Sandwiches aren’t as bad for you as other fast food items, or they don’t have to be. If you have to choose between pizza, fries, and a sandwich, the sandwich is probably the easiest to make into something more healthy.
Even if it’s the lesser of two evils, that doesn’t always make it a good choice on its own. Amy Goodson, a registered dietitian, says that creamy sauces, a lot of processed meat, and a lot of bread slices can quickly make a sandwich very unhealthy.
She also points out that many fast-food sandwiches are too big, especially when they come with things like soda, chips, fries, and cookies on the side. Many ways can make a fast-food sandwich meal unhealthy, but that’s not the only one.
But Goodson also says that changing your sandwich is always a good, healthy thing to do. They can be “skinny,” which means they don’t use as much bread, and they can be “easy,” which means they don’t use as many sauces and spreads like mayonnaise. If all else fails, get the sauce on the side and add a small amount yourself.
After Goodson gave us this general advice, we asked her for advice on which sandwiches to stay away from on the market.
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Arby’s Half Pound Beef ‘n Cheddar
One thing is for sure: Arby’s is a favorite fast-food place, and they always have a lot of new things on the menu, too. You might not want to order this bad boy, which has a half-pound of roast beef on an onion bun, cheddar cheese sauce, and red ranch.
It’s a good thing that there is less bread in this place, which means that the calories are a little less. Because “a half-pound of beef is more than most people should have per serving,” she says. It will add calories and sodium to your sandwich, which is not good for you. Let’s not forget about the ranch, the thick, creamy sauce that makes everything taste good. It also adds more calories and fat to this sandwich, though.
Instead, Goodson says that you should go for Arby’s Classic Roast Beef Sandwich, which will still satisfy your roast beef cravings but won’t be full of processed meat.
Subway’s Steak “Cali Fresh” Footlong on Italian Herbs & Cheese Bread
It has 1,240 calories, 72 g fat, 23 g saturated fat, and 2,860 mg of salt in each piece of bread.
If you compare Subway to Arby’s, it hasn’t had a good time. The brand is always changing its menu and trying to get any kind of good press. There isn’t going to be any help from their new Cali Fresh sub, which has a lot of sodium in it.
There is a foot-long sandwich that has steak, bacon, smashed avocado, and mozzarella, as well as your choice of vegetables. There is a lot of it, says Goodson.
“Some of the toppings on this pizza are good, but if you eat more than the amount that comes with the pizza, you’ll eat too many calories. There are some good toppings like steak, mozzarella, and avocado here. Not only that, but the bacon also adds a lot of saturated fat and sodium to the meal.”
You can get the 6-inch Veggie Delite on hearty multigrain bread with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and red onions.
Potbelly’s Big Mama’s Meatball Sandwich on White Bread
As a sandwich: It has 70 grams of fat, 31 grams of which are “saturated.” There is 2,970 mg of sodium in that.
Think about the name of this sandwich, and it’s clear that you’re in for a hearty meal of comfort food that has meatballs, provolone cheese, and marinara sauce on it. That’s not true, though. When you get a big sandwich and white bread, it’s one of the healthiest subs you can get.
“The truth is that meatballs are a lot of calories because they are often not made with the leanest ground beef or pork.” “And the marinara sauce is most likely the thing that is making this sandwich saltier.”
Everyone loves a meatball sub, but if you want to stay healthy, she says to go for white meat and small portions. If you go to Potbelly, that could be the original size of the Turkey Breast and Swiss Cheese on Multigrain Bread there. She also says that you can (and should) eat it with a lot of your favorite vegetables.
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Quiznos’s 12-inch Classic Italian on White Bread
Each sandwich at Quiznos is a 12-inch Classic Italian on White Bread, and each sandwich costs $1.50. 1,400 calories, 78 grams of fat (25 grams of which are saturated fat), 4,150 mg of sodium.
The 12-inch Classic Italian sandwich from Quiznos is number four on the list of the least healthy fast food. There are four types of meat in this dish: pepperoni, salami, spicy capicola, and bacon. This means it has a lot of fat and sodium, but it also has a lot of flavors.
This sandwich has a lot of calories and fat because of the size and the amount of meat. “There are some lighter toppings like melted provolone and black olives,” Goodson says. “But the size of this sandwich and the amount of meat sends it through the roof.”
She says that the 4-inch Spicy Monterey sandwich on wheat bread is a good choice because it’s a lot fewer calories and fat than the other sandwich.
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Firehouse Subs’ Large Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket on White Bread
It has 1,915 calories, 42 grams of fat, and 4,668 milligrams of salt in each sandwich.
This sub has a lot of sodium in it, but it’s too much for it. The Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket sandwich has more than double the recommended amount of sodium for an entire day in just one sandwich. It also comes with mayo and BBQ sauce, which should be avoided at all costs if you want to keep your heart healthy.
Goodson says that “In general, lean beef and cheese are good for you, but the large size of this sandwich means more meat and more cheese, which adds calories and fat. To make things even better, add some mayo and BBQ sauce.”
If you go to Firehouse Subs again, she says you should get the Medium Turkey Sub on Wheat Bread instead of the Large Turkey Sub. About a third of the calories and fat are in this sandwich, and less than half of them come from fat and salt.
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