Is the Subway sandwich company as healthy as it claims to be?
While Subway enjoys a sterling image because of its endorsements from the likes of swimmer Michael Phelps, NFL star J.J. Watt, Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin, and many others, the truth behind some of its most controversial ingredient choices has been revealed in recent years, culminating in a court decision that few saw coming this past fall.
Subway is owned by a company called Doctor’s Associates, Inc., and while their sandwiches do generally includes lot of vegetables, an improvement over most other fast food companies’ menus, several questions have been raised about the quality of its ingredients in recent years.
Recently, concerns have come up over the “healthy” fast food chain’s sandwiches and whether or not one of their main, freshly made ingredients is everything it’s cracked up to be in the context of its overall health profile.
Of course, Subway is no stranger to scrutiny and surprising revelations in regards to its ingredients.
In 2017, lab test results from CBC reportedly found that Subway’s chicken contained just 53% chicken DNA, with the rest allegedly coming from soy protein.
Subway fired back with a defamation lawsuit, which was eventually dismissed due to a statute protecting investigative journalists.
Still, a judge said that the Subway suit had “substantial merit.”
Following the judge’s decision, Subway sought out to prove that its chicken really was chicken, responding by producing two independent tests that they said showed its chicken is “100% chicken meat,” with only 1% soy filler included.
Now, Subway is being questioned yet again, this time over another one of its most popular ingredients — and one naturopathic doctor who specializes in healing people from the ground up using a holistic and multi-dimensional approach is sounding the alarm.
Does Subway’s Bread Actually Count as Bread?
Recently, naturopathic doctor Kara Fitzgerald of Newtown, Connecticut released a post via her blog, educating her followers on the true nature of Subway’s bread: it may not actually qualify as bread after all for one surprising reason.
The Irish Supreme Court ruled this past fall that the popular fresh baked sandwich staple may not deserve to be classified as actual bread because the sandwiches made by Subway contain too much sugar to legally be considered as such.
“Unhealthy adaptations of traditional staple foods are common in the fast-food industry and we are encouraged that a line can be drawn (even if it is for financial rather than health reasons),” Fitzgerald said on her blog, which can be read here.
“If you’re looking for an alternative nutrient-dense, high fiber, gluten-free and vegan bread recipe, check out one of our favorites here: The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread.”
The ruling arose from an appeal by a Subway franchisee, who claimed that he should not have to pay a ‘Value Added Tax’ as many of the products he sells are “staple foods,” which should count as a 0% tax rate.
But the five-judge court ruled that the sandwiches must count at a higher tax rate due to their high sugar content, which is as high as several other foods that have long been considered as desserts.
The court ruled that for bread to be considered a “staple product,” it should “not exceed 2% of the weight of flour included in the dough.” Subway’s bread has a 10% ratio, the website reported.
Heinz claimed it had the 61% level of tomato paste necessary to be classified as a ketchup, but Israel’s Standards Institute disagreed and blocked its sale until the next year, forcing the company to clean up its act.
Subway Bread is Closer to a Dessert, Court Rules
In the Subway case, the Irish court pointed out that Ireland’s Value-Added tax Act of 1972 draws a distinction between staple foods and “more discretionary indulgences” such as ice cream, chocolate, pastries, crisps, popcorn and roasted nuts, The Guardian reported.
The court found that Subway’s bread contains five times as much sugar.
“In this case, there is no dispute that the bread supplied by Subway in its heated sandwiches has a sugar content of 10% of the weight of the flour included in the dough.” it ruled.
Should You Eat Subway Sandwiches Considering This News?
Subway sandwiches are a far cry from organic, homemade versions, especially considering there’s a strong chance they may contain genetically modified materials and an exorbitantly high dose of sugar.
At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual person to decide which foods are right for them, with the help of a real, licensed (and preferably naturopathic) doctor, of course.
Personally, I rarely eat foods like these unless I am traveling, because I prefer to make my own homemade organic food, and save money in the process.
Thanks as always for reading! For more information on Dr. Kara’s work, check out her book ‘Younger You: The Epigenetic Program Scientifically Proven to Shave Years Off Your Age.’ You can also learn more about why modern bread is so unhealthy (hint: it’s not the gluten) by checking out this article.