Lunch Review: Subway Turkey Breast Salad

We suppose Panera’s awesome chicken salad might have made us a bit biased when it comes to other restaurant options. Okay, really biased. That’s probably all it is. Right?

Or is Subway hiding behind their cleverly executed marketing, which has convinced us all they’re the healthiest fast food option?

Today’s lunch review is not a happy one. As Tina searches through Subway’s online menu, seeking the perfect healthy option to review for you, dear reader, in an effort to make your lunch-on-the-go selections healthier, she finally lands on their Turkey Breast Salad. She nods approvingly. “I would rather have the Double Chicken Chopped Salad,” she says, “but we should try something new.”

Stephanie meets plenty of friendly service and even friendlier smells at the local Subway, and walks away happy with the experience. But when Tina takes a bite, she knows right away something is wrong.

First off, where’s the turkey? It was almost a hopeless task, Tina digging through her salad to find any shreds of meat she could to weigh. (Yes, we weighed it. Don’t you want a thorough review?)

Voilà! Here it is. After minutes and minutes of agonized sifting: an ounce and a half of turkey. It’s precisely the amount they promised, but not exactly the delicious juicy turkey breast we dreamed of. Tina tosses it back into her salad and starts in on her lunch. “I don’t know if it’s the most delicious salad I’ve had, but it’s an okay option,” she decides.

This picture is after Tina found the turkey hidden beneath the lettuce and veggies.

It looks as though we’re facing a mundane C+ sort of review for this salad. But things get exciting when Tina comes across Subway’s page of Product Ingredients. This is different from nutrition facts; here we see more into the details of each ingredient and food item they offer.

Suffice it to say Tina’s salad went untouched after she read this page.

Tina’s discovery at Subway has encouraged her to pen a more thorough, coherent article than we can offer now about what preservatives and additives can do to the body, and why we should all avoid them. For now, we can only mention the horror at realizing Subway injects their hot peppers with Yellow Dye #5 (why?! Fresh peppers?!), and their meats have way too many ingredients that are not meat. Sodium, fats, carbs, sugar and the like should be considered when selecting a restaurant meal, but additives like the ones Subway uses rather liberally should be avoided all together. Soy protein concentrate, another leading player in Subway’s “meats”, for example, can create hormone imbalance, among other issues. Some of their additives may not exactly be deadly, but why would you consume protein with so many fillers if you can help it?

For now, realize that you don’t have to limit yourself to free range, organic, hand-fed and well-loved meat. You do want, however, to see only a few ingredients in your proteins: ideally meat, and as little after that as possible. High-quality protein is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight, having higher energy and generally fueling your body. Don’t settle for sodium injections, corn syrup solids or soy protein concentrate.

We give Subway’s options overall a resounding F. Sorry, Subway. Your food is tasty and we appreciate the gift card, but absolutely cannot recommend it to anyone.

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