I don’t eat “fast food.” Or, do I?
Exploring healthy options at Subway with the help of Jared & NBC’s The Biggest Loser
Those of you that know my story, or have heard me speak publicly, know that I no longer eat “fast food.” It was one of the very first things to go (along with the diet coke) back in November 2010 when I officially started my transformation journey. I haven’t eaten fast food in five years.
Well, okay, until this past weekend.
This past January, when I shared my at-home transformation story on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, we were surprised by Jared, the Subway guy, who was in the audience and “gifted” us a year’s supply of Subway.
As you may know, Jared Fogle lost 240+ pounds eating Subway and has been in advertising campaigns and an “official” spokesperson for the popular fast food chain since 2000.
Well, my Subway gift card came in the mail just before the Memorial Holiday weekend. Perfect timing! Thank you Subway. So, I decided to venture into Subway this weekend while on a road trip to check it out.
While Subway boasts a low calorie menu and lots of healthy choices, I was not sure Jared’s version of “healthy” and mine would match up. I avoid bread as much as possible, and when it comes to salad dressing, I’ve learned over the years to read labels and be very careful because most are high in fat and sugar.
Here’s what I learned in a nutshell that may be of interest or helpful to you about eating “healthy” at Subway:
- You can order any Subway sandwich as a salad. But be careful because some of the salads are loaded with carbs, fat and sugar (dressings).
- There are a number of chopped salads on the Subway menu, including the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, and Black Forest Ham that are fairly low in calories, fat, and carbs.
- A chopped single chicken breast salad, for example, takes one “clean,” grilled chicken breast (it looks like about 4 ounces) and chops it up in a bowl. Then you add your toppings. I started with mostly fresh spinach, added just a touch of chopped green lettuce, green peppers, tomato, cucumbers, a few black olives, and salt and pepper. No cheese. No croutons. For dressing, I requested Dijon mustard on the side or used my own preferred dressing — Newmans Olive Oil & Vinegar. This is a lot of salad and it totally filled with me up. This was my lunch with a bottled water. Yum! Not bad for “fast food.”
- Subway has a great website with nutrition facts, here. According to the official site, the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast Salad has only about 140 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 10 carbs (sans the dressing, of course).
- There are other online sources if you want to verify your nutritional facts at Subway or many other restaurants. Calorie Lab is particularly great.
- Sparkpeople.com compares the 6″ Oven Roasted Chicken and the 6″ Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki here.
There are still many good reasons that I prefer not to start eating fast food or frequent Subway too often. For me, I believe it can become too easy and I’ll risk get hooked again. This coming from the girl who practically lived on fast food and could eat 2-3 McDonald’s Big Macs in one sitting. Yikes!
Yep, I prefer to select my food in a grocery store and eat whole foods — fruits and vegetables that are fresh and hand picked. That said, when I am on the road traveling or need a healthy, fast option, Subway is a good one. One of the best I’ve found.
Lunch anyone? My treat.