How Healthy is Subway?

With a slogan like “Eat Fresh,” the largest restaurant chain in the world, Subway appears to be a healthy meal alternative. Regrettably the true facts need to divulged about this chain with nearly 400 outlets in India. Yes, there are freshly cut vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes but Subway’s sauces, meats and bread are by no means nutritious. In fact, they are harmful.

Sure Subway makes your meal right in front of you, but what ingredients are they using and where did they come from? Boxes of already cut up and prepackaged processed foods and chemical additives are being shipped from the main Subway sourced factories to each location. How does this food stay so fresh — with plenty of chemicals and preservatives to last through the shipping and storage process.

Real wheat bread takes only takes 4 or 5 simple ingredients to make — flour, yeast, salt, water, and a small quantity of sugar. Subway’s breads, even the masked whole wheat variety, look and smell fresh but there are nearly 50 ingredients that go into the bread! These include refined flours, dough conditioner, refined sugars and the chemical ingredient known as azodicarbonamide. This is a banned food additive in UK, Europe, and Australia. Azodicarbonamide is normally used in the manufacturing of foamed plas- tics, however, it is allowed in the U.S. and India as a food additive, a flour bleaching agent, and a dough conditioner that improves elasticity of bread. The U.K. has recognized this ingredient as a potential cause of asthma if in- haled and advises against its use in people who have food allergies because azodicarbonamide can aggravate the symptoms.

After a petition with over 70,000 signatures requesting that this additive be taken out of the bread, Subway eliminated it from their ingredient list in June 2014.

You won’t find this information on the Indian Subway website — on this site you will find marketing lingo telling you how low fat and healthy their subs are. There are nutrition values such as calories, protein and carbohydrates but no ingredients are listed. You have to dig in the site subway.com, the Indian site subway.co.in doesn’t tell you much. Here is a link.

There are people who eat Subway sandwiches on a regular basis, some- times daily. Is it the lesser of the two evils — for example Subway vs. Vada Pav. Chances are that the vada pav will be less hygienic if eaten off a cart. At Subway you will get more veggies and protein in the foods so it is a matter of trans fats vs. chemicals. Difficult to choose so it is best not to consume these foods frequently.

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