Latest posts by Good Living Doc (see all)
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Subway restaurants are everywhere. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that Subway now has more locations than McDonald’s. With their “eat fresh” slogan, their spokesperson Jared who reportedly lost 245 pounds on a Subway-only diet, the “six grams of fat or less” menu, and the five….five dollar….five dollar footloooooong campaign (admit it, you sang that last part in your head), Subway has positioned itself as being THE healthy alternative to fast food.
But is it? Let’s take a closer look.
Can Subway Help You Lose Weight?
There’s nothing inherently magical about Subway’s food that makes it a good choice for weight loss. When you weigh over 400 pounds like Jared did, it’s safe to say you pretty much eat anything and everything in sight. When you go from that kind of lifestyle to only two sandwiches a day, you’re going to get thinner. Cutting calorie intake by 75% can be done at any restaurant, so the idea that Subway will supernaturally cause your fat-pants to fall off is simply ridiculous.
Let’s be real here…
Cutting calories, fat, sodium, cholesterol, or sugar from food doesn’t make it healthier.
- A cookie with half the calories as a regular cookie is not a healthier cookie. It’s still a darn cookie, and cookies aren’t health food.
They add nothing to your body in the way of nutritional value. In fact, the chemicals that replace the removed sugars and fats are often more dangerous than if you’d just eaten the original cookie.
Just because it’s low-calorie or low-fat doesn’t make it better for you.
Jared probably had a house full of diet foods before he found some discipline, and it was his discipline that ultimately made him successful.
Is Subway’s Bread Fresh?
I’m still trying to figure out what exactly is “fresh” about Subway’s food. I mean, the word is one-half of their slogan, after all.
Is the bread fresh? Nope, it’s delivered frozen, thawed in the store, and then baked. Have you noticed that smell of foot odor and refrigerated paper that all Subways have in common? If you’ve ever been in a bakery, you know that isn’t the smell of fresh bread. It’s the smell of the preservatives in the bread, and that stinks as far as I’m concerned.
Fresh bread only has a few ingredients. Subway’s bread has over 50, including:
- MSG – A flavor enhancer and known neurotoxin. MSG is highly addictive and used in diabetes research to induce obesity in rats. It’s in nearly every one of Subway’s products.
- Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate – When they remove the fat, they put this in its place. It’s used as a dough conditioner, foaming agent, and is commonly found in face and hand moisturizer.
- Ammonium Sulfate – A dough conditioner linked to respiratory and digestive disease. It’s also used in fertilizer.
- Azodicarbonamide – A preservative banned in Europe and Australia, and if you use it in Singapore you can go to prison. It is a bleaching chemical commonly used in the production of foamed plastics.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup – Get this? They’re adding a dangerous form of sugar to the bread so it tastes sweeter. Mmmmm, yummy.
- Caramel Coloring – An artificial coloring and a known carcinogen. Coke and Pepsi eventually removed this from their formulas when it was found to cause cancer.
UPDATE: 02/06/2014 – Subway just recently reported that it would STOP using Azodicarbonamide and high fructose corn syrup in its bread, absolute proof that we as consumers can force change.
And this is just a fraction of the list…
Are Subway’s Vegetables Fresh?
Strike two. Have you ever seen a Subway employee chopping fresh tomatoes or avocados? I’m guessing you haven’t, because Subway’s vegetables arrive prepackaged, often from a factory thousands of miles away.
But there’s a reason those tomatoes look so bright-red and the lettuce looks so crispy. They’re smothered in artificial colors to make them appear fresh and appetizing.
Even the black olives are doused in a chemical additive called “ferrous gluconate” which helps them retain their dark coloring.
And don’t forget the artificial preservatives! All that time in a delivery truck and then in the refrigerator will surely result in rotten vegetables, so more chemicals are added to ensure they don’t spoil as quickly as actual fresh vegetables would.
Mix in multiple forms of MSG for flavor and you’ve got yourself some sandwich toppings!
People are always complaining that fresh, natural products at the supermarket cost more. Fast food companies are all about profits, not health, so don’t kid yourself into thinking they’re going to waste money on ripe, nutritious produce.
Fast food is NOT food, which is why they can make a hamburger for 60 cents and a foot-long piled high with extras for $5.
Are Subway’s Meats Fresh?
Third time’s a charm? I’m afraid not. Subway’s meats are nothing more than the packaged lunch meat you find in the grocery store. It’s a processed mixture of various components held together by things like “modified food starch” and “soy protein concentrate,” and then injected with artificial flavorings.
Can you think of any good reason why actual chicken, beef, or turkey would need chicken, beef, and turkey flavors made from “autolyzed yeast extract” and “hydrolyzed corn gluten” added in chemical form?
Me either, unless those ingredients are simply alternative names for MSG used to disguise the fact that it’s in the food.
- The MSG is what gives the fake flavor to the fake meats.
Even the processed turkey meat, which might seem less harmful since it has no nitrates, is full of preservatives, additives, chemical flavorings, and carrageenan, a seaweed derivative that causes intestinal inflammation and is transformed into a carcinogen when consumed.
American Heart Association Fail </3
Research indicates it may take only 1.8 ounces of processed meat consumed over a prolonged period (about half of what is in a typical 6″ sub) to increase your likelihood of developing cancer by 50%, heart disease by 42%, and diabetes by 19%, all because of the chemicals, nitrates, MSG, and processing.
- I am completely dumbfounded by the fact that the American Heart Association has endorsed Subway’s food and added their little red heart logo to numerous sandwich combinations indicating they are “heart healthy” choices. How is this even possible? If I can uncover these facts, surely the AHA can, too.
I’m thinking that little heart logo might not be as trustworthy as they would have us believe.
Well, if the AHA isn’t watching out for us, then the FDA certainly is, right? Sorry, many preservatives and additives that are banned in other countries are still allowed in the US. It’s often only after they are linked to a significant number of deaths that the FDA bothers to take notice.
All foreign chemicals, regardless of the amounts you consume, affect the body on a cellular level. And that is the level where cancer begins.
Can you get a low-calorie, low-fat sandwich at Subway that will curb your hunger in a pinch? You certainly can.
Should you? Well, that’s a different story. At least now you have the knowledge to make an educated choice.
*Original research performed and reported by Yani Hari.