What’s really in a “healthy” Subway sandwich? The biggest con in fast food

I’m a former fast food junkie.  Every day during my lunch break I would run down to my closest drive-through and order something “light”, like a grilled chicken sandwich.  When I wanted to eat a bit healthier, I would swing by Subway and order a turkey or roasted chicken sub.  That is healthy, right?   Their slogan is “EAT FRESH”.  They tell us right there on the napkins that we are saving about 300 calories and an astounding 27 grams of fat by choosing a turkey sandwich over a Big Mac or Whopper.  

Subway napkin with nutritional facts

What I failed to realize is that those are just the macronutrients.  Macronutrients primarily consist of the three things that make up the calories in everything we eat (fat, carbohydrates and protein).  Through my journey to get healthier, I’m learning that there is so much more to food than it’s macronutrients and Subway sandwiches are starved of nutrition.  True nutrition can be found in micronutrients. Micronutrients are naturally present in un-processed food, and include vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, phytochemicals and many more nutrients that are still being discovered.  Most of us have been conditioned to believe that micronutrients in food don’t really matter all that much, and low-fat or low-calorie equals healthy. The lack of micronutrients in fast food fosters disease, including cancer, accelerates aging, contributes to obesity, and causes a slew of other health problems.  In the alternative, diets that are high in micronutrients detoxify carcinogens and deactivate free radicals, thereby reversing disease.  I don’t know about you, but I want to live a long and healthy life. Eating any food that is stripped of its micronutrients, like a Subway sandwich, no longer sounds that “healthy” to me!

Poisonous vegetables at Subway

Yes, I said poisonous.  It is true that Subway sandwiches with veggies contain small amounts micronutrients. This is countered by the fact that none of the veggies at Subway are organic and are laced with pesticides and herbicides (glyphosate) that have been scientifically proven to poison the body.  They further use additives to preserve some of their veggies and actually add poisonous yellow food coloring to their banana peppers.  Contrary to their “EAT FRESH” claims, Subway widely uses sodium benzoate as a preservative in their veggies, meat and sauces.  Sodium benzoate has been known to cause allergies,  A.D.H.D., and make you a bit dumber (reduces I.Q.).  Your best bet with the veggies at Subway is their spinach and avocado, but Subway waters down their previously-frozen mashed avocado and preserves it with ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid is usually derived from genetically modified corn.

Are Subway vegetables genetically modified?

Subway’s vegetables are not known to be genetically modified (GMO), only because the FDA has not approved any of the vegetable varieties that Subway offers on their menu to be sold in the U.S. as GMOs.  At least not yet.  We can be sure that when GMO tomatoes and cucumbers are approved, Subway will offer the GMO variety.  The same cannot be said for Subway’s bread. Subway bread does contain GMO-derived ingredients, such as corn syrup and soybean oil.  Even their healthy sounding “olive oil” is watered down with GMO canola oil, which is the main oil ingredient.

Ingredients in a “healthy” Subway sandwich

Subway publishes their ingredient list online, which I need to give them props for because not every restaurant does this.  The typical Subway sandwich that I previously ordered was a roasted chicken with cheddar on wheat, with a squirt of honey mustard.  Let’s take a look at the ingredients I was eating in that 6″ sandwich:

enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, whole wheat flour, sugar, contains 2% or less of the following: wheat gluten, oat fiber, soybean oil, wheat bran, salt, wheat, rye, yellow corn, oats, triticale, brown rice, barley, flaxseed, millet, sorghum, yeast nutrients (calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate), vitamin D2, dough conditioners (DATEM, sodium stearoyl lactylate, potassium iodate, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide), caramel color, refinery syrup, honey, yeast extract, natural flavor, enzymes, chicken breast with rib meat, seasoning (corn syrup solids, vinegar powder [maltodextrin, modified corn starch and tapioca starch, dried vinegar], brown sugar, salt, dextrose, garlic powder, onion powder, chicken type flavor [hydrolyzed corn gluten, autolyzed yeast extract, thiamine hydrochloride, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate]), sodium phosphates, cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes, artificial color, avocado pulp, ascorbic acid, banana peppers, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, sodium benzoate (preservative), sodium metabisulfite (preservative), polysorbate 80, fresh ripe cucumbers, fresh green bell peppers, Jalapeno peppers, distilled vinegar, salt, natural flavorings, calcium chloride,Cucumbers, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, sodium benzoate (preservative) alum, natural flavors, polysorbate 80, FD&C yellow no. 5, fresh iceberg lettuce, ripe olives, salt, ferrous gluconate, red onions, fresh red ripe tomatoes, high fructose corn syrup, prepared mustard (distilled vinegar, mustard seed, salt), Dijon mustard (distilled vinegar,mustard seed, salt, white wine, citric acid, turmeric, spices, tartaric acid), country Dijon mustard (distilled vinegar, mustard seed, salt, white wine, spice), distilled vinegar, honey, food starch-modified, cider vinegar, contains less than 2% of lemon juice concentrate, salt, phosphoric acid, artificial color (titanium dioxide), and potassium sorbate (as preservatives), xanthan gum, dehydrated onion, egg yolks, dehydrated garlic.

This list does not include common side-items, like Sun Chips or Pepsi.  I highlighted some of the most offending ingredients above, and will write articles about the dangers of each in the future. One thing is for sure, I don’t want to be consuming any of those things anymore, and it is very easy to make a healthy Subway-style sandwich at home with real ingredients that are not laced with poisonous chemicals, preservatives and GMOs.

Make a Healthy Subway-Style Sandwich at Home

I almost hate to call this a “Subway-Style” sandwich, because I think that belittles how healthy this alternative version really is!  You can make this sandwich in about 15 minutes.  It will take you longer than that to drive to Subway and get your food!  I the only thing I keep prepped in the fridge is the honey mustard dressing, which will keep for awhile in the fridge. I used Dave’s Killer Bread, Blue’s Buns to make this recipe, but I really recommend using sprouted grain buns if you can find them. 

Healthy "Subway-Style" Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Healthy “Subway-Style” Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich Recipe


Healthy "Subway-Style" Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich
Serves 2
A significantly healthier version of the Subway Roasted Chicken sandwich with honey mustard dressing from DeceptiveFood.com
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2 Ezekiel Sprouted Wheat Burger Buns (by Food for Life) or Blue's Buns (by Dave's Killer Bread)
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Lemon
Black Pepper
1 Chicken breast (thin cuts or cutlets cook the quickest)
2 leaves of lettuce
Veggies of your choice: spinach, bell pepper, onions, jalapeno, avocado, cucumber, ect.
Zesty Honey Mustard Dressing
1/2 C. Dijon mustard
3/4 C. Local raw honey
1/4 C. Apple cider vinegar
Grill the chicken on an indoor grill until no longer pink and juices run clear. Season generously with lemon juice and black pepper and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
While the chicken is cooking
Spread each side of the bun with olive oil and place under the broiler for a couple minutes to toast (optional)
Thinly slice the veggies (very thin) and shred the lettuce.
Drizzle each side of the toasted buns with about 1/2 tsp. of honey mustard (a little goes a long way)
After the chicken is done
Slice the chicken into 1/4-inch slices and place a few slices on one side of each bun.
Drizzle a tad more honey mustard over the chicken.
Layer the sandwiches with lettuce and then the veggies.
Drizzle with honey mustard dressing over the veggies.
Zesty Honey Mustard Dressing
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and chill. This works well in a mason jar. Just add ingredients and shake! The amounts in this recipe will make enough to keep in the fridge for many more sandwiches.
Use all organic ingredients when they are available to you.
The Food for Life brand of bread is preferable because it is sprouted wheat, contains more micronutrients, and is easier to digest.
Deceptive Food http://deceptivefood.com/

Real Fresh Ingredients!

Real Fresh Ingredients!



Subway’s deceptive marketing needs to be stopped

Subway goes a long way to convince you their food is healthy and fresh.  They don’t even want you to think of them as fast food. I feel that the best way to fight against this ludicrousness, is to spread the word to my friends and family. The more of us that are aware of these deceptive marketing practices and make an effort to boycott their products, the more likely it is that change will happen. Please join me in sharing this with the people you care about.

Think Subway is Healthy? Think again!


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I'm very passionate about food. I mean, I really love to eat! Although I'm still in my 30's , I've known several friends and family members who have come down with cancer at a young age. This really got me thinking about what I was eating and if the foods I consume could be causing detrimental effects to my body. I've learned that food is more than necessary for energy, but is actually a medicine for good health. Food can either be poisoning or nourishing you. I do not like weight loss gimmicks or diet fads. I think that moderation is key, and still enjoy my coffee and wine... although it is now organic :). By simply eating organically and avoiding highly processed foods, I have lost weight and dramatically improved how I feel. I now analyze everything that I eat and started DeceptiveFood.com to organize my research and share it with all of you. I highlight where popular processed food products have steered me wrong in the past, and give you alternative recipes to try instead. I’d love to hear from you – introduce yourself on Facebook or Twitter. Hearing your comments means a lot to me and I look forward to meeting you!

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Posted in Deceptive Food in Restaurants