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Subway Overtakes McDonald’s: What It Means for Health

Subway logoThis morning, the internet is buzzing with the news that Subway now has more restaurants globally than McDonald’s, which has long been the largest restaurant chain in the world. The Wall Street Journal reports that Subway now has 33,749 restaurants worldwide, compared to McDonald’s 32,737. As many discuss the two companies strategies for expansion overseas, I found myself wondering what this means for global food culture.

Subway has worked hard to promote the idea that its sandwiches are a healthier option, from their slogan of “Eat Fresh” to their promotional campaign featuring Jared Fogle. Yet there is much to consider before you bite into a footlong sandwich.


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Healthiest Menu Choices at SUBWAY

As a sponsor of The Biggest Loser and a creator of its own diet, SUBWAY is known as being one of the most health-conscious of the fast-food chains out there. But does that healthy hype live up to its nutritionals? We recently scoured the chain’s menu trying to find meals that had less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium, according to feedback from registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield and the new daily sodium recommendations. The results? Although there are some good options here, it’s surprisingly limited considering SUBWAY prominently features its low-fat menu options.


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Subway Japan Grows Lettuce in Store

You might think of Subway as a more health-conscious take on fast food, but you may not think of them as being on the cutting edge. Subway Japan has opened a new store, reports AsiaJin,  called the “Subway Yasai Lab Maru Building Store” in central Tokyo. Translation? The unique store has a “Vegetable Lab” that grows fresh lettuce for its sandwiches on the spot. All the lettuces are hydroponically cultivated and pesticide free, taking local eating to the next level.
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Subway Bread has More High Fructose Corn Syrup Than Whole Grains

We hear all the time that we aren’t supposed to eat fast food because of all the unhealthy ingredients, fat and calories. So instead, we’re told that Subway is the healthy alternative to burgers, nuggets and fries. We’ve watched for years as Jared Fogle, “the Subway guy,” has promoted eating at the sandwich restaurant for weight loss. And the subs are a mainstay in the Biggest Loser diet. So it should be good for us without question, right?

Well, David Zinczenko, author of the Eat This, Not That series, argues otherwise. In a short list on The Truth About Your Food at Yahoo, he lifts the veil on the ingredients label of some of our favorite foods. While there aren’t any misconceptions about other foods on the list like Doritos and Skittles, the one surprising inclusion is Subway. Namely their fresh-baked bread.

Setting the Subway 9-grain wheat in his crosshairs, Zinczenko fires at not only the lack of nutritional value, but the very poor ingredients that are used. Most health-conscious consumers probably ask for the 9-grain wheat sub as opposed to the plain-white because of the nutritional value, but his findings reveal you might as well get the white.
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Jillian Michaels Urges Subway to Remove High Fructose Corn Syrup from Breads

“I told em if they take it out of their bread I’ll do a commercial for free,” said Jillian Michaels in response to learning that Subway breads contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

The star trainer of NBC’s Biggest Loser, a program sponsored by the restaurant, announced that she “Had NO idea Subway had HFC in their bread til you guys pointed it out,” referring to her loyal fan base of more than 250,000 followers on Facebook.

Sign our petition asking Subway to remove high fructose corn syrup from their ingredients.

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The sandwich chain, which markets itself as a healthier alternative to fast food, has been a fixture in product placements on The Biggest Loser, a weight loss program that prides itself on teaching clean eating habits. The ranch, where contestants are isolated and go through an intense weight loss journey, restricts any foods that aren’t organic and are processed. So it’s an interesting revelation to learn that one of the show’s primary sponsors serves the contestants, and millions of customers, food with a processed ingredient that would never be permitted inside the hallowed halls of the Biggest Loser ranch.
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