Is Jimmy John’s Veggie sub healthy?

Jimmy John’s is a popular sandwich chain known for its quick service and wide variety of sub options. One of their most popular subs is the Veggie sub, which contains provolone cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayo, and Jimmy John’s signature vinaigrette. With its fresh vegetables and lack of meat, many customers assume the Veggie sub is a healthy option. But is this really the case? Let’s take a closer look at the Veggie sub’s nutritional information to find out.

Calories and Macronutrients

The Veggie sub contains 320 calories, 37g of carbohydrates, 12g of fat, and 12g of protein in a 7 inch sub according to Jimmy John’s nutrition information. For a sandwich, this is a reasonable amount of calories and macronutrients. The carbohydrates come mainly from the bread and vegetables, the fat from the mayo and cheese, and the protein from the cheese.

Compared to other subs like the Vito (550 calories) or the Italian Night Club (560 calories), the Veggie has significantly fewer calories. However, it’s still a relatively high calorie count compared to eating a salad or home prepared sandwich.

Vitamins and Minerals

In terms of micronutrients, the Veggie sub provides a decent amount of vitamins and minerals. The mayonnaise contains a small amount of calcium and vitamin E. The provolone cheese provides calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A. The vegetables – tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and lettuce – contain vitamins K, C, potassium, folate, and manganese.

While it has a variety of micronutrients, the Veggie sub lacks some other vitamins and minerals you would find in greater amounts in fresh, unprocessed foods. There are minimal B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E. Overall though, the micronutrient profile is fairly balanced thanks to the vegetable toppings.


Dietary fiber is an important component of a healthy diet, with recommendations of 25-30g per day for adults. The Veggie sub provides 3g of fiber in a 7 inch sub, which equates to about 12% of the daily fiber requirement. While the sub does contain some fiber from the bread and vegetables, it falls quite short of being considered a high fiber food option. Consumers would need to pair it with additional high fiber foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains throughout the day to meet needs.


Sodium is a nutrient to watch out for, with the recommendation to limit sodium to less than 2,300mg per day. The 7 inch Veggie sub from Jimmy John’s contains 960mg of sodium. That equates to 42% of the daily recommended limit in just one sandwich, which is quite high.

The main sources of sodium in the sub come from the mayonnaise, bread, and signature Jimmy John’s vinaigrette. Such a high sodium content makes it difficult to stay within healthy limits if consuming the Veggie sub, especially on a frequent basis. Consumers would need to be mindful of other sodium sources in their diet to balance out the high amount in the sandwich.

Ingredients & Add-Ons

When determining how healthy a food item is, looking closely at the ingredients list is key. Here is the list of main ingredients in the Veggie sub, along with some notes:

– Wheat bread – enriched, refined grains
– Provolone cheese – high in saturated fat and sodium
– Mayonnaise – adds mostly fat calories and sodium
– Tomatoes – great source of vitamin C and lycopene
– Cucumbers – provide hydration and vitamins K and C
– Onions – contain antioxidants and fiber
– Lettuce – nutrient-poor but provides crunch
– Jimmy John’s vinaigrette – high in sodium, sugar and preservatives

The use of a processed wheat bread, cheese and mayonnaise makes this sub less healthy than if it contained 100% whole food ingredients like a whole grain bread, hummus, and olive oil.

Customers can request modifications to make the Veggie sub healthier, such as:

– Choosing whole grain bread
– Removing mayonnaise
– Adding avocado for healthy fat
– Adding spinach or sprouts for more nutrients
– Using olive oil instead of vinaigrette
– Going easy on the cheese or removing it

Making some of these simple swaps helps turn the Veggie into more of a plant-based, balanced meal.

Portion Size

Portion sizes are another important factor when determining how healthy a food is. Jimmy John’s Veggie subs come in four sizes:

– 5-inch (230 calories)
– 7-inch (320 calories) – considered the standard ‘whole’ sub
– 11-inch Giant (460 calories)
– 16-inch Super (640 calories)

The nutrition information discussed so far is for the 7-inch sub, which is likely adequate as a meal for most adults if paired with fruit or veggies and avoid overeating high calorie foods the rest of the day. However, customers often order larger sizes or add extras like chips and cookies which increases calories, sodium, fat and carbohydrates add up quickly.

Sticking to the 7-inch or 5-inch size is the healthiest bet if having the full Veggie sub. Larger portions or extras like chips and cookies tip it more in the unhealthy direction due to excess calories, fat, carbs, sodium and sugar.

How it Compares to Healthy Homemade

Preparing a veggie sandwich at home with fresh, whole food ingredients would be a healthier alternative to ordering the Jimmy John’s version. Here is a sample homemade veggie sandwich recipe and how it compares nutritionally:

Homemade Veggie Sandwich
– 2 slices 100% whole grain bread – 150 calories
– 2 Tbsp hummus – 50 calories
– Lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, sprouts
– 1/4 avocado, mashed – 80 calories
– 1 tsp olive oil – 40 calories
– Dash of lemon juice
– Total: ~320 calories

This homemade version uses more fiber-rich whole grains, plant-based protein from the hummus, healthier fats from the avocado and olive oil, and avoids heavily processed ingredients. It has the same number of calories as the 7-inch Jimmy John’s sub, but is nutrient dense and promotes satiety.

Some key nutritional differences:
– More fiber (6g vs 3g)
– Less sodium (250mg vs 960mg)
– Less saturated fat
– No artificial ingredients
– Rich in vitamins A, C, K from produce

Making a veggie sandwich at home allows you to control the ingredients and portions for a healthier meal. While convenient, the Jimmy John’s Veggie sub lacks whole foods nutrition compared to a homemade version.

Is it Healthy For Weight Loss?

If someone is following a calorie-restricted diet for weight loss, the Veggie sub could potentially fit into their daily meal plan. With 320 calories in a 7-inch sub, it can supply one meal’s worth of calories while providing satiety from protein and fiber.

However, there are healthier options for weight loss. The Veggie sub is high in refined carbohydrates from the white bread, which may cause blood sugar spikes and hunger soon after eating. It also lacks volume from low calorie dense foods like vegetables and fiber-rich whole grains.

For weight loss, it would be better to make a veggie sandwich at home. Some healthier options include:

– Open-faced sandwich on one slice of 100% whole grain bread
– Lettuce leaves or collard greens as the “bread”
– Load up on veggies like mushrooms, sprouts, spinach
– Swap mayo for mashed avocado or hummus
– Easy on the cheese or use feta or goat cheese
– Mustard or oil and vinegar instead of vinaigrette
– Add apple slices or side salad for volume

This type of veggie sandwich has fewer refined carbs, more fiber and nutrients, and larger portions of low calorie foods for less calories. While convenient, the Jimmy John’s Veggie sub may not keep hunger at bay or promote weight loss as well as a homemade sandwich can. Portion control is also key to prevent overeating.

How Often Can You Reasonably Eat It?

While the Veggie sub offers some nutritional value from its vegetable toppings, the processed bread, cheese and sodium make it more of a once in a while meal rather than an everyday option if eating for optimal health.

Here are some guidelines on how often it would be reasonable to eat a Jimmy John’s Veggie sub while maintaining a healthy diet:

– 1-2 times per month – If eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of minimally processed foods the rest of the time, having a Veggie sub as an occasional meal 2 times a month is unlikely to negatively impact health. This moderation prevents overdoing nutrients like sodium and saturated fat.

– 1 time per week – Having the sandwich once a week provides variety and convenience without becoming a dietary staple. Be sure to vary the vegetables and use healthy preparation tips like whole grain bread and easy mayo. Pair with fruit and veggies during the rest of the week.

– 1 time daily – Eating a Jimmy John’s Veggie sub on a daily basis could lead to excessive sodium, displacing healthier whole foods, and potentially weight gain over time. With 1,000mg sodium in one sandwich, it would be difficult to meet dietary guidelines if consumed regularly. For more frequent sandwich meals, create healthier homemade options.

In summary, enjoying the Veggie sub as an occasional meal in the context of an overall healthy diet is perfectly reasonable. But daily consumption is not ideal due to the sodium content and lack of fresh, whole food nutrients. Making your own veggie sandwiches at home can allow for more frequent sandwich meals.

Who is it Not Healthy For?

While the Veggie sub may be relatively healthy for some, there are certain populations who may want to avoid eating it regularly:

– Individuals with hypertension or heart disease – The high sodium content (960mg per 7-inch) should be avoided for those limiting sodium due to blood pressure concerns.

– Anyone following a low sodium diet – The nearly 1,000mg sodium in one sub is almost half the daily limit, so it should be avoided by those monitoring sodium.

– People with diabetes or insulin resistance – The enriched white bread and mayonnaise provide refined carbohydrates and saturated fat which can spike blood sugar levels.

– Those seeking a nutrient dense meal – Thanks to the processed bread and high sodium content, this sub isn’t as micronutrient-rich as a homemade sandwich with nutrient dense whole foods.

– Children – The high sodium level makes this an unsuitable meal option for most kids.

– Seniors – Older adults should limit sodium and saturated fat intake, so this isn’t the healthiest choice.

– Pregnant women – Processed deli meats are associated with an elevated risk of listeriosis, so pregnant women should avoid the Veggie sub.

– Anyone with food intolerances – The sandwich contains common allergens like wheat, dairy and soy, so it’s unsafe for those with related intolerances.

While the Veggie sub can be incorporated into some healthy eating patterns, there are many groups who may do better avoiding it as a regular meal choice due to its high sodium levels and processed ingredients. Focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods is a healthier approach for most.


The Jimmy John’s Veggie sub certainly has some nutritional virtues thanks to its fresh vegetable toppings, but it also has some downsides due to high sodium levels, refined grains, and processed cheese. Overall, the Veggie sub is a better option than subs laden with fatty meats and sauces, but it still lacks the wholesome nutrition of a homemade veggie sandwich.

Enjoying the convenience and flavor of the Veggie sub on occasion is perfectly reasonable as part of a balanced diet. But for those looking to eat optimally healthy or manage certain conditions like hypertension, creating your own veggie sandwiches with nourishing whole food ingredients is the healthier way to go. Moderation and customization are key if ordering the Veggie sub from Jimmy John’s.

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