If you have diabetes, Subway sandwiches are still an option

So many people think they have to swear off carbs, and usually bread is really demonized. Yes, carbohydrate can raise blood sugar. But our body needs glucose to function properly. Blood sugar will increase when we eat, but by combining carbs with protein, fat, and fiber, our blood sugar will be better off. But you may be wondering, what’s the best bread for diabetics at subway…


Best bread for diabetics

The best bread option is ideally going to have a few grams of fiber to help slow the release of glucose into the blood stream. Out of the options available at Subway, my preferred bread is the Hearty Multigrain option because it does have 3 grams of fiber per serving. Most other options have 0-1 grams of fiber, but the wraps have 2 grams.

Ok, hooray for fiber, but what about total carbohydrate? If you’ve followed along on this blog series, you know we try to find options at restaurants that range from 30-60 grams of carbohydrate. The 6″ subs contain between 34-36 grams of carbohydrate and the 6″ flatbread contains 40 grams of carbohydrate per serving. Not too shabby! Now layer on some meat (or tuna) and veggies, and we’ve got protein and fiber to help out your blood sugar.

What protein option should I choose?

Most of the protein choices do not add a significant amount of carbohydrate. However, the sweet onion chicken teriyaki, the meatballs with marinara, and the veggie patty do have a larger amount of carbohydrate. As sandwiches, this totals out to 52 grams for a 6″ sweet onion chicken teriyaki, 46 grams for a 6″ meatball, and 56 grams for a 6″ veggie patty sub. Otherwise most 6″ subs are around 40 grams per serving.

Do you prefer wraps over sandwiches? That’s fine too! Most wrap options end up being between 50-60 grams of carbohydrate (once protein, veggies, etc are added in).

Make it a meal?

It is worth noting that if your sandwich is around 40 grams of carbohydrate, that may not leave much room for the sides. You may want to hold onto those for a later eating occasion. Chips could be an additional 30 grams of carbohydrate (exact count would depend on the type of chip), and their cookies are also about 30 grams of carbohydrate per cookie.


What if I don’t want a sandwich?

I’m usually going for a sub when I got to subway, but they have salads and protein bowls too! This is a great option if you want to minimize your carbs, want to get more fiber or color, or if you want that cookie more than you want the bread! I wasn’t sure what the protein bowl would end up looking like, but it’s honestly just a salad with more protein piled on. A salad can also be a great option if you prefer one of those higher carb options, like a veggie patty or sweet onion chicken teriyaki. Most salads and protein bowls are 9-13 grams of carbohydrate, with the veggie patty and chicken teriyaki being about 30-40 grams total.

The salad and protein bowl option are pretty much what you would expect from a sub shop. It’s basically all the veggie toppings in a bowl, plus chopped up deli meat (or protein of choice), and topped with a sauce. Nothing special, but it was filling and I like that it’s an option.

If you have diabetes, you can build a meal at Subway that works for you. If a 6″ option isn’t enough, I definitely recommend getting an extra portion of protein on your sub. More protein will help fill you up and keep you satiated longer.

4 Meals to Try from Subway if you have Diabetes

6″ Turkey Sub on Hearty Multigrain Bread = 39 g carbs

turkey sub from subway

6″ Rotisserie Chicken Flatbread = 43 g carbs

Veggie Patty Salad with Baja Chipotle Sauce (27 g carbs) + Chips (30 g carbs) = 57 g carbs

subway salad with veggie patty

Roast Beef Protein Bowl with Garlic Aioli  (12 g carbs) + Chips (30 g carbs) = 42 g carbs


Blog reviewed and updated February 2023

Other Fast Food Options for Diabetes

Need more ideas for eating out with diabetes? Check out these other blogs in the series!

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An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.