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Are Jersey Mike's Subs Bad For You?



Short answer

Jersey Mike's Subs can fit within a balanced diet when portion sizes and nutritional content are carefully considered. Opting for lean proteins, whole-grain bread, and loading up on veggies while being mindful of high-calorie condiments, cheeses, and the sodium content is key. For heart health, it's crucial to watch the high sodium in many options, and moderating additives and preservatives in processed meats is also important. Balancing indulgence with the rest of your day's meals allows for occasional enjoyment without compromising health goals.



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Long answer

Caloric Content and Nutritional Values of Jersey Mike's Subs

When examining the health impact of any food item, one crucial aspect to consider is its caloric content along with its nutritional values. At Jersey Mike's Subs, the caloric content can vary widely across their menu, which may influence an individual's dietary choices depending on their nutritional needs and health goals.

For instance, a standard deli sandwich can range anywhere from approximately 500 to over 1000 calories per serving, and the numbers can climb even higher when adding extras like cheese, bacon, or sauces. It's important for consumers to be aware that a single sandwich can sometimes contain over half of the recommended daily caloric intake for the average adult.

Now, let’s investigate the nutritional breakdown of a typical Jersey Mike's Sub:

  • Proteins: Jersey Mike's Subs are known for generous servings of meats, which can provide a significant amount of protein. Protein is crucial for muscle repair and overall bodily functions, but the high protein content should be balanced with other nutrients.
  • Carbohydrates: The bread forms the bulk of the carbs in a sub. While carbs are essential for energy, options like white bread are less nutritionally dense compared to whole-grain alternatives, which Jersey Mike's also offers.
  • Fats: The amount of fat in Jersey Mike's Subs can also vary, depending on the type of sub and addition of condiments and dressings. Some subs can be high in saturated fat, which is something to watch out for if managing blood cholesterol levels.
  • Sugars: While not overly high in sugars, certain dressings and sauces can add extra sugar to the meal, which can be a concern for those monitoring their sugar intake.
  • Fiber: Fiber content is another nutritional aspect to consider. Opting for a whole-grain bread can help increase the dietary fiber in the sub, which is beneficial for digestive health.
  • Sodium: One often overlooked but important nutritional factor is the sodium content. Many of Jersey Mike's Subs are high in sodium due to the cured meats and added seasonings, which can be a health concern for individuals with high blood pressure or those trying to reduce sodium consumption.

It's worth noting that Jersey Mike's provides nutrition information on their website, allowing customers to make informed choices. Here is a brief overview of the nutritional values for a popular option, the Turkey & Provolone Sub, in a table format:

Nutrient Regular Size Giant Size
Calories 720 1440
Protein (g) 45 90
Total Fat (g) 35 70
Saturated Fat (g) 12.5 25
Cholesterol (mg) 100 200
Carbohydrates (g) 50 100
Sugars (g) 9 18
Fiber (g) 5 10
Sodium (mg) 2020 4040

Understanding the caloric content and nutritional values of Jersey Mike's Subs is necessary for anyone trying to maintain a balanced diet or specific dietary regimen. While enjoying the occasional sub can fit within a healthy diet, being mindful of portion sizes and nutritional content is key to making healthier choices.

Sodium Levels and Heart Health Implications

When examining the health impact of popular food items, such as subs from Jersey Mike's, it is important to investigate their sodium content and the subsequent implications for heart health. A diet high in sodium can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults, especially for those with high blood pressure.

Let's look closer at the sodium levels present in Jersey Mike's subs:

  • Classic Italian Sub: A regular-sized classic Italian sub contains approximately 2,351 mg of sodium, already exceeding the daily recommended maximum.
  • The Number Four - The Veggie: A more modest option, The Veggie sub, in regular size, contains about 1,348 mg of sodium, which is closer to the recommended daily limit but still high for a single meal.
  • Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak: A regular-sized Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak rings in at about 3,229 mg of sodium, significantly higher than the ideal daily allowance.

It is evident that even a single sandwich can bring an individual close to or even beyond the daily sodium intake limits. Overconsumption of sodium consistently can lead to water retention, which can cause swelling and increased blood volume, further raising blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can strain the heart, harm blood vessels, and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and even heart failure.

Furthermore, certain populations are more sensitive to the effects of sodium and may experience more significant blood pressure increases as a result. These groups include:

  • Individuals with a family history of hypertension
  • People over age 50
  • Those with pre-existing elevated blood pressure levels
  • African Americans
  • Individuals with diabetes or chronic kidney disease

Expert opinions, such as those from the American Heart Association, suggest maintaining a low-sodium diet as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. To control sodium intake when enjoying a sub from Jersey Mike's or similar establishments, consider the following tips:

  • Choose the mini size or a wrap instead of a regular or giant sub to reduce portion size and thus sodium intake.
  • Ask for no added salt, and opt for lower-sodium meats and cheeses, if available.
  • Customize your sub with plenty of vegetables, which are naturally low in sodium and high in other beneficial nutrients.
  • Be mindful of condiments and dressings, which can be hidden sources of sodium.
  • Pair your sub with water instead of sugary or salty drinks, and avoid salty sides like chips.

By understanding the sodium content in menu items and the associated health implications, individuals can make informed choices about their dietary habits to support their cardiovascular health effectively.

Additives and Preservatives in Processed Deli Meats

When examining the health impact of foods like Jersey Mike's subs, we must consider the processed deli meats, which are often a key component of these sandwiches. Processed deli meats can contain a range of additives and preservatives, which serve various functions, from improving taste to extending shelf life. However, these substances may have health implications worth discussing.

One common preservative found in processed meats is sodium nitrate, which helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and maintains the meat's pinkish color. However, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studies have shown a link between sodium nitrate and an increased risk of certain cancers, particularly colorectal cancer.

The list below details some prevalent additives and preservatives in processed deli meats:

  • Sodium nitrate/nitrite: Uses include color preservation and inhibiting bacterial growth. Linked to an elevated risk of cancer when consumed in high amounts over time.
  • Sodium phosphate: Works as an emulsifier and helps retain moisture. High intake can contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Sodium benzoate: Functions as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of mold, yeast, and some bacteria. In certain circumstances, it may convert to benzene, which is carcinogenic.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG): Often used to enhance flavor. While generally recognized as safe, some individuals may experience sensitivity or allergic reactions to MSG.
  • Artificial flavors: Engineered to mimic natural flavors. Their long-term health effects are not fully understood, but some people prefer to avoid them due to concerns over their synthetic nature.

An analysis in the European Heart Journal has found that a high intake of phosphates, like sodium phosphate, may be associated with arterial stiffness. Moreover, the World Health Organization has classified processed meats as Group 1 carcinogens - substances that have enough evidence to be considered as causing cancer in humans.

Of course, not all additives and preservatives are potentially harmful, and they do serve a vital role in food safety, but their presence in your diet should be moderated. It is essential to review the nutritional information and ingredient lists of foods such as subs from Jersey Mike's to stay informed about what you're consuming. For those with sensitivities or dietary restrictions, it's particularly important to be vigilant about these additives.

Portion Sizes and the Risk of Overeating

When discussing the dietary impact of any restaurant meal, portion sizes immediately come under scrutiny. Consuming meals that offer significantly larger portions than recommended can lead to overeating, which is a concern with Jersey Mike's Subs.

Understanding that a "Regular" Jersey Mike's sub is approximately 7-1/2 inches and a "Giant" measures around 15 inches is critical in assessing portion control. A "Regular" sub often surpasses the average serving size for sandwiches, while a "Giant" can double or even triple that benchmark.

Here's a breakdown of typical portion sizes and how they compare to dietary guidelines:

Jersey Mike's Sub Size Approximate Length Typical Caloric Content
Mini 4-1/2 inches 300-600 calories
Regular 7-1/2 inches 600-1200 calories
Giant 15 inches 1200-2400 calories

A typical adult should aim to consume around 500-600 calories per meal, but even a "Regular" Jersey Mike's sub can surpass this, potentially promoting overconsumption. What exacerbates this issue is that sides like chips or cookies and sugary beverages often accompany these large subs, further increasing total caloric intake.

Dietitians often warn that overeating, especially in the form of large, high-calorie meals, can lead to weight gain and associated health risks such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. The risk is heightened if these meals include large amounts of saturated fats, sodium, and sugars, which are commonly found in cold cuts and condiments prevalent in sub sandwiches.

One way to mitigate these risks is by being mindful of portion sizes. Choosing smaller sizes, sharing a larger sub, or saving part of the meal for later can help control calorie intake. Furthermore, it's important to balance these meals with healthier options throughout the rest of the day, ensuring a varied and nutritious diet.

While Jersey Mike's offers the convenience of quick service and customizability, it's essential for patrons to be aware of the potential for overeating. Conscious choices around portion sizes can significantly influence the overall healthfulness of consuming meals from fast-food chains like Jersey Mike's Subs.

Balancing Jersey Mike's in a Healthy Diet

When considering how to fit your favorite Jersey Mike's sub into a healthy diet, it's vital to assess your overall daily nutritional needs against the specific options and ingredients that this popular sandwich chain offers. Let's break down some strategies for incorporating these indulgent sandwiches into your meal plan without compromising your health goals.

Understanding Portion Sizes

Jersey Mike's offers different sizes for their subs – mini, regular, and giant. Choosing the right size can significantly impact your calorie intake:

  • Mini (4-inch): An appropriate serving for a light meal or those with lower calorie needs.
  • Regular (7-inch): Adequate for an average adult's meal, keeping mindful of the rest of the day's intake.
  • Giant (14-inch): Best shared or reserved for those with higher caloric requirements, such as athletes.

Selecting Healthier Options

Opt for subs that feature lean proteins, like turkey or chicken, and plenty of vegetables while steering clear of items high in saturated fats and sodium. Consider these modifications:

  • Choose grilled over processed meats.
  • Swap out white bread for whole wheat to increase fiber intake.
  • Skip or go light on the mayo and dressings; opt for mustard or vinegar instead.
  • Add extra vegetables for more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Request a lettuce wrap in place of bread for a low-carb option.

Watching Out for Sodium

Many of Jersey Mike's subs are high in sodium, primarily due to cured meats and added condiments. High sodium intake is linked to elevated blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease. Here's what you can do:

  • Choose subs with fresh ingredients rather than cured or preserved meats.
  • Ask for less or no added salt.
  • Be cautious with pickles, sauces, and dressings which can be high in sodium.

Caloric Balance Throughout the Day

If you indulge in a Jersey Mike's sub, it's important to balance your calorie intake for the rest of the day to avoid overconsumption:

  • Plan lighter meals for breakfast and dinner if a Jersey Mike's sub is your lunch.
  • Incorporate low-calorie snacks like fresh fruit or vegetables between meals.
  • Adjust portion sizes and resist the urge to upsize your sub.

Inclusion in a Varied Diet

Maintaining a varied diet is crucial not just for nutritional balance, but also to avoid the pitfalls of consuming too much of any one type of food. Rotate your meal choices to ensure a spectrum of nutrients:

  • Incorporate other protein sources throughout the week, such as legumes, fish, or tofu.
  • Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to benefit from a wide range of antioxidants and phytochemicals.
  • Vary your grains by choosing rice, quinoa, or barley instead of bread on some days.

In conclusion, enjoying a meal from Jersey Mike's doesn't have to derail your diet. By making informed choices, practicing portion control, and considering the rest of your day's meals, you can include these delectable subs in your diet in moderation. It's all about balance and the context of your overall dietary pattern.

Healthier Menu Options at Jersey Mike's

Jersey Mike's Subs, a popular sandwich chain, offers a variety of menu items that can be tailored to fit a health-conscious diet. Navigating the menu for healthier options comes down to focusing on whole, quality ingredients and controlling portion sizes. Here are some tips and choices you can consider when looking for healthier options at Jersey Mike's:

  • Opt for Mini Sizes: Choose the mini size (Regular and Giant sizes pack more calories and may lead to overeating).
  • Select Lean Proteins: Opt for subs with lean proteins such as turkey, chicken breast, or grilled veggies instead of processed meats like salami or pepperoni.
  • Skip the Cheese and Sauces: Cheese and sauces can add unnecessary calories and saturated fat. Ask for your sub without these or request them on the side to control the amount used.
  • Whole Wheat Bread: Opt for whole wheat bread for extra fiber, which can improve digestion and increase satiety.
  • Load Up on Veggies: Pile on the veggies for added nutrients without significantly increasing the calorie content.
  • Watch Out for Dressings: Jersey Mike’s signature “The Juice” (a combination of olive oil and red wine vinegar) can be a healthier dressing option in moderation, while mayonnaise and special sauces should be used sparingly.

Additionally, here are specific menu items that you might consider as healthier choices:

Menu Item Key Ingredients Nutritional Profile (Mini Size)
#7 Turkey Breast and Provolone Turkey breast, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions Lower in calories and fat compared to most other options
#13 Original Italian (Order without cheese or oil) Ham, prosciuttini, cappacuolo, salami, and pepperoni High in protein, control fat content by holding the cheese and oil
Grilled Veggie Wrap Grilled bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, and tomato Rich in vegetables, low in saturated fat
#3 Ham and Provolone (Mini, Ask for Less Cheese) Ham, provolone, lettuce, tomato, and onions Lean protein source, reduced cheese to lessen saturated fat

When you're mindful of the choices you make, it's possible to enjoy a meal from Jersey Mike's that fits within a balanced diet. Remember to take into account your individual nutritional needs and dietary goals while making your selections. A closer look at the nutritional information provided on their website or in-store can also guide you to make choices that best serve your health objectives.

Moreover, research suggests that moderation is critical when dining out — including at sandwich shops like Jersey Mike's. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that meals consumed outside the home tend to be higher in calories and sodium. By choosing items that are simpler and less processed, diners can exert more control over their calorie and nutrient intake while still enjoying a convenient and tasty meal.

Lastly, always remember to accompany your meal with water or another no-calorie beverage to keep the overall calorie count in check.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, Jersey Mike's offers vegetarian options like the Grilled Veggie Wrap and the #4 The Veggie sub. You can also customize any sub by omitting meat and stacking up on a variety of fresh vegetables, cheese, and avocado or hummus if available.

When trying to lose weight and include Jersey Mike's Subs in your diet, focus on portion control by choosing the mini size, favor subs with lean proteins and plenty of vegetables, avoid high-calorie toppings and sides, and balance your overall daily intake by planning lower-calorie meals for the rest of the day. Tracking your total calorie consumption is crucial for a successful weight-loss plan.

To reduce sodium intake at Jersey Mike's, opt for subs with fresh ingredients over processed meats, ask for no added salt, choose low-sodium meats and cheeses if available, and be cautious with high-sodium condiments like pickles, sauces, and dressings. Additionally, consider selecting menu items that are naturally lower in sodium.

To make a Jersey Mike's Sub healthier, consider selecting lean protein options such as turkey or grilled chicken, opting for whole wheat bread for added fiber, and loading up on fresh vegetables. Choose the mini size to control portion size and calories, skip or go light on cheese and high-fat dressings, and ask for “The Juice,” a blend of olive oil and red wine vinegar, instead of mayonnaise and special sauces.

Ask a question about Jersey Mike's Subs and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • increased blood pressure
  • bloating
  • water retention

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • obesity
  • hypertension
  • increased risk of certain cancers
  • arterial stiffness

Ingredients to be aware of


  • protein-rich
  • customizable options
  • nutrient-rich vegetables
  • whole-grain alternatives

Healthier alternatives

  • mini sizes
  • lean proteins
  • whole wheat bread
  • veggies
  • lettuce wraps
  • water instead of sugary drinks
  • homemade sandwiches

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Dave's Killer Good Seed Bread

  • Organic ingredients
  • Thin-sliced
  • Rich in seeds
  • Non-GMO
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 12-06-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 12-06-2023

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