Want to know what the healthiest bread options at Subway are? In this article we dive deep and compare all the bread options available for your Subway sandwich.
I’ve been going to Subway for a long time now. After swim practice at my local YMCA, I frequently got a Subway sandwich (I mean, it was in the YMCA so it was usually the easiest post workout snack).
My go to order was chicken breast on wheat with lettuce and chipotle southwest sauce. Since then, I’ve upgraded my order to have a few more veggies, but other than that, it’s generally stayed the same.
There are several different types of bread you can choose from, so if you are looking for the healthiest option you are in the right place.
What makes bread healthy?
When choosing a bread, I focus on two main factors, calories and fiber. If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to choose a lower calorie option. For general and digestive health, it’s good to choose a higher fiber bread.
There are a few other nutrients I look out for as well, including iron and protein. Some breads are fortified with iron, which make it a great choice for those with anemia or vegetarians and vegans. Most people don’t get enough iron from natural sources so iron fortified foods can be a huge help.
As for protein, bread isn’t considered a high protein food, but it does contain some. Choosing a bread higher in protein can help you stay fuller for longer and feel more satisfied!
The Hearty Multigrain bread is 190 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber. This makes it one of the highest fiber breads out of all of the options, making it an excellent choice.
It’s important to note that “multigrain” is not the same as “whole wheat”. This is a common misconception. Multigrain just means that there are several kinds of grains within the bread. Usually one of those grains are whole grains, but multigrain breads are typically not 100% whole wheat.
So, while this bread has some fiber in it, it’s not 100% whole wheat. Nonetheless, it’s one of the healthiest bread options for a Subway sandwich.
The Artisan Italian bread is 160 calories and contains 0 grams of fiber. This is usually the default option for bread at Subway.
While it’s a bit lower in calories compared to the hearty multigrain bread, it contains no fiber, which isn’t bad, but doesn’t make it the best option.
If you love the taste of Artisan Italian white bread but want some extra fiber in your diet to aid your digestion and help you feel full, add some extra veggies in your sandwich!
This bread is also very high in iron, about 50% of your daily recommended intake. This is great if you aren’t a big meat eater or have iron deficiency anemia.
Italian Herbs & Cheese
The Italian Herbs & Cheese bread is 200 calories and contains less than 1 gram of fiber. This makes it higher in fiber than the Artisan Italian bread, but also higher in calorie.
Again, if you love the Italian Herbs & Cheese bread but want the benefits of fiber, add some extra veggies to your sandwich.
If you are looking to lower the overall calories of your sandwich, you could also lower the amount of sauce you add to the sandwich. You can definitely fit this bread in while also reaching your goals!
This bread is also high in iron, about 60% of your daily recommended intake and the highest protein bread with a total of 9 grams of protein!
The Artisan Flatbread is 220 calories and contains 1 gram of fiber.
It is higher in calories compared to most of the other breads (excluding the wraps), probably due to the size of the flatbread.
Overall, it’s probably not the best choice due to it being higher in calories and low in fiber.
But, on a plus side, it’s rather high in protein, about 7 grams per flatbread, which is a plus! Overall, it’s a great “healthier” option.
Mini Hearty Multigrain
The Mini Hearty Multigrain bread is 120 calories and contains 2 grams of fiber, making it a delicious option for those who are watching their calorie intake.
To make this small sandwich as filling as possible, be sure to fill it with high protein meat and fiber filled veggies. You can also ask for them to go light on the sauce to save some more calories.
Personally, I love this bread and it is usually my go to. But, if you have a big appetite, then it’s probably best to go with a larger option.
The Mini Italian bread is 130 calories and contains 0 grams of fiber. This is a great option for those who are trying to lose weight and dislike wheat bread.
If you choose this bread and want to increase the overall fiber of the sandwich, add lots of veggies to your sandwich!
This is a good option if you are watching the calories you consume and prefer a higher filling to bread ratio (I’m totally in this boat).
The Spinach Wrap is 290 calories and contains 2 grams of fiber. This makes it one of the highest calorie bread options.
You may be fooled into thinking “spinach” makes this wrap healthier, but this isn’t necessarily true. It’s higher in fat compared to the other options (8 grams of fat versus 1.5-4 grams) and higher in sodium (780 mg versus 210-550 mg).
It is higher in protein, about 8 grams, which is a plus, but it’s not necessarily a better option, especially if you are watching your calories.
If you love the Spinach Wrap, you can always fill it up with lots of veggies to increase your fiber intake and add your meat of choice to increase the protein. You can also split the wrap in half and save some for later.
Tomato Basil Wrap
The Tomato Basil wrap is 290 calories and contains 2 grams of fiber. Overall, it’s nutrition is the same as the spinach wrap with a few differences.
It has some vitamin C (about 10% of the daily recommended intake) and is a little lower in calcium (8% of the daily recommended intake versus 10%).
But other than that, it’s similar to the spinach wrap. Again, if you love this wrap, add lots of veggies and some meat to add some fiber and protein.
What is the healthiest Subway bread option?
Overall, the best bread options are probably the Hearty Multigrain or the Mini Hearty Multigrain. This is because they have a higher fiber content compared to the other options, making them a good choice.
That being said, you should choose the option you enjoy the most. You can always make a few modifications to the sandwich to make the overall meal as nutritious as possible.
For example, a sandwich with Hearty Multigrain bread and chicken breast is going to contain similar dietary fiber to a sandwich with Artisan Italian bread, chicken breast and a few handfuls of veggies.
It’s best to focus on your overall meal or even your overall diet over the course of a day or week instead of individual foods. You can always add more nutritious foods to your meals to make the overall meal healthy and nutrient dense!
While choosing the healthier choices at Subway can be helpful, it’s 100% okay to choose the bread you like the most.
How to make a healthier Subway sandwich
After choosing a “healthier” bread choice at Subway, now it’s time to assemble a nutrient dense sandwich.
Start with add lean proteins like the chicken patty, ham, grilled chicken, oven roasted turkey or tuna. Then add on as many pickled and fresh vegetables as you’d like. There are no vegetables I would recommend avoiding completely unless you have any food allergies or a medical condition that requires food restriction.
Add a few slices of cheese if you desire. While cheese can be high in saturated fat, it’s fine to consume in moderation and is a good source of calcium and protein.
Then it’s time to add some condiments. I would recommend avoiding creamy dressings and sauces like the chipotle southwest sauce, caesar, ranch or mayonnaise. If you enjoy the taste, ask for a light layer as opposed to the normal serving. If you don’t enjoy Subway often, then I wouldn’t worry about getting the normal serving.
Good choices for condiments include those lower in saturated fat like oil and vinegar, hot sauce, honey mustard or sweet onion sauce. If you are worried about your sodium intake, it would be best to stick with the oil and vinegar or vinegar alone.
Overall, it’s not too difficult to make a nutrient dense Subway sandwich as long as you are mindful about your choices. Compared to other fast food restaurants, it’s a great delicious and potentially nutritious choice.