Fast food restaurants are not created equal in media. Some food chains are advertised as feel good food rather than healthy or inducing weight loss. Subway has been publicized to be a nutritious restaurant, offering quick meals that have quality ingredients. While Subway is believed to be the healthier fast food option, factors such as added sodium, hidden calories and processed meats shows that it may be just as unhealthy as other leading food chains.The average human body requires approximately 1500mg-2300mg of sodium per day. Sodium is needed in the body because it regulates the kidneys and controls blood pressure. Too much sodium causes fluid retention, leading to raised blood pressure. According to Subway’s nutrition guide, there is no submarine sandwich on the menu, other than their Veggie Delight, that has under 500mg of sodium, with some subs having up to 1490mg of salt. The information listed on their website is a sub made without any extra toppings such as full fat condiments and cheese.While condiments can add up to 410mg of sodium per serving, Subway employees typically put more than the recommended serving size for a 6-inch or 12-inch sub. For example, a Black Forest ham sub with mayonnaise can have about 920mg of salt, without cheese or other toppings. With the highest salt content, a Spicy Italian with buffalo sauce has a whopping 1,900mg. A serving of cheese will add another 200mg of sodium.
Fast food chains are focused on fast and convenient foods, drenching everything including vegetables in salt so it’ll last longer. One meal at Subway could have a full day’s worth of sodium but won’t leave you feeling full all day. Though Subway may be a better choice than McDonald’s, it’s not truly healthy. Along with excess sodium intake at Subway, hidden calories can make what seems to be a healthy choice just as bad as any other option. Ordering at Subway starts with your choice of bread, a 6-inch has around 200-300 calories and a foot long would have 400-600. Building a 6-inch sub will start with about 200 calories. Not bad, until you add your toppings. Meats alone can add another 250 calories. Vegetables don’t add many extra calories, only about 10-20. Next is cheese, processed cheese will cost you 50-100 calories. Your choice of sauce can turn your semi-healthy sub into a very unhealthy one. Adding multiple or more than a serving size of sauce gives you nearly 200 calories or more.Hidden calories don’t stop there, making it a meal with a drink and two cookies can almost double your calorie intake during your Subway visit. A foundation drink, such as Pepsi or fruit juice has around 200-350 calories. These liquid calories have an enormous impact on how many calories you’re truly consuming. Each cookie at Subway is advertised to have 200-220 calories, making it a meal with two cookies will give you at least another 400 calories. With all the hidden calories in a meal at Subway, you can get nearly a whole day’s worth of calories in just one sitting.
Meat can seem like a great idea, high in protein to keep you full longer. All meats at Subway are processed, they have excess sodium, fats and preservatives. Processed meats can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Meats available at Subway have over 50 ingredients in them, it isn’t fresh cut meat or anything cooked there. All of the meat has been chemically flavored and has been produced artificially, added preservatives and GMOs. Claiming to be organic and fresh food is an exaggeration, organic food shouldn’t be genetically modified just so a company can produce more product for cheaper.
There is no doubt that Subway may seem healthy, especially with a spokesperson contributing significant weight loss to eating at Subway, but nutrition facts show that your sub can be as unhealthy as you make it. It is clear that added sodium, hidden calories, and processed meats can ruin a diet, but most importantly it can lead to health issues such as obesity and heart disease. The factors mentioned above show that although Subway is advertised to be a healthier option in the fast food industry, a meal there can be as unhealthy as you make it.
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