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The healthiest options at Subway

Tamara Willner
Written by

Tamara Willner

Medically reviewed by

Fiona Moncrieff

3 min read
Last updated May 2024

Eating out at restaurants is an enjoyable social experience that you shouldn’t have to miss out on for the sake of your health journey. Many people worry that going to restaurants always means overindulging, however, it is possible to eat healthily when eating out.

Subway is one of Australia and New Zealand’s favourite sandwich shops, allowing you to create a sandwich/wrap to suit your own taste and dietary preferences. Whilst some of their options are higher in carbohydrates there are some healthier, lower carb alternatives when you find yourself in one of these restaurants. 

But why choose lower carb?

Science suggests that a reduced carbohydrate diet is the most effective diet for weight loss, and can be particularly useful for those who struggle with blood glucose control (e.g. people with type 2 diabetes). On top of this, eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables (e.g. broccoli or peppers), protein (e.g. meat or fish), and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil or nuts) has many health benefits.

It’s also completely ok to enjoy a higher carbohydrate option when you really want one. However, the important thing is that this isn’t a frequent indulgence, and you focus on finding the motivation to get back to your healthy habits afterwards.

To save you time and stress, our accredited dietitians at Second Nature have gone through the Subway menu and nutritional information and picked out some healthier options. Not all the options are strictly low-carb, but provide the best-balanced meals on offer.

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Lower-carb meals (less than 15g carbohydrates)

If weight loss is your goal, these options will leave you satisfied and can be included as part of a lower-carb eating plan:

Subway Salad salads with the following protein;

  • BLT
  • Buffalo Chicken 
  • Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt
  • Chicken Classic
  • Chicken  Schnitzel
  • Chicken Strips
  • Chicken Teriyaki
  • Italian BMT
  • Leg Ham
  • Pizza Melt
  • Roast Beef
  • Steak Melt
  • Tuna and Mayo
  • Turkey

Feel free to add any vegetable/salad ingredients! 


  • Puree and Simple, Apple and Strawberry (Aus Only)
  • Meatball Mozza Pot


  • Mayonnaise
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Chipotle Southwest Sauce
  • Garlic Aioli

Higher-carb meals (15-30g of carbohydrates)

These options are all balanced meals but are slightly higher in carbohydrate content:

Mini Sub with the following protein:

  • Turkey
  • Leg Ham
  • Roast Beef
  • Veggie Delight with Avocado
  • Carved Turkey (NZ only)

Subway salad with the following protein:

  • Meatball Melt 
  • Smashed Falafel
  • Veggie Patty


  • Chipotle Quesadilla
  • Wattie’s Fruit Squirtz, Apple & Blackcurrant Puree (NZ Only)
  • Wattie’s Fruit Squirtz, Apple & Peach Puree (NZ Only)
  • Wattie’s Fruit Squirtz, Apple & Strawberry Puree (NZ Only)

Enjoy less frequently (over 30g of carbohydrates and/or lacking in protein, vegetables or healthy fats)

It’s also okay to enjoy a sub if this is what you’d prefer (we recommend selecting a 6 inch). Whilst more than 30g carbohydrates, subs can be made with protein, vege and healthy fats (e.g avocado) and will result in a balanced meal. We recommend choosing the protein and sauce options from the ‘low carb’ section above. 


  • Veggie Delight w/Avo 


  • Ham Cheese and Tomato Jaffle
  • Avocado Toastie
  • Cheesy Garlic Toastie 
  • Garlic and Herb Toastie
  • The Ultimate Toastie
  • All cookies


Once you’ve chosen a balanced meal, it’s important to focus on your drink option.

The drinks on offer at Subway include soft drinks, iced tea/coffees, smoothies and juices, which are all high in added or naturally occurring sugars. 

To keep your meal lower in carbohydrates, we recommend opting for spring and/or lightly sparkling water. However, if you’d like to enjoy a sweetened drink, it’s okay to do so on occasion. 

Second Nature Recipe swaps:

Another great alternative to takeaways is cooking your own Second Nature ‘fakeaway’ at home! The great thing about a fakeaway is the recipe can be adapted to improve its nutritional content, and we know exactly what goes into the meal. There’s a number of recipes on our app that could make a delicious Subway, including: 

  • Curried chickpea burger
  • Open face steak sandwich
  • Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Ham and Mustard Sandwich
  • Salad Sandwich
  • BBQ Pulled Pork served with a whole grain bun 
  • Seitan Shawarma
  • Prawn tortillas

Take home message

  • If you don’t want to indulge, there are a number of healthier, lower-carb options you can order.
  • Reduced carb diets seem to be the most effective for weight loss.
  • Enjoy a sub, wrap, toastie or cookie when you really want one, then focus on staying motivated to return to healthy habits afterwards.
  • Be mindful of drinks that contain hidden sugars.
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