Subway modifies ingredients listing – is wheat bread any healthier?

In March of last year, I wrote an article about Subway’s white and wheat breads, and whether the wheat bread actually is the healthy alternative. It turned out white was healthier. I noticed Subway modified their ingredients listing this month (and, I’m sure, several times between), so I wonder – since Subway still claims to be the healthy fast-food alternative, and people have a perception that anything “wheat” is the healthy alternative, has Subway stopped lying to its customers? Let’s find out.

First, here’s the old and new ingredients list:

Old list, quoted from my post dated 3/20/07:

Enriched flour (flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, whole wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, wheat gluten, contains less than 2% of the following: wheat bran, yeast, salt, soybean oil, dough conditioner (acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono-and diglycerides, ammonium sulfate, calcium sulfate, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, potassium iodate, amylase (enzymes)], cracked wheat, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, caramel color (contains sulfites), dried honey preparation (honey powder, invert sugar, wheat starch, soy bran flour, silicon dioxide [anti-caking]), mineral oil. Contains soy and wheat.

New list, dated 01/2008:

Enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, whole wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup. Contains less than 2% of the following: yeast, wheat bran, bleached oat hull fiber, vital wheat gluten, salt, soybean oil, dough conditioner, acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, potassium iodate, enzymes [amylase]), cracked wheat, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, caramel color (contains sulfites), refiners syrup, dried honey, mineral oil. Contains wheat.

And the caloric information for the two breads, first dated 3/20/07:


And the new chart, taken from Subway’s nutrition information page on 1/4/08:


The only difference I see is wheat bread’s listed dietary fiber – up from 3g to 4g. The wheat bread still has more calories and fat than white bread, and contains high fructose corn syrup and lists a refined wheat as the first ingredient. Sure, there’s not a drastic nutritional difference between Subway’s white and wheat breads, but that’s just the point – not only is there not much difference, the white bread seems slightly nutritionally healthier. Just another reminder – “wheat” doesn’t always equate “healthy.”

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34 Responses to Subway modifies ingredients listing – is wheat bread any healthier?

  1. Pingback: The Life Ledger » Blog Archive » Our Evolution into Obesity, the FDA on Chantrix and the Soda-Gout study [Health News]

  2. Wade says:

    The answer is that neither is a healthy choice. Both contain high fructose corn syrup. Do your own research and decide if any product can have high fructose corn syrup and be considered healthy.

  3. I agree, and it’s unfortunate places like Subway prey on the assumption most people seem to have that any bread made from “wheat” or looks like it has a brown texture is inherently healthier than “white” bread. In many cases, like this one, that assumption seems to be very wrong.

  4. Josh says:

    They’re both bad because of the high fructose con syrup, if one were to pick, wheat is better just because of the fiber and whole grain… White bread isn’t good for you at all

  5. Josh says:

    People can’t pay so much attention to calories and fat… Organic foods are the best for you and are often high in fat and calories because there are no artificial ingredients… People are misled

  6. buddy brightmoor says:

    Subway has dropped to the lowest possible quality meats that it can and dropped its seafood sub for cost reasons-They are very light on the items of choicethan when they first opened but so is Wal_Mart

  7. buddy brightmoor says:

    unless you pound your own wheat in a personal mill or between two stones, most bread is not what you think it is, it is made by processed flour and has little gluten

  8. Fred says:

    Actually, Josh, the “Italian” white bread does not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.

  9. Rachael says:

    Well…I do actually grind my own wheat and make my own fresh 100% whole wheat bread. I have been making my own subway sandwich rolls for a couple of weeks now. I guess thats the only way to do it if you want to “know” whats in the sandwich your’re eating.

  10. Jack says:

    No matter its wheat or white,,,, if you don’t have physical excersice in your daily plan, then no bread will be healthy to eat,,, veggies and fruits are the only alternative,,,

  11. Brian says:

    Also, the wheat has caramel coloring in it as an ingredient, so basically is white bread died brown, bogus.

  12. Chris I pray that every thing go Gods way and you do not serve any time for this. I pray that you help others

  13. My friend on Facebook shared this link with me and I’m not dissapointed that I came here.

  14. TERRI-USA says:

    Natures Own bread has eliminated HFCS from all their breads, why will the “healthy choice” subway do the same, not to mention those beverages that they serve with HFCS. I thought Doctors own it, well if the Doctors really made if a 100% healthy place to eat, then they would not have patience like diebetics!!!!

  15. Very informative – always spread the word. Looking forward to an update. For too long now have I had the urge to begin with my personal blog. Guess if I wait any longer I’ll never ever do it. I’ll be sure to add you to my Blogroll. Cheers!!

  16. Mom says:

    It’s the best fast food choice available. If you want organic, super healthy food – make it yourself. That’s what I usually do. Sometimes ya gotta get over yourselves. Come on people!

  17. Shamwow Guy says:

    Thank you so much for your insightful article on Subway’s “wheat” bread. It was very eye-opening, although very disappointing. Overall though, I think Subway is still a whole heck of lot healthier than eating McDonald’s (or all the other ungodly garbage that passes for food out there). And as for the guy who went after your wife, that was totally uncalled for. He made himself sound like a big ignoramus. Peace.

  18. lauren says:

    This BLOWS! i am eating 6 inch turkey sub on wheat bread as i type this! I figured all this talk about wheat being better and i come on this website and its actually worse. Perfect. im 21, 5’3 and at 135….trying to lose weight. Ive ran 2 miles everyday for the past week and im seeing results but im dissapointed. I honestly thought wheat was better. Doesnt make sense.

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  31. Domarius says:

    All I know is I feel gross after eating a subway, each time being tricked into thinking it’s a healthy fast food.

    When instead I buy fresh bread rolls from the baker or even the supermarket, and just have a few simple ingredients, it tastes sooo much better.

    It’s as if whatever Subway is passing off as bread, can’t really be classified as bread…

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