in recent light of studies saying fat and cholesterol are not as bad for you as previously thought (surprise surprise), nate thought it would be interesting to know which fast food place would be better for you from a keto, atkin’s, or other low-carb diet stance: subway or mcdonald’s. i thought, well that’s easy enough to find out just from their nutrition facts pages. they put all that stuff up online, so it SHOULD be easy.
(we’ll see as i’m doing this on the fly.)
i think ultimately you need to compare two equivalent sandwiches. i’m not going to compare a big mac to a veggie flatbread sandwich. so, taking a look at each menu and thinking like the average joe walking in to each place, i’m going to compare a double cheeseburger and a 6″ cold cut combo. i’m going to add cheese and a sauce to the cold cut combo to make it somewhat comparable to the burger.
cold cut combo on italian bread with american cheese, cucumbers, green pepper, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and light mayonnaise (why light? to get the calories equal.):
burger: 440 cals, 210 from fat, 23 grams fat, 1.5 trans fat, 35 grams carbs, 2 dietary fiber,
7 sugars, 25 protein, 8% A, 2% C, 30% calcium, 20% iron, sodium 1050
sub: 440 cals, 190 from fat, 20 grams fat, .5 trans fat, 45 grams carbs, 2 dietary fiber,
8 sugars, 19 protein, 15% A, 20% C, 40% calcium, 25% iron, sodium 1460
that sodium blows my mind.
so, let’s say your subway choices lean toward the boring. try on a turkey sub, provolone cheese, olive oil sauce:
380 calories, but you’re still looking at huge amounts of carbs (more because i chose wheat bread this time around – way to be healthy!), but the dietary fiber is a little higher. i put on more veggies so your vitamins are up.
ok, so let’s see what the worst of the worst can do:
mcdonald’s bacon clubhouse crispy chicken sandwich [which is breaded and fried] vs. subway italian bmt with italian herbs and cheese bread, cheddar, mayo and olive oil, and bacon (plus a few veggies).
chicken: 750 cals, 340 fat cals, .5 transfats, 65 carbs, 4 fiber, 16 sugar, 36 protein, 8 A,
25 C, 30 calcium, 15 iron, 1720 sodium (whoa)
bmt: 710 cals, 400 fat cals, .5 transfats, 46 carbs, 3 fiber, 9 sugar, 29 protein, 15 A,
20 C, 50 calcium, 20 iron, 1820 sodium (more whoa)
the only plus side to eating the bmt is that you get some veggies on there.
for being “healthy”, subway sure doesn’t seem healthy. unfortunately, when a person walks into subway and puts a bunch of veggies on her sub, she is sort of disillusioned into thinking that her food is healthy. not necessarily the case.
let’s see what MY meal i eat a mcdonald’s comes in at (the only meal without devil’s syrup) vs. what i would get at subway:
mcd: 510 cals, 260 fat cals, 0 transfat, 47 carbs, 4 fiber, 0 sugar, 16 protein, 0 A, 10 C,
4 calcium, 8 iron, 700 sodium
subway: 560 cals, 260 fat cals, 0 transfat, 45 carbs, 3 fiber, 7 sugar, 26 protein, 20 A,
30 C, 50 calcium, 15 iron, 1160 sodium (holy cats)
even though the carbs are high from the french fries, given the lack of sugar in the mcdonald’s meal, i’d choose the nuggets and fries over the sodium-laden sub. (yes, yes, veggies are great, but the piddly amount they put on the subs does not make up for the huge slab of bread that surrounds them.)
this is all just another reason to stay home and cook.