Photo: sameold2008, Flickr
When it comes to fast food, Subway is supposed to be the healthy choice – we all feel a little bit angelic when we skip high-fat burgers and fries in favor of a six-inch sub loaded with veggies and lean meats. And while the sandwiches are a better bet when it comes to calories and fat, Subway has a hidden dark side: The "healthy" 9-grain bread is a nutritional wasteland packed with high-fructose corn syrup.
David Zinczenko, author of the "Eat This, Not That" series, exposes the truth in his series The Truth About Your Food. While the bread does technically have nine grains, he says that you might as well choose white. Eight of those nine grains are basically trace amounts, listed at the bottom of the ingredient list under "contains 2% or less." The number one ingredient is regular white flour.
"Essentially this is a white-wheat hybrid with trace amounts of other whole grains like oats, barley, and rye," says Zinczenko.
As for that high-fructose corn syrup, well, there's more of it than any of the grains. With the requisite soda on the side, you're talking about a major corn-syrup overload.
But what about the brown color of the bread? It's not from grains: Zinczenko reveals that it actually comes courtesy of a compound called ammonium sulfate. If the name sounds familiar, it's because it's a commonly used plant fertilizer. It helps the bread achieve that golden hue by nourishing the yeast. Whether it's good for the human body is up for debate.
So what's a sandwich lover to do? Zinczenko says there isn't a better bread choice at the chain, so consumers should consider an alternative that's worked for generations: Make your sandwiches at home.