Healthy fast food doesn't have to be an oxymoron. If you find yourself wondering, "What's the healthiest thing to eat at Subway?" then you're in luck — especially if you're vegetarian. The Subway veggie patty is a hearty option made from vegetables and whole grains.
Choosing Healthy Fast Food
Sometimes fast food's convenience makes it the most realistic option for somebody who is in a hurry and does not have time to pack a meal. In this case, MedlinePlus recommends finding something relatively healthy, possibly something that is not too high in calories or fat or even something that comes with a side salad.
It's not always easy to navigate the world of fast food options. Maybe you just don't have time to skim through the nutritional facts before ordering — that is, assuming the nutritional facts are posted online (which Subway does offer as a service to its customers). When visiting a sandwich chain such as Subway, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends ordering smaller-sized sandwiches on whole-grain bread with vegetables, lean meats and mustard. Per the academy's recommendation, you will want to stay away from items like fatty meats, cheese, mayo and white bread to create the healthiest option possible.
Examining the Subway Veggie Patty
Fast food options that are heavy on vegetables or suitable for vegetarians are sometimes difficult to find. Subway is among those restaurant chains that do offer vegetarian options, and for somebody who is craving something a little more substantial than vegetables on bread, the Subway veggie patty is a great option. Although the Subway veggie patty is not available at all locations, it doesn't hurt to ask the team at your local shop whether they have it.
Because the veggie patty is not available at all locations, it is not listed on the website. Lanette Kovachi, MS, RDN, global corporate dietitian and senior nutritionist for Subway restaurants, explains that the 6-inch patty has 360 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 47 grams of carbohydrates and 22 grams of protein. For comparison, the veggie burger at Burger King, which is a MorningStar Farms brand Garden Veggie Patty, has 390 calories with 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates and 21 grams of protein.
The Subway veggie patty ingredients include milk and egg, so it is not a suitable option for vegans. The top 10 veggie patty ingredients are mostly vegetables and grains, although they do have egg whites, wheat gluten and soy flour, all of which are sources of protein. The primary veggie patty ingredients also include water chestnuts, onions, carrots, cooked brown rice, whole grain oats and mushrooms.
Other Vegetarian Options
If the Subway veggie patty isn't for you — maybe you're vegan, or it isn't available at your local restaurant — you can always opt for the Veggie Delite sandwich. Depending on what you're looking for when you ask yourself, "What's the healthiest thing to eat at Subway?" this could be your answer: Among the 6-inch sandwiches (not the sliders), the Veggie Delite has the lowest calorie count and has only 2 grams of fat.
If you order the Veggie Delite on the nine-grain wheat bread with no cheese, and you load it up with vegetables, you will consume approximately 200 calories, 2 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbohydrates (5 grams of which are fiber and 5 grams of which are sugar) and 9 grams of protein.
If you're a frequent patron of Subway and you want to vary your vegetarian options, you can also order the Veggie Delite as a salad or as a wrap. The Subway selection of vegetables includes banana peppers, black olives, cucumbers, green peppers, jalapenos, lettuce, pickles, red onions, spinach and tomato.
Although all this information might not give a definitive answer to the question "What's the healthiest thing to eat at Subway?" it will help you make informed choices the next time you're trying to feed yourself when you're in a hurry.
- Subway: “Veggie Delight”
- MedlinePlus: “Calorie Count — Fast Food”
- American Academy of Family Physicians: “Making Healthy Choices at Fast Food Restaurants”
- Subway: “A Clear Look at Nutrition”
- Burger King: “Veggie Burger”
- My Food Data: “Soy Flour Full-Fat Raw”
- My Food Data: “Vital Wheat Gluten”
- My Food Data: “Egg Whites”