cucumbers.

To take it a step further, I usually take the chicken off of one half of the sub and throw it on the other side and just eat is as a double meat sub. That way I don’t have to eat a boat load of carbohydrates in my meal.

However, every time I go to Subway, I VERY rarely see people order subs without a ton of cheese and condiments. I almost never see people order 6 inch subs anymore since the new 5 dollar foot longs are a better bargain.

So when I happened to stumble across a Subway nutrition facts brochure, I couldn’t help but start doing some math and comparing the fast food chains to Subway. Check out the results below:

The Fast Food Contenders

All the nutritional facts below were taken directly out of the Subway brochure I got, so I am not responsible if they are off by a few calories here and there. The ones that were not listed, I used FitDay.com.

Burger Kind Original Whopper

670 Calories / Fat: 39 Grams

3 Taco Bell Regular Style Tacos

510 Calories / Fat: 29 Grams

McDonald’s Big Mac

560 Calories / Fat: 30 Grams

McDonald’s Big Mac Value Meal (w/ 20 OZ Coke and medium fry)

1180 Calories / Fat: 50 Grams

As you can see, these items are pretty calorie dense and high in fat. So how do Subway sandwichs compare? Take a look below to see…

The Subway Sandwiches

At first glance, the numbers in the Subway brochure are not that bad. A footlong sub usually comes in around 600 – 800 calories depending on which one. HOWEVER, these values only reflect those who order subs with no cheese or condiments added.

Like I mentioned above, I very rarely see people order subs in this fashion. So here are some more accurate numbers of the various subs. (Note – the sandwich only calories include the traditional vegetables and wheat bread)

Oven Roasted Chicken Breast (Foot Long On Wheat)

Sandwich: 620 Calories / Fat: 10 Grams

+ American Cheese: 80 Calories / Fat: 7 Grams

+ Mayonnaise: 220 Calories / 24 Grams

Total: 920 Calories / Fat: 41 Grams

Ouch! A Big Mac by itself would almost be 400 less calories than this sandwich.

Turkey Breast (Foot Long On Wheat)

Sandwich: 560 Calories / Fat: 9 Grams

+ Swiss Cheese: 100 Calories / Fat: 9 Grams

+ Chipotle Sauce: 200 Calories / Fat: 20 Grams

Total: 860 Calories / 38 Grams

This sub isn’t as bad as the chicken breast one. However, it’s still pretty calorie dense and has 200 calories more than a Big Mac. Not to mention MORE fat than a Big Mac.

What About The Combo Meals?

Just like McDonald’s, Subway offers combo meals what include a drink and side item such as potato chips (or apples). Here is a breakdown of what a value meal might look like using the chicken breast sub from above:

Oven Roasted Chicken Breast (6 Inch On Wheat)

Sandwich: 310 Calories / Fat: 5 Grams

+ American Cheese: 40 Calories / Fat: 3.5 Grams

+ Mayonnaise: 110 Calories / 12 Grams

Sandwich Total: 460 Calories / Fat: 20.5 Grams

+ Sunchips Original: 210 Calories / Fat: 9 Grams

+ 20 OZ. Coke: 240 Calories / Fat: 0 Grams

Meal Total: 910 Calories / Fat: 29.5 Grams

As you can see, this is still pretty calorie dense and has just as much fat as a Big Mac. The next time you think about getting a side item with your sub (especially foot long), you might want to think twice.

Honorable Mentions

The subs I mentioned above are actually listed as being the healthier options. Check out the ones below that compete head to head with the Big Mac and Whopper.

Chicken & Bacon Ranch

6 Inch: 580 Calories / Fat: 30 Grams

12 Inch: 1160 Calories / Fat: 60 Grams

The 6 inch sub alone has 20 calories more than a Big Mac and the exact same amount of fat. The foot long has almost as many calories as an entire Big Mac Value Meal!

Meatball Marinara

6 Inch: 560 Calories / Fat: 24 Grams

12 Inch: 1120 Calories / Fat: 48 Grams

Another Big Mac contender. The 6 inch has the same amount of calories and only 6 grams less fat.

Keep These Numbers In Mind

This post was not intended to dis Subway or anyone that eats there. They do have some great options for eating out, which are much better than most fast food joints. And the idea that most people don’t order the plain subs is just from my observations while eating there.

I simply wanted to throw the Subway nutrition facts out there so you have an idea of how many calories these subs can have if you don’t pay attention to what you add to them. So remember these numbers the next time you are ordering a sub sandwich.

Otherwise you might end up getting a Big Mac in camouflage…

85 thoughts on “Subway Nutrition Facts: A Closer Look

  1. Jenni

    If you eat a subway sandwich, in comparison to these other foods, you are going to consume less trans fats which is healthier, plus there is more nutritional content in the meat and vegetables. Also, if you get the multi-grain bread (toasted), it tastes great and gives you about 2 servings of your daily grains with fiber. Gotta watch those hydrogenated oils, they are killing everyone. I ate their for lunch today and noticed the posting for calories and sodium. It seems like if you are trying to eat less sodium then you need to just get meat, bread, and lettuce. There is even sodium in the pickles!

    Reply
    1. Re-Gen Fitness

      Although the subs do have fat, its the carbohydrates you should be worried about. The carbs are what your body stores and uses as your day to day fuel source and is also a major component of calories burnt when exercising. A better equation would be

      less carbs = less carb storage = more fat burn with physical activity = weight loss

      This also explains why someone can still get fat on a low fat diet :)

      follow @ReGen Fitness for more physical activity and nutrition tips. Send a message if you want more info on the subject too!

      Reply
  2. Kelly

    Subway is ok, you are going to get a high amount of simple carbohydrates from the bread which is not generally good for someone trying to lose weight.

    That said, I consider it the lesser of the evils when eating on the go. Eating at other fast food places is absolutely horrible for your health. I’d say Subway is somewhere in between good and bad.

    Reply
  3. kriss

    The problem I have with this information is that it makes comparisons to only one mcdonalds product; furthermore it doesn’t point out the level of saturated fat in either establishment’s products. Saturated and trans-fats have far more of a negative impact on health than mono and ploy unsaturated ones. Also, a foot long sweet onion chicken tariaki contains only 9 grams of fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat and fills most people up because of the amount of staple carbohydrates present-many of which don’t sugar. This makes it pointless to compare a footlong sub to a big mac; it is the equivalent of a mcdonalds meal in stature. The 9 grams of (mostly un-saturated) fat in this particular sub equate to only 45 calories of the 760 calories it contains. Given that most people need 2000 calories plus a day, a subway seems a viable dinner choice. However, Mcdonalds food is varied and the chicken products are far far better for you, with a salsa chicken legend containing only 2grams of saturated fat. A double cheeseburger by comparison contains a whopping 13 grams of saturated fat, and is often consumed as an extra! I think the lesson here is that eating well and fast isn’t as much a question of choosing between restaurants as it is choosing between their products!

    Reply
  4. kriss

    But almost all products from both establishments contain far too much sodium; that could easily and should be addressed!

    Reply
  5. shree

    well this article is not true because subway sandwiches are much better than those other fast food restaurants. because its fresh and not processed like those disgusting burgers. Subway like better!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  6. Anna

    Did you notice that Subway does not have fat free cheese? At least the ones near me don’t have it. However, they do have fat free dressings and that is what I always get. Also, as far as the guy Jared who lost all of that weight that you see on the commercials, can you imagine what he was eating before? I am quite sure that he was probably eating much more than 1600 calories a day. Also, a whopper by itself has 670 calories. If you get the whole meal with the fries and a regular drink, you are up somewhere around 1400 – nearly enough calories for the whole day. The subway value meal, if you get it with coke zero, baked chips, and a 6 inch turkey sub, still isn’t even close to that.

    Reply
  7. speedy38635

    subway is whatever you want it to be you can decide to add 300 or more extra calories to your 6 in sub and probally enjoy it twice as much or eat like i always order meat and white bread only nothing else what so ever and for me that works out fine.i will even throw about 1/3 of the bread away just because no one needs that much bread for one sandwich,but subway is what you make it GOOD or BAD!!!

    Reply
  8. Gusvds

    The trick is not so much what you eat. The trick is to combine foods that kickstart your metabolisme into burning more fat. It’s also important to check what you are eating at what time. It’s all about those fat storing insuline spikes

    If you plan ahead in a diet that works you can combine the lowest calorie foods into a healthy and fulfilling diet that can include things like red meat and eggs.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Confession: I Hate Myself for Eating at Subway | 10 day diet

  10. DashDietPlan

    I discovered your blog website on google and check a number of of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the superb operate. I simply further up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Searching for ahead to studying more from you later on!…

    Reply
  11. Courtney

    Very good points. However, not everyone or even half of the people that go to subway, go to it because they are watching their calories. They go to it because it is fresh. I am sure most people realize that mayo and ranch and non-diet sodas are filled with calories, but they do not care. I go to subway knowing i am going to eat about 500 calories in my meal. Which for me, is a high caloried meal. My boyfriend goes to subway and gets a meal that is 1400 plus calories, which compared to what he would get at BK or McDonald’s is a low calorie meal. Anyone who is on a health kick, knows what they can and cannot eat. It is still better for you to eat at Subway in my opinion: You have less preservatives, less bad fat, and you can never go wrong with adding servings of vegetables into any meal. I am sure if they did a documentary on eating subway everyday for 30 days like they did with fast food nation, you would not have someones body start to malfunction. Healthy is not always about calories…

    Reply
  12. tara

    In England they don’t even do full fat mayo. They also do baked walkers crisps that are only 99 calories.
    Thing is, 6inch fills me up, a big mac meal doesn’t. And you always feel like crap after. Personally i opt for ham with all the veggies and a little mayo, diet coke and crisps, its around 500 and im full for a while :)

    Reply
  13. Kevin

    I just went from 230 lbs to 205 in the last 2.5 months from calorie counting and some exercise. All I can say about this post is I still LOVE subway, sure even a fatty sub, chips and a diet pop coming in at 1400 calories is sill WAY better than any burger, fries and a diet pop coming in at 800-1400+. Don’t get me wrong I miss my burgers more than anything but I find it so much easier to make my subway last for lunch and dinner, where I’d normally crush a burger and fries in 10min. So subway and a decent breakfast I come in around 1800 calories a day where I couldn’t do that with Carl’s Jr as one of my meals. But that’s me I guess.

    Reply
  14. jono

    I have one problem with the comparison with the big mac…throw in the medium fry and a large sweet tea. I have seen the napkins and the comparison with the big mac…I am just saying if you are going to throw chips and a drink. I lost 52 pounds by eating mostly subway it is way better then any mcdonalds or burger king…just saying

    Reply
  15. Summer

    …So no one here has said it yet… Who says fat is the bad guy, anyway? New studies are pointing out that saturated fats DON’T raise your risk of heart disease any more than unsaturated fats. Many people are finding out as they remove processed carbs from their diet in favor of cooked and raw veggies and a variety of healthy meats that their cholesterol levels go DOWN. Counter-intuitive, but true. The majority of cholesterol in your body is made BY the body and is not dependent on outside sources of cholesterol. The easiest way to raise those numbers is to consume SUGAR. For anyone who’s interested, this guy had nothing to gain by giving this lecture.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vr-c8GeT34

    From a traditionally nutritional perspective, the Standard American Diet is STILL too high in carbs and processed foods, and any dietician will tell you that fats give you a long-lasting feeling of satiety. If you really want to feel full and consume less calories, eat fat. Actually, eating foods with a high glycemic index (such as breads, pastas, other starches), regardless of how many calories are involved, make it much harder to lose weight because they raise your insulin levels, effectively shutting down your ability to burn stored fat. It makes sense from a historical perspective. You don’t have to look back thousands of years to see people that ate sugary foods (all from plants) in warm months when there was an abundance of plant life and meat and dairy when there wasn’t. Put on fat in the summer, start using it as a source of energy in the winter. Mayo is actually a pretty good source of unsaturated fat and saturated fat because of the egg yolks and potentially beneficial and uncooked oils, but soybean oil isn’t good for you. If you want a healthy option, you need to make it YOURSELF. Any food made on a large scale will have huge nutritional gaps.

    Oh, also, obese people, except for a few exceptions dealing with thyroid or other metabolic issues (not unheard of, but not the typical case) have AMAZING metabolisms! The body does not want to be fat. An episode of dr. Oz estimated a number once on the typical metabolic rate, but anyone who reduces their caloric intake from super high levels to an average amount will see a remarkable weight loss for at least a week. My mom, for instance, gave up cola for a week and lost about 8 pounds. When the weight loss plateaued after another week, she lost her motivation. I’m not saying weight loss is easy, especially on the current diet options that rob the body of fat and salt (processed salt with all the minerals leached out is bad for you, but your body still needs salt. High sodium levels are more likely a result of msg in the diet, which gives you a sodium with no chloride and ruins the balance of ions inside and outside cells) will leave you hungry, demoralized, and probably full of insulin that inhibits weight loss. If you’re diabetic, you’re even worse off, as you have to give your body a set amount of insulin anyway. *end frustrated diet rant*

    bottom line- you can lose weight on subway easier than on mcdonalds. But you can lose weight even easier by eating a normal home-cooked meal sans the rice or potatoes, and the Goya seasoning, and the extra sprinkle of sugar, and the chicken bullion, and the Accent. Subway isn’t super healthy; they have large loaves of bread with relatively little actual food of substance and nutrition (so smart move doubling meats). Every restaurant has an angle with advertising. Mcdonald’s has a pretty long history with the current generations in America, providing happy meals and playgrounds. It’s also dirt-cheap. Subway is comparatively healthier and exploits that. It also burns a lot of paper weight in the wallet area. (TEN DOLLARS FOR A FOOTLONG, DRINK, and CHIPS????) If anyone was under the illusion that Subway really is a healthy fastfood option, you should realize by now that fast is inversely proportional to healthy. Nothing that takes less than a minute to make can be good for you (raw foods excluded; they aren’t made, just eaten.) If you pulled it out of a plastic wrapper, it’s probably not good for you. If the food came pre-prepared from headquarters, that means the process to make them was too complicated for them to be made fresh (who adds water to meatballs made at home? How does that even work? Water is the SECOND ingredient in the meatballs). Like a few people have said, it doesn’t take long to make your own subs. And as unhealthy as food surrounded by a boatload of bread is, ANYTHING you make, with any condiments just about, will be healthier than what you get at any fast-food joint.

    Reply
  16. Sub is great

    The point most people are missing comes to comparing calories that the fast food outlets food is mostly nutritionally poor compared to a Sub of the same calorific value. The nutrition is key here and important, once nutrition is taken care, then look at calories, not the other way around. You can’t tell me that 600ml of Coke (o% fat) is better than 600ml of milk (9% fat). Milk has a lot of nutritional value than coke has to offset the 9% fat. Coke is just sugared water. Plus drinking milk is not conducive to overdrinking (it’s very hard to gulp down large quantities of milk, it has a natural self-limiting factor) whereas Coke & other fizzies are very easy to gulp down.
    Anyway, most people always have a serve of fries and coke with their burger, so that doesn’t help at all. The combination of those items is a nutrition disaster.
    Whereas at Subway, there’s no fries to order and they do a have meal combo where you can add water (0 Cals). As long one stays away from the sugared water stuff (or at least drink the zero version of it), the Sub will be the best of takeaways.
    I always order everything on the Sub to get the greatest variety of salad/vegies, you can’t do that with a Mac or BK Whopper. I have one every day for lunch (with 600ml Water) and no probs with weight. A light dinner meal at the end of the day finishes off nicely. Too easy.
    Yes, I know that Subway is a little more expensive, but not that much more. But this is offset by the fact that nutrition is better. You will get what you pay for and if it’s cheap, then clearly the quality may not be there. (hence why poor people will eat it but they end with health problems which will cost them more in the long run).
    My 2c.

    Reply
  17. Joseph S.

    I always get the cookies instead of chips for the combo meal… they’re just too irresistible right there at the checkout. How a restaurant that prides itself on being the healthy option can still offer cookies fairly astounds me; but they’re great cookies, so that’s probably why they keep offering them. They’re probably their best seller.

    Agreed on the bread being too many calories and carbs–I get salads now. They’re usually more willing to heap on the other toppings as well if they have a whole bowl to fill rather than trying to stuff it all into a sandwich.

    Reply
  18. Tony Rovere

    While Subway is probably the best of your fast food options, there are two things to consider…

    1) When adding the sauces, if you opt for the ‘full flavor’ variety you are adding 25% or more to the calorie content of the sandwich.

    2) You will also have to watch the sodium content because one sub can give you a full days supply of sodium if you are not careful.

    But still, it is far healthier than most fast food options.

    Reply

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