Is Subway “Healthy”? Debunking Healthy Fast Food Myths

subwayWhen we decide to change our eating habits, it goes without saying that the fast food giants like McDonald’s and KFC are out of the question. As a result, many go searching for various ‘healthy’ alternatives to these old favourites, but are they any better? Not necessarily… let me explain.

Lets take a look at a standard chicken and salad sub from Subway. I have opted in this instance for an Italian Herbs & Cheese bread, I also added some cheddar cheese for extra “protein” and a drizzle of ‘low fat’ honey mustard dressing. Lets take a look at what you would be consuming:

White Bread, Mozzarella Cheese [Pasteurised Milk, salt, Starter Culture, Rennet, Anti–Caking Agent (460)], Rice Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Fat & Oil, Garlic, Salt, Wheat Gluten, Cheese Powders (Pasteurised Milk, Salt, Starter Culture, Anticaking Agent (460), Enzymes), Rosemary, Oregano, Anticaking Agent (551), Soybean Oil (Antioxidant (320)), Flavour, Food Acids (330, 270), Autolysed Yeast, Lecithin.

Chicken (82%), Flour (Wheat), Water, Mineral Salt (450, 451, 452), Salt, Vegetable Oil, Wheat Starch, Sugar, Herbs & Spices, Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein, Egg Albumen, Dehydrated Vegetable (Garlic), Yeast Extract, Soy Sauce (Wheat), Flavours (Wheat, Milk), Maltodextrin, Acidity Regulators (331, 336), Whey Protein (Milk).

CHEDDAR CHEESE                                                                                                                  Cheese (min 65%), (Cow’s Milk, Salt, Cultures, Enzyme [Vegetarian/Calf Rennet]), Water, Milk Solids, Non Fat Milk Solids, Emulsifiers (331, 332, 322), Salt, Acidity regulators (260, 330), Preservative (200). Contains: Milk Products and Soy

LETTUCE Fresh Iceberg Variety.

TOMATOES Fresh Red Ripe Tomatoes.

CARROT Shredded Carrots.

CUCUMBERS Fresh Ripe Cucumbers.

HONEY MUSTARD (LOW FAT) Water, sugar, vinegar (white, cider), thickener (modified maize starch 1422 , 1414), honey (3%), spice (mustard powder, onion powder, turmeric, garlic powder, cloves, white pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon), crushed mustard seed(1.7%), salt, acidity regulator (260, 338, 330), colour (171, 150d), lemon juice concentrate, stabilizer (415), preservative (202, 211), natural herbal extract (Origanox WS).

This list of ingredients was taken directly from the Subway Australia website.

OK, lets tally it up.. By consuming a 6 inch subway roll with this ingredients, we are looking at 26 serves of preservatives and additives… in one meal!! We also can see that the “chicken” wasn’t exactly the chicken we thought it was, nor was the cheese. The bread? Well with 26 ingredients in one roll, can we really call it healthy?

It all comes back to the fact that if you want to be in control of your own health and wellbeing, well,  you have to take control. Be prepared, know what you are consuming and where to find your healthy alternatives if you ever get caught out.



  1. What's wrong with the fast food giant's 'healthy' options? | An Apple a day - […] out my post on Boost Juice. If you think your salad sub is your best bet, check out my post on Subway.…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Schedule your nutrition consultation here

Meet Alyse

I’m a qualified Nutritionist who believes an evidence-based approach to modern nutrition is severely under-rated. Patients are so often left in the dark when it comes to health-care and as a firm believer in the old saying “knowledge is power”, my ultimate goal is to provide my readers, students and patients with clear and actionable advice that ultimately helps you reach your full potential.