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Worse than a Big Mac

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I was supposed to try eating out at a restaurant for my Nutrition class. It's not that I don't do this often, but my usual course is to check out the restaurant before hand, you know the drill. I generally look over the calories first, then sodium (including dressings) and then decide what I'm interested in. But in the spirit of the assignment, I wanted to make it an experiment. So somewhat on a whim, I picked Subway and had a 6" Spicy Italian. I used to eat these in the footlong variety with fair regularity in the months leading up to my highest weight, but I'd stopped eating them then based on total calories and never really had call to look up the nutrition facts.

So when I say worse, do I mean calories, fat, sodium, what? Try all three. Calories, fat, saturated fat in particular, are all higher in a 6" Spicy Italian (with cheese, mayo and pickles, which I determined through an unscientific internet poll was not an unreasonable presentation for the sandwich, and the Big Mac has similar toppings). Sodium is double in that presentation, and triple if you put salad dressing on it. You do get 2 g fiber if you have a bread containing whole grain at Subway.

But you can put vegetables on at Subway, right? Well, kind of. All the toppings added up have no reportable fiber. At first I thought this couldn't be right, but looking closer, it turns out a cup of lettuce has less than a gram of fiber. Tomatoes are one of the higher fiber "vegetables". If you want to get fiber at Subway, go with a Meatball Marinara on the oat bread. Subway reports all it's nutrition facts on the wheat bread, but the honey oat bread is higher in fiber. But really, if you could dilute fast food with vegetables, you could also have a side salad with a Big Mac. They have the same protein, though I have enough sense to wonder how much your body can get out of preserved meat.

Part of the assignment was building a better meal, so in the future I'll try a roast beef, which I would be willing to eat with real mayo and no cheese, and all the veggies except pickles. (I've actually decided to replace some of the saturated fat in my diet with plant oils, so I have mayo more than I used to, and I've switched to lower fat milk.) When you have it rarely, mayo can be very savory. Another thing I learned from this assignment is that fruits (botanical definition) and whole grains are often better sources of fiber than salad, though I will keep working on liking salad.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Interesting info.
    1696 days ago
    Had no idea a Big Mac could win over a Subway. I usually have the 6-inch veggie sandwich with cheese and no oil and add baked Lays.
    1702 days ago
    I find I have little confidence in reported nutritional values of manufactured foods. Processed meats, cheese, bread and condiments are being made with different ingredients than they were even a short time ago. I guess the numbers the manufacturers provide are better than nothing, but I wouldn't stake my life on them.
    1702 days ago
  • STARDUST_1970
    i was once told to substitute the salad for the spinach which is okay for me cause i like the spinach. also, go with the turkey, roast beef. Oh, and have them take out most of the inside of the bread, it cuts down on calories/carbs. Go with their light dressing. Pack it full of veggies. yummm
    1703 days ago
  • JOE14250
    I really love salads! My regular is the kitchen sink salad I throw everything but the sink in it.
    Different kinds of tomatoes, lettuces, onions, and peppers.
    Any veggies I find in the farmers market: in small amounts, carrots,cucs,eggplant,squash,spinac
    Nuts instead of oil, I select various flavored vinegars(don’t mix them).
    I cook mushrooms in oil with peppers and onions to throw on top frequently.
    I have a variety of seeds I use too.
    I make enough for my wife and I then I put in fresh hot peppers, and stuff she doesn’t like, just for me.

    1703 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/22/2013 2:52:47 PM
    When I go to Subway, which is relatively frequently, I do a 6" turkey on whole wheat, with the light mayo (just a dab -- they know me there and know I'll make them scrape it off if they give me too much), provolone, and as many veggies as I can pack on the roll. I always feel full and can stay easily within my calorie range.

    1703 days ago
  • LADYBUG546
    Very Interesting....I know cold cuts does not matter the kind are full of bad....I think sometimes when we need to eat out for a work meeting or we are running from point a to point b the important fact is awareness and making the right choice. The key is moderation of eating out and what we eat when out. emoticon
    1703 days ago
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