If you’ve been driving down the street and found yourself craving a Subway sandwich, you may find yourself asking the question “can I eat Subway while pregnant?”
Luckily, there is no need to worry — if eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, enjoying your favorite sub at Subway can be perfectly healthy for both you and your baby!
Read on to learn more about whether eating Subway during pregnancy is safe.
Can I eat Subway while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat Subway while pregnant.
But according to our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta, MD, you need to eat sandwiches that are prepared and served hot.
It isn’t safe to eat cold deli meat, processed meats, or lunch meat sandwiches during pregnancy.
You’ll need to follow a few simple tips when ordering at Subway and making smart choices is important.
- Avoid eating cold deli meats that have not been heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The obvious and safest approach is to not eat deli meat sandwiches during pregnancy..
If you must have a deli sandwich during your pregnancy, it is important to make sure it is adequately heated to kill any pathogenic bacteria (especially Listeria).
This requires heating your sandwich with steam to achieve a temperature of 165 degrees.
If you have any concerns about whether this is possible when you are ordering your deli sandwich, simply ask them to heat your sandwich until it is steaming hot.
Not all Subways may not have the capability to heat cold deli meat sandwiches hot enough to be safe.
You should avoid turkey breast, black forest ham, roast beef, and any other cold deli or smoked meats at subway while you are pregnant.
- Eat sandwiches that are served hot
This is going to be your best option.
Subway offers a wide selection of hot subs including sandwiches made with steak or chicken.
Two great options are:
- Steak and Cheese
- Meatball Marinara
Though there are food choices at Subway that are not made with deli meats heating is always essential.
This is because Subway offers a large selection of deli meats and cheeses that are prepared next to or on top of the same counter used to prepare non-deli sandwiches.
This can result in cross-contamination.
Source: Maternity Comfort Solutions
- Pile on the fresh vegetables
It is safe to eat your sandwich with fresh vegetables.
So ask your server to add extra.
They will help fill you up and are low in fat and calories.
Add fresh avocado to your sandwich to provide you with a good source of fat.
Don’t forget to add pickles if you like them.
- If you are going to eat a cold sub choose either the tunafish sandwich or the BLT and ask them to heat up the bacon.
The Tunafish and the BLT are safe to eat during pregnancy from Subway.
The tuna melt is an excellent option too!
You can add veggies to your tuna melt to help you get all the nutrients you and your growing baby need.
- Order a six-inch sandwich or go for a salad.
The calories and fat can add up fast when ordering a footlong sub.
Stick with the smaller six-inch to be sure you don’t overeat.
Can I eat subway while pregnant if I get it toasted?
You can eat subway while pregnant as long you don’t eat deli meat sandwiches cold.
The problem with toasting is that it doesn’t get the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should not rely on toasting to be hot enough to kill any dangerous pathogens that may be present on your meat.
What can you eat at Subway pregnant?
Subway has a good selection of sandwiches that are safe to eat during pregnancy.
Some of the pregnancy-safe sandwich options include:
- Steak and Cheese are made with hot steak and melted cheese.
- Bacon Ranch Chicken contains rotisserie chicken, melted cheese, bacon, and ranch sauce.
- The BLT is made with fresh lettuce, tomato, mayo, and bacon.
- The Tunafish sandwich is made with Tunafish, an olive oil blend, and you can add the vegetables you want.
- Veggie Delite Sandwich is made with onions, lettuce, tomato, and green peppers. You can add avocado for a boost of good fats and nutrients.
- Veggie Patty is made with a veggie patty and melted cheese.
- Meatball Marinara is made with hot meatballs and marinara sauce.
Safe Pregnancy Salads at Subway:
Tuna Salad: Wild-caught tuna mixed with mayo, on a bed of crisp lettuce and veggies.
Steak and Cheese Salad: Hot steak and melted cheese add protein to the salad.
BLT Salad: Crispy bacon, Crisp lettuce. Ripe tomatoes. All mixed with Spinach, crunchy cucumbers, sweet green peppers, black olives, and zesty red onions.
Veggie Delite Salad: Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, olives, and onions.
Veggie Patty Salad: Veggie Patty, pepper jack cheese, spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers
What are some menu items that I should avoid at Subway while pregnant?
Subway does offer some sandwich options that you should skip during pregnancy.
- The Italian
- Turkey Breast
- Roast beef
- Black Forest Ham
- Cold Cut Combo
- The Italian BMT
Subway Nutritional information for pregnancy-friendly menu options:
Steak and Cheese Sandwich
Total Fat: 10g
Bacon Ranch Chicken Sandwich
Total Fat: 29g
Total Fat: 14g
Total Fat: 25g
Veggie Delite Sandwich
Total Fat: 2g
Can I eat Subway tuna while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat a Subway tuna fish sandwich while pregnant.
Tuna is safe to enjoy during pregnancy.
The tuna sandwich is made with only wild-caught tuna and mayo.
You can add cheese and veggies.
Can I eat subway turkey while pregnant?
It is not safe to eat Subway turkey during pregnancy unless you heat it until 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you eat deli turkey meat cold during pregnancy you risk contracting a foodborne illness.
You are more at risk of foodborne illness during pregnancy.
It is not worth the risk.
Can I eat subway Italian BMT while pregnant?
No, it is not safe to eat a Subway BMT during pregnancy.
It is made with cold processed deli meats.
The deli meats would need to be steam heated until they are 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be sure they are safe.
What subs can I eat while pregnant?
You can eat subs made with hot foods like steak, chicken, vegetables, and meatballs
Cold subs that are made with vegetables and cheese or tuna fish are safe.
If you decide to eat deli meat on a sub you need to heat the sandwich until steaming and 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Are sub sandwiches safe during pregnancy?
Yes as long as they do not contain deli meat that has not been heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and served hot.
You should not eat cold lunch meats, processed meats, deli meats, or smoked meats that are served cold or at room temperature during pregnancy.
Listeria risk during pregnancy:
Compared to years ago, online information has helped pregnant women become far more aware and cautious about the risk of deli meats during pregnancy.
But there are still those who have not heard of Listeria, and this accounts for a lot of Google search inquiries such as “I ate Subway while pregnant is that ok?”
Since the risk of getting a Listeria infection is very low, for women who are wondering if eating at Subway was OK during pregnancy, the answer is yes. Although this does not mean there is no risk. When it comes to dealing with medical decisions, the risk of any particular illness is not an exact science.
Many medical decisions weigh the risk of a particular treatment (side effects, etc.) versus the benefit by factoring in many other risk factors, and in this situation, pregnancy is the risk factor.
How one chooses to interpret the risk versus benefit of a particular medical decision depends on an individual’s personal level of risk tolerance when faced with a particular medical situation.
Some individuals accept a statistical risk of let’s say 1%, while others who are risk averse will feel 1% is too high.
A 1% risk of any medical illness may sound small; however, for most medical problems this is considered high.
One percent might seem alright until you are that one percent.
It is important to note that during pregnancy you have a 10X greater risk of getting a food-borne illness from listeria than when you are not pregnant.
This is because of the effects pregnancy has on your immune system.
So it is best to stick with sandwiches off the Subway hot subs menu.
Is Subway mayo pasteurized?
Subway mayo is commercially-made and is made with pasteurized ingredients.
What is important to know is that pasteurized mayonnaise is required to be used in the commercial food industry.
This being said, it is safest to ask if you choose to have a sub sandwich with mayo at Subway.
Helpful hints for eating at Subway while pregnant:
1. Use the Subway App to order
Subway has an app that will cut down on your wait time.
Not having to wait in line when you are hungry and pregnant is the ideal reason to use it.
You can order your sandwich, customize it, and pay all on the app.
2. Ask them to cook your meat until it is well done.
This will lower your risk of contracting a foodborne illness.
Do not eat rare cooked meat.
3. Consider how you are feeling before you order.
When ordering your meal, be sure to take your own needs into consideration.
If you’re feeling tired or nauseous, for example, you might want to avoid heavy meals or foods that are high in fat and grease.
Instead, opt for lighter fare such as a salad with only a few toppings.
Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your meal to stay hydrated.
4. Don’t hesitate to ask for special requests
If you have any special requests or needs, don’t hesitate to ask the staff for assistance.
Subway is used by people asking for sandwiches to be altered from what is listed on the menu.
5. Take your time eating your sandwich
When pregnant, it’s important to eat slowly.
Eating slowly gives time for you to feel fuller on less food too.
Taking your time will help you to avoid overeating or becoming too full and uncomfortable.
6. Take left-overs home
If you are getting full take the rest of your sandwich home.
That way you can enjoy the rest of your sandwich the next day.
Tips for eating out in restaurants while pregnant:
- Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets – you don’t know how fresh the food is or how well it’s been cooked. Not going to be an issue at Subway, but a good tip to keep in mind as you plan where to eat out during pregnancy.
- Stick to restaurants that you know and trust – this way you can be sure that the food is fresh and of good quality.
- When in doubt, ask your waiter or waitress for recommendations on safe dishes to eat while pregnant.
- Order simple dishes that are easy to digest.
- Avoid anything with raw eggs or undercooked meat.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Beware of hidden sources of sodium in restaurant food
- Avoid foods made with unpasteurized dairy products.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a modification to your meal!
List of foods to not eat when pregnant:
- Foods that are not pasteurized– certain types of cheese like soft cheeses, Brie, Blue Cheese, etc.
- Certain types of fish– shark, swordfish, anything high in mercury
- Raw eggs including egg nog, hollandaise sauce, homemade mayonnaise, homemade eggnog, and runny eggs.
- Undercooked meats– lunch meats. Deli meats.
- Hot foods that are not “hot”, avoid hot foods that have been sitting out without a warming source. Same for foods that should be eaten cold. If no ice or refrigeration source is keeping the food cold, take a pass.
- Caffeine– soda, chocolate, and energy drinks. (Limit your caffeine to less than 200 mg a day)
- Herbal Teas (There are so many ingredients in herbal teas so it is best to avoid them simply. Green tea is OK.)
- Alcohol: There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. Avoid sauces made with alcohol, desserts made with alcohol, and all alcoholic beverages.
How to eat healthy during pregnancy:
Eating healthily during pregnancy is essential to the development of your baby.
Here are some tips to help make sure you are getting the nutrients you need:
- Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. This will help ensure you get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need.
- Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine. These can all lead to unhealthy weight gain and other problems during pregnancy.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important for both your health and the baby’s health.
- Don’t skip meals. Eating small, frequent meals will help to keep your energy up and prevent you from overeating later on.
- Eating small frequent meals can help decrease morning sickness and heartburn