I’m on a mission to order low carb at the top 30 fast food chains in the US. Two weeks is what I’ve given myself to complete the mission, so I’ll be eating a lot of fast food over the next 14 days.
If you want to follow along, you can subscribe to updates at the end of this post.
For each fast food restaurant I’m evaluating:
- Availability of low carb options.
- Taste / quality of low carb options.
- Satiety of low carb options.
- Price of low carb options.
- Ordering experience.
My first stop was Subway because it’s less than a 1/2 mile from my house. Subway has the most locations of any fast food chain in America with 44,000+ locations. That surprised me. They’re known for sandwiches, but thanks to their “choose-all-your-ingredients” layout, you can create your own low carb salads and sandwich bowls pretty easily.
Overall Ratings for Subway
I rated Subway as low-carb friendly because you can easily and affordably create a chopped salad by starting with a bed of their shredded lettuce and then add satiating ingredients like meat, cheese, olives, guacamole, salad dressing, and mayo.
- Low carb friendly – Yes
- Low carb options on menu – Yes, salads
- Low carb options off menu – Not really. Maybe if you came in the morning you might be able to special order a low carb breakfast omelette w/o the flatbread. I haven’t made it in for breakfast yet.
- Satiety of low carb options – Good, I felt pretty satisfied after my cold cut combo salad. I could have eaten a little more, but definitely would not have finished two whole salads.
- Price of low carb options – Great, I only paid $6.29 for my cold cut combo salad and than includes $0.75 extra to get more meat added to my salad. My sandwich artist called the additional meat their “deluxe” upgrade.
- Ordering experience – Hassle-free :). I ordered a salad and then the Subway sandwich artist let me pick all the toppings and dressings.
My one criticism of Subway is that they don’t currently carry full-size lettuce leafs so you can’t make a lettuce wrapped sandwich like you can at Jimmy John’s.
Cold Cut Combo Salad with American Cheese, Oil & Vinegar Dressing, and Extra Mayo squeezed on top. Less than 10 net carbs.
I like this order because packs in a lot of low carb calories.
That’s what I ordered on my most recent visit as you’ll see in the next section.
What I ordered
I ordered a chopped salad and selected the cold cut combo and sliced american cheese on top of shredded lettuce. For additional flavor, I added spinach, olives, and banana peppers.
Also, my sandwich artist smartly offered me the “deluxe” upgrade which meant she would add fifty percent more meat to my salad for $0.75. I gladly accepted.
What you can order
Chopped salads only.
Thankfully, the salads are on their menu, so ordering is easy. The sandwich artist will first ask you to pick you meat and then your cheese. After that you’ll have the option to add your lettuce and other sliced veggies like carrots, tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms. From there you’ll get to pick a dressing to add.
Once you’ve selected your ingredients the sandwich artist puts it all in a bowl and chops it altogether with a large blade thing-y.
After your sandwich artist finishes chopping your salad, I recommend asking for additional dressing and/or mayo to be added so that the salad is more filling.
What you should avoid
In case you’re new to low carb keto eating, I’ll start by saying that all Subway breads, flatbread, rolls, wraps, pizzas, & bagels are off limits. Likewise for all their chips, soups, sides, and desserts. They have too many carbs. Even the Subway gluten-free roll has 49 net carbs.
While most of the vegetables and meats behind the glass are low carb, I did find some things you should avoid after reviewing online nutrition stats.
Salads to avoid:
- Sweet Onion Teriyaki Chicken Salad – 30 net carbs (due to sweet onion sauce)
- Meatball Marinara Salad – 21 net carbs (due to high carb meatballs and marinara sauce)
Meats / proteins to avoid:
- Falafel – 20 net carbs
- BBQ Pulled Pork – 18 net carbs
- Meatballs – 13 net carbs
- Veggie Patty – 9 net carbs
Sauces / dressings to avoid:
- Sweet Onion Sauce – 18 net carbs
- Barbecue Sauce – 9 net carbs
- Sweet Chili Sauce – 9 net carbs
- Hickory Sauce – 7 net carbs
- Honey Mustard Sauce – 7 net carbs
Every other meat, vegetable, and sauce should be sufficiently low carb to add to your salad.
My next low carb / keto ordering guide will be for McDonald’s. I ate low carb there the evening of writing this post, as well as several times before, and I’m excited to share my ordering guide.
To get my McDonald’s low carb ordering guide as soon as it’s published, sign up via email here:
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Enter your email above and I’ll send you all my low carb / keto ordering guides for the top 30 fast food chains in the US. I’ll also report back with final results for how this fast food experiment affects my health, well-being, and bank account. And you’ll get some simple low carb recipes and other tips from me for all the times you’re not eating in a fast food joint :).
aka “Mr. SkinnyPants”