In a world where a hamburger piled high with cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise can top 1,000 calories, Subway has become known for offering healthier fare. On the other hand, just because it’s on the Subway menu doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. What about a Subway Ham sandwich, is it a smart choice for a health-conscious, fast-food eater?
Subway Ham Sandwich: What’s Good about It
A Subway ham sandwich comes on a six- inch sub roll – and the calorie count is pretty reasonable with only 290 calories per six-inch sandwich. It’s also fairly low in fat with five grams of total fat and only 1.5 grams of saturated fat. It’s also a good source of muscle-building protein with a rather hefty 18 grams of protein per sub sandwich.
Subway Ham Sub: What’s Bad about It
Carbophobics, take note. Subway ham subs are surprisingly high in carbohydrates with 47 grams in a single six-inch sub – and 8 grams of sugar. You wouldn’t necessarily expect to see that much sugar on a ham sandwich. An even bigger problem is the salt. One six-inch ham sub has 1260 milligrams of sodium, which is about half of the maximum recommended allowance per day.
Unfortunately, the ham on the Subway ham sub is processed and contains nitrites, which are suspected of causing cancer. In addition, the high salt content makes it easier for the nitrites to penetrate the intestinal cells and exert their carcinogenic effect. Another problem – the ham is smoked to give it more flavor. This is concerning since research shows that smoked and processed meats may increase the risk of stomach cancer.
How to Make a Subway Ham Sandwich Healthier
Overall, it’s better to choose the turkey sub – even though it’s still high in sodium. But if you’re set on a ham sub and nothing else will do, try these tips to make it healthier. Choose your bread wisely. Unfortunately, none of the breads at Subway are as healthy as the company would like you to think. Even their six-inch wheat roll has 200 calories, and their wraps have 190 calories – and neither are low in carbs. Still, the wheat roll has more fiber, so it’s the best choice of what’s available. The honey oat bread has slightly more fiber but is higher in sugar and calories.
How to make it even healthier? When you order a Subway ham sandwich, go heavy on the vegetables and hold the cheese and mayonnaise. Choose mustard instead. To get the taste of ham, but lower the fat content, ask for half-ham and half-turkey instead of all ham – and consider eating only half the bread. That will save you almost 100 calories. Another option is to eat a Subway salad with ham, which is a healthier way to get the taste of ham since you won’t have the added carbs from the bread.
Is the Subway Ham Sub Healthy: The Bottom Line?
The Subway ham sub is reasonable from a calorie and fat standpoint but high in sodium. Offset the damage by watching your salt intake for the rest of the day and adding lots of veggies to your sandwich – while holding the mayo and cheese. It’s an okay sandwich for a once in a blue moon splurge, but turkey is still a better option.