Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Subway Bad For You?



Short answer

Even if you select from the “6 grams of fat menu” and avoid the soft drink and potato chip sides, eating at Subway is a poor choice for anyone who is the least bit concerned with good nutrition. All menu items are over-processed and most are loaded with an intimidating list of ingredients - many of which are highly suspect.



Long answer

Purporting to offer high-quality food at a reasonable price, Subway has a loyal following of consumers who believe it to be the healthiest choice amongst fast food restaurants. This idea is reinforced by its “Eat Fresh” slogan, as well as the endorsements it has received from a number of Olympic athletes, and the American Heart Association (AHA).

At first glance, Subway is a fast food joint which offers many low-calorie, low-fat choices - its “6 grams of fat or less menu” proudly displays the fat and calorie content of each meal, alongside the AHA heart logo. However, the man who lost 245 pounds on the now-famous “Subway diet”, only highlights the fact that lower caloric intake and fat content is not strictly correlated with health.

Even the most basic elements of a meal at this fast food chain are toxic. In North America, Subway has been taken to task for using azodicarbonamide as a dough conditioner and bleaching agent in its bread. Often used in the production of yoga mats and shoe rubber, this additive is banned in most countries for its possible role in causing cancer and a number of respiratory ailments.

A meal at Subway is packed with a shopping list of unhealthy and hidden ingredients. In addition to chemical additives, all menu items are loaded with sodium and include refined flour and sugar, preservatives, artificial colors, nitrates, GMOs, and hidden sources of MSG. The sheer number of ingredients in a Subway meal attests to its poor nutritional value, with the popular Italian BMT at Subway topping out at over 130. Even salad items which have been given the AHA’s “red check” are suspect from a health standpoint. Noteworthy is the Double Chicken Chopped Salad which contains more cholesterol than a Big Mac.

Subway’s recent “Pile on the Veggies” campaign and recent decision to remove azodicarbonamide from its ingredient list in North America don’t negate other dietary concerns which arise from eating there. The only meal at this restaurant which is not unhealthy would be a salad containing tomato, red onion, spinach and frozen guacamole – a tasteless alternative with limited nutritional value, which hardly seems worth the trip.

Possible short-term side effects

  • water retention
  • dehydration
  • blood sugar spike
  • lethargy

Possible long-term side effects

  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • food allergy formation
  • diabetes
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • kidney disease

Ingredients to be aware of


  • cheap
  • convenient

Healthier alternatives

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Healthy Living 35
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-21-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Healthy Living 35
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-21-2016

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