Dangerous Dining with Alex #3

Subway Foot-long Cold Cut Sub

Overview: A few years back Subway was touting itself as fast food’s answer to healthy eating, with “Subway Guy” Jared Fogle being their poster boy for how you could lose weight eating their sandwiches. And they were indeed ahead of the curve on this point, being very proactive about listing the nutritional value of their meals before this was all that common. The branding worked. Even today my neighbour thinks of their subs as a “salad on a bun” for all the garden goodies they stuff in them.

Label: You can get quite a detailed nutrition guide at your local Subway, though it does take a bit of reckoning with a pen and calculator to figure out just what your meal finally adds up to. Basic sandwich values are for a six-inch sub on 9-grain wheat bread and limited garnishings. I only get foot-long subs on an Italian herbs & cheese bun, with the works and mayo. (As an aside, Jared lost weight by not including mayo on any of his subs.) So that’s 860 calories for the sub, plus an extra 220 for the mayo (damn, that stuff is killer!), plus an extra 80 for the bread, plus an extra 80 for the cheese. For a grand total of 1,240 calories. Which isn’t too bad. Sodium worked out to 2,720 mg though, which is well over the upper limit recommended by Health Canada. Finally, there was 71 g of fat, a number that took me by surprise. All of a sudden this doesn’t seem that healthy a dinner.

Review: As I said, I always get it on Italian herbs & cheese. Because it sounds more expensive? Because it sounds like you’re getting more “stuff” (herbs and cheese!) at no extra cost? Because the herbs make it sound sorta, kinda, healthy? I don’t know. I do know that I can’t stand whole wheat bread, so that’s off the table.

I eat at Subway a lot. Maybe not as much as Jared did, but a lot. It’s close and convenient. I like how quick the clean up is, the way you just stuff everything back into the sandwich bag and toss it. And I really like the taste too. I wouldn’t keep going back if I didn’t.

But I don’t think this is healthy eating. I could cut the mayo but I wouldn’t like it half as much. I could go with the six-inch sub but I wouldn’t feel full. This is the no-win logic of fast food. Or at least no win for me.

Price: $6.80.

Score: 6.5 / 10

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