Subway’s Bread Is a Big Reminder About Added Sugar

Anyone with blood sugar concerns knows about the dangers of hidden sugar. So frequently, the “healthy” option has a high content of sugar you would never expect. Bread is something most people with blood sugar concerns avoid, but news out of Ireland about Subway’s bread might shock you. And it highlights how much hidden sugar is all around us!

This month, the Irish Supreme Court ruled that Subway’s bread can’t legally be considered bread. It has so much sugar in it that it falls into the same category as cake, not bread. The legal fight started over taxes. In restaurants in Ireland, there are taxes on luxuries but not on “staple” foods. Bread is a staple, cake is taxed. Ten percent of the dough for the bread in Irish Subways is sugar. According to their law, bread can’t be more than two percent sugar. That is a huge difference.

Subway’s bread is, of course, bread,” said a spokesperson for Subway. “We have been baking fresh bread in our stores for more than three decades and our guests return each day for sandwiches made on bread that smells as good as it tastes.”

While that might be what the company says, we think people deserve to know that the “bread” is 10 percent sugar! People should be empowered to make their own healthy choices. Restaurants like Subway that claim to be part of a healthy diet should be honest to help people make choices for themselves.

Subway is the world’s largest food chain. It has projected a healthy image for years with weight loss campaigns, using meatless “meat” products and offering vegetarian options. This just shows that even the “healthy” places can be hiding a lot. That’s why we like when stores have either boards with nutritional information or paper menus with the info. It can come as a shock to see the calorie and carb count of some meals, but it can also help us make choices. For people with health concerns, it can be a big help. Knowing what our options are is better.   

Here in the U.S., we have 13 bread choices and two types of wraps at Subway restaurants. Unlike in the UK and Ireland, the nutritional information can be found easily online. The breads here in the U.S. range from 120 to 220 calories and have between two and five grams of sugar.

Going out shouldn’t be so hard. Restaurants are getting better at offering more options and telling us the nutritional information. But, it can still be hard to plan an evening out. Hidden sugar can lurk in everything. Even when you think you know how much sugar is in something, this case shows you can be blindsided. This bread was in Ireland, but it certainly happens in food here too. So, our advice is to try and get information beforehand. Until restaurants are more responsible and honest, we have to stay vigilant!

October 14, 2020
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