For people following a low-carb or keto diet, choosing the right bread is crucial. Bread can make up a significant portion of a sandwich’s carbohydrates, so picking a lower carb option can help keep your carb count in check. Subway offers several bread options that can fit into a low-carb lifestyle. This article will discuss the carb counts of Subway’s bread choices and determine which has the lowest amount of net carbs. We’ll also provide tips for customizing your Subway sandwich order to further reduce carbs.
An Overview of Low-Carb Diets
Low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet restrict daily carb intake, often to less than 50 grams per day. This carb restriction helps the body enter ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbs. People may choose to follow a low-carb diet for weight loss, blood sugar control, epilepsy management, or endurance performance. When following a low-carb eating pattern, carb counts matter. Breads, baked goods, starchy vegetables, fruits, milk, and added sugars tend to be restricted or limited. Non-starchy vegetables, proteins, high-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils are emphasized instead. Each person’s daily carb limit will vary based on factors like activity level, metabolic health, weight loss goals, and more. Those following a very strict ketogenic diet may aim for 20-30 net carbs per day. More relaxed low-carb diets may allow 40-60 grams of net carbs or more.
What is Net Carb Count?
When looking at carb contents, net carbs provide a more accurate picture than total carbs. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols from total carbs. Because fiber and sugar alcohols are not fully digested, net carbs give a better idea of how a food will impact blood sugar and insulin. Here’s the formula:
Net Carbs = Total Carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols
Fiber and sugar alcohols should be subtracted because they minimally influence blood sugar levels. Focusing on net carbs allows more flexibility in food choices while still maintaining low carb intake.
Subway’s Bread Options
Subway offers several bread choices including Italian white, Italian herbs and cheese, 9-grain wheat, honey oat, roasted garlic, Monterey cheddar, Parmesan oregano, flatbread, wraps, and gluten free. The nutrition information varies between each type. Here’s an overview of Subway’s bread options and their carb content:
|Bread Type||Serving Size||Total Carbs||Fiber||Net Carbs|
|Italian White||6 inches||53g||2g||51g|
|Italian Herbs & Cheese||6 inches||51g||2g||49g|
|9-Grain Wheat||6 inches||48g||5g||43g|
|Honey Oat||6 inches||53g||3g||50g|
|Roasted Garlic||6 inches||53g||2g||51g|
|Monterey Cheddar||6 inches||51g||2g||49g|
|Parmesan Oregano||6 inches||51g||2g||49g|
|Gluten Free||6 inches||45g||5g||40g|
As shown, most of Subway’s standard bread choices range from 40-51 net carbs for a 6-inch sub. The 9-grain wheat bread has 5 grams of fiber making it one of the lowest carb options at 43 net carbs. The gluten-free bread is the lowest at 40 net carbs per 6-inch sub.
Lowest Carb Bread: Gluten Free
Based on the nutrition information, the gluten-free bread has the fewest net carbs out of all of Subway’s options. At only 40 net carbs for a 6-inch serving, it fits more readily into a low-carb eating plan than other choices.
Subway’s gluten-free bread is made with a blend of rice flour, tapioca starch, and other gluten-free flours. It has fewer net carbs thanks to psyllium husk powder which provides 5 grams of fiber per 6-inch loaf. The gluten-free bread has a soft texture and slightly sweet taste from brown rice syrup and molasses.
While not as low in carbs as other very low-carb bread options on the market, Subway’s gluten-free bread can be a good choice for limiting carbs at a sandwich shop. Some additional tips can help reduce the carbs even further when ordering.
Tips for Ordering Low-Carb at Subway
Here are some suggestions for ordering a low-carb sandwich at Subway with gluten-free or other bread options:
Opt for a 6-inch sub instead of a footlong to halve the carbs. A 6-inch gluten-free sub contains 40 net carbs versus 80 net carbs for a footlong portion. When building your sandwich, ask for extra vegetables instead of extra meat to keep portions balanced on a smaller sandwich.
Load Up On Veggies
Pile on the veggies when ordering your sandwich. Fresh vegetables provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without adding many additional carbs. Spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cucumbers are excellent low-carb choices. Get extra veggies on both halves of the sub for more nutrition.
Pick Lean Proteins
Choose lower fat proteins like turkey, chicken, roast beef, ham or tuna instead of higher fat meats like pepperoni, salami, or meatballs. This provides plenty of protein for satiety while limiting saturated fat and calories. Ask for double meat to increase protein even more.
Use Lower Carb Sauces and Dressings
Drizzle sauces sparingly or use options like mustard, vinegar, or oil which add flavor without carbs. Other lower carb sauces include sweet onion dressing, buffalo sauce, ranch, Caesar, and chipotle southwest. Avoid carb-heavy sauces like honey mustard, sweet onion teriyaki, and bbq sauce.
Skip the Cheese
Cheese can add additional carbs which may be too high for strict low-carb diets. Omitting cheese helps keep carbs in check. However, small amounts of Parmesan or cheddar are lower carb options.
Say No To Chips and Cookies
Avoid carb-laden sides like chips, cookies, and sugary drinks. Opt for a side salad, veggie sticks, or bottled water to accompany your sandwich instead. This prevents excess carbs from fillers.
Sample Low-Carb Subway Order
Here is an example of a customized Subway order using the gluten-free bread and other low-carb tips:
6-inch Gluten-Free Sub
– Double Turkey Breast
– Extra Spinach, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Cucumbers
– No Cheese
– Side Salad with Oil & Vinegar
This sub maximizes veggies and protein while limiting carbs from sauces and cheese. The gluten-free bread, 6-inch portion, and veggie side salad keep net carbs under 25 grams.
The Downside of Low-Carb Subway Orders
While it’s possible to order low-carb options at Subway, be aware of a few downsides:
Customizing your sandwich and ordering double meat or extra veggies adds cost compared to standard subs. Gluten-free bread also costs extra. Keep your budget in mind when ordering specialty subs.
Removing cheese and limiting sauces reduces the fiber content of your sandwich. Make sure to get fiber from the gluten-free bread and extra vegetables.
Less Exciting Flavor
Skipping flavor-boosting ingredients like cheese and sauce can make your sub blander. Adding spices, oil & vinegar, spicy mustard, or hot sauce can help boost flavor. But you may sacrifice some excitement from sauces and cheeses.
Opting for a 6-inch sub and skipping higher-carb meats makes for a smaller, lighter sandwich. Make sure it will be filling enough, especially if you are very active. Pair it with side veggies or salads to provide enough food.
Other Tips for Low-Carb Eating at Subway
In addition to customizing your sub, these tips can further help reduce carbs when dining at Subway:
– Order a salad instead of a sandwich using double meat, lots of veggies, cheese, and low-carb dressing
– Choose a lettuce wrap sandwich for an extra low-carb option without the bread
– Opt for a bowl with greens, proteins, veggies, cheese, guacamole, and low-carb sauces
– Bring your own low-carb tortillas, bread slices, or wraps to make subs
Looking at the nutrition information helps identify lower carb options. Avoiding sandwiches and pitfalls like large subs, extra cheese, carb-laden sauces, and cookies/chips can significantly reduce carbs. With smart customizations and other low-carb choices, it’s possible to dine at Subway while sticking to under 50 net carbs per meal. Tracking your totals and planning ahead helps make Subway a go-to, carb-conscious option.
Lowest Carb Bread Options Outside of Subway
In addition to Subway’s gluten-free bread, other very low-carb bread products on the market can fit into ketogenic diets and extreme low-carb nutrition plans. Options include:
ThinSlim Foods Bread
With only 4 net carbs per slice, ThinSlim’s keto bread is one of the lowest carb options on the market. It’s made with vital wheat gluten, whey protein, and fiber.
Keto Karma Bread
At 5 net carbs per slice, flax-based Keto Karma bread contains heart-healthy fats and fiber.
Julian Bakery Paleo Bread
Coconut flour gives Julian Bakery’s Paleo Bread just 5 net carbs per serving. It’s dairy, soy, and gluten free.
Alpine Valley Low-Carb Bread
Each 1-ounce slice of Alpine Valley wheat and gluten-free bread offers just 4 grams net carbs.
NOW Foods Keto Bread Mix
By adding egg and butter, you can bake low-carb bread with 6 grams net carbs per slice with this bread mix.
So while Subway’s gluten-free bread clocks in at around 40 net carbs for a 6-inch sub, other specialty products offer even fewer net carbs, in the range of 4-6 net carbs per serving. Making your own sandwiches at home with extremely low-carb bread allows even more carb reduction for strict low-carb eating patterns like ketogenic diets. You can customize the ingredients and portions to your specific carb needs when making it yourself.
Is Low-Carb Subway Bread Healthy?
Ordering low-carb bread at Subway can help you limit carbs. But is it truly a healthy choice? Here are some factors to consider:
Like much of Subway’s menu, the gluten-free and standard bread options are heavily processed foods. They include artificial ingredients, dough conditioners, preservatives, and added sugars.
Low in Nutrients
Most of Subway’s bread products offer little nutritional value beyond carb content. They lack beneficial nutrients like protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Contains Isolated Soy Protein
Soy-based additives like soy protein concentrates and isolates are found in several Subway breads. Some people aim to avoid these highly processed soy ingredients.
No Beneficial Fats
Unlike some low-carb specialty breads that contain omega-3s or healthy fats, Subway’s breads are low in beneficial fats. Most contain vegetable oils high in omega-6s.
Better than Normal Bread
Despite the processing, Subway’s low-carb breads are lower in carbs than regular bread. For people counting carbs, they can provide a sandwich option that fits their diet better.
Overall, Subway’s low-carb bread options are highly processed and not whole food choices. But they can provide a lower carb alternative to normal bread for restricting carbs. Adding ample veggies brings more positive nutrition to the full sandwich. For the most wholesome low-carb bread, specialty options or homemade keto bread may be preferable.
Common Questions about Low-Carb Bread at Subway
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about ordering low-carb Subway sandwiches:
Is Subway’s gluten-free bread keto?
Subway’s gluten-free bread is not particularly low-carb compared to true keto specialty breads. At 40 net carbs for a 6-inch sub, it may be too high in carbs for keto depending on portion sizes and other foods eaten. For stricter keto diets under 20-30 carbs per day, other bread options would be better. But it can potentially fit into higher-carb keto plans.
Does Subway have low-carb tortilla wraps?
No, Subway does not currently offer low-carb wrap options. Their standard wraps range from 40-43 net carbs each, on par with the gluten-free bread. To limit carbs, your best option is a salad or sandwich without the tortilla.
What is Subway’s healthiest bread?
Based solely on nutrition stats, the 9-Grain Wheat and Gluten-Free breads are lower in carbs and highest in fiber compared to other Subway loaves. However, all of Subway’s breads are highly processed and offer little nutritional value beyond carbohydrates.
Can you order an unwich at Subway?
Technically, yes. An “unwich” is a lettuce wrap sandwich. While it’s not on their official menu, you can order any Subway sandwich as an unwich by placing the ingredients between large lettuce leaves instead of bread. This lowers the carb count substantially.
Does Subway have any keto options?
There are ways to order keto-friendly options at Subway. Options like salad bowls, lettuce wrap sandwiches, or a 6-inch sub on gluten free bread can all potentially fit into a keto diet. Customizing your toppings and avoiding sauces, cheese, and sides will further reduce carbs.
When ordering at Subway, the gluten-free bread has the lowest carb count compared to their traditional breads at 40 net carbs for a 6-inch sub. Opting for this bread allows you to enjoy Subway sandwiches with fewer carbs. Making your sub a 6-inch size on gluten-free with extra veggies further reduces carbs. Salad bowls, lettuce wraps, avoiding cheese and certain sauces, and skipping carb-laden sides are other ways to cut carbs when eating at Subway. While not as low-carb as other specialty bread products, Subway’s gluten-free bread can be part of a reduced carb fast food meal. Customizing your order makes it possible to eat at Subway while limiting your carb intake.