A sub sandwich is typically made on a long roll and can be either relatively low or relatively high in calories depending on the size of the sandwich and what you put in it. If you opt for a 12-inch sub instead of a 6-inch sub and load it down with lots of mayonnaise and high-fat toppings, you could wind up eating most of your recommended calories for the day in just one meal. You can make your own sub sandwich to better control the calories.
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A 6-inch, fast-food, roast beef sub on a white-bread roll with lettuce and tomato has about 296 calories. Choose cold cuts instead of roast beef and the calories increase to about 417, while if you opt for tuna salad instead, you'll consume about 517 calories per 6-inch sub. If you prefer chicken, a 6-inch sub will have approximately 320 calories. A Philly cheesesteak sub is one of the higher-calorie options, with 520 per 6-inch sub. A 6-inch meatball marinara sub is even higher in calories, with 580. The same size BLT sub is actually a lower-calorie choice, with 360 calories.
Bread and Condiment Calories
The sub roll you use for your sandwich is one of the main sources of calories. A 6-inch, nine-grain wheat roll has about 210 calories, while the same-sized Italian bread roll has about 200 calories. The wheat roll is more nutritious, however, since it also has 4 grams of fiber compared to just 1 gram in the Italian roll. To lower the calories in your sub sandwich, opt for reduced-fat mayonnaise or mustard instead of regular mayonnaise. Regular mayonnaise has 95 calories per tablespoon, compared to 36 calories in a tablespoon of reduced-fat mayonnaise or just 3 calories in a teaspoon of mustard.
Another significant contributor to the calories in your sub sandwich is the amount and type of meat you choose. A 3 1/2-ounce serving of regular sliced ham has about 163 calories, while the same amount of thin-sliced beef has 117 calories. Sliced oven-roasted turkey is a lower-calorie choice, with 104 calories per 3 1/2-ounce serving. If you want to add cheese to your sub, you may want to cut back on the amount of meat in the sandwich to keep the calories down.
Cheese and Vegetable Calories
Adding cheese to your sub will also add a significant amount of calories. Each 1-ounce slice of cheddar adds 113 calories, while an ounce of Swiss cheese adds 106 calories. American cheese is lower in calories, with 50 calories per slice. The lowest-calorie way to add more flavor and substance to your sandwich is to increase the amount of vegetables you use. A whole cup of shredded romaine lettuce has just 8 calories, each slice of a medium tomato only adds 4 calories and a medium slice of onion has only 6 calories.