The paleo diet is an extremely popular way of living that brings the eating habits of our very first ancestors to the 21st century. The idea is to only eat the types of food that the hunters and gatherers ate millions of years ago – lean meats, eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and healthy fats and oils – and to avoid anything that’s come along since…like sugar, processed foods, and trans fats.
And sure, there were certainly no Subways open for business in the Paleolithic Era – but today those on the paleo diet can find ways to adhere to this ancient diet, even at fast food chains and quick-service restaurants. Thanks to Subway’s extensive menu options and a long ingredient list that can be mixed and matched to create any bowl or salad you desire, there’s plenty available at this popular sandwich chain that can qualify as paleo-friendly.
If you’re on the paleo diet, you may wander into a Subway for lunch one day and find yourself wondering, “what would my cavemen forefathers order?” Now you’ll know the answer. We’ve got the complete list of paleo-friendly orders and ingredients on the current menu, so you can eat paleo like a pro at Subway.
Paleo-friendly items available on the Subway menu
When you’re ordering paleo at Subway, there are a few main ingredients or categories you’ll want to avoid. First, sugar: it’s clear that sugary foods are a no-go on the paleo diet, so that means no baked goods or sweets, no sodas or sugary beverages, and no condiments or sauces that contain added sugar. (Aside from sugar, many of Subway’s condiments contain processed oils like soybean or canola, so it’s best to stay away from most of their sauces and dressings).
Then there’s processed foods. Most meats are technically allowed on the paleo diet, but it’s generally encouraged to stick to leaner proteins and limit or avoid red meat or processed meats altogether. Since most of Subway’s meat offerings (even its lean meats and fish) tend to be processed – or questionable at best – we recommend sticking to chicken, tuna, roast beef, or steak. But note that all of Subway’s meats contain additives, so they should be ordered sparingly on a paleo diet.
While some on the paleo diet allow for full-fat dairy like certain yogurt, milk, or cheese, it’s another category that tends to be avoided since dairy products weren’t considered a food source in the Paleolithic Era. And the same goes for grains – while some consume them in moderation, others avoid wheat and other types of grains which rules out any breads or wraps at Subway. For the purpose of determining the paleo-friendly options at the sandwich chain, we’re sticking with the traditional, more strict paleo “rules” to avoid any problem areas.
However, paleo dieters still have some options! Many of Subway’s menu items are up for grabs, like their salads and No Bready Bowls (formerly protein bowls) which focus on high-protein, low-carb ingredients. And with a ton of paleo-friendly vegetables found behind the ingredients bar, you can always build your own Subway creation in the form of a bowl or salad.
Here’s everything you can order on the menu that’ll pass the test as a paleo-friendly meal at Subway.
|Buffalo Chicken Salad
Grilled Chicken Salad
Oven Roasted Chicken Salad
Oven Roasted Turkey Salad
Roast Beef Salad
Rotisserie-Style Chicken Salad
Veggie Delight Salad
|Paleo No Bready Bowls
|Buffalo Chicken Bowl
Grilled Chicken Bowl
Oven Roasted Turkey Bowl
Oven Roasted Turkey & Ham Bowl
Roast Beef Bowl
Rotisserie-Style Chicken Bowl
|Paleo Meats + Proteins
Oven Roasted Chicken
Oven Roasted Turkey
|Paleo Sides + Extras
|Paleo Condiments, Sauces + Dressings
Red Wine Vinegar
Freshly Brewed Iced Tea (Unsweetened)
Unfortunately, none of Subway’s meats are officially paleo-approved because they are all either processed or contain additives that aren’t paleo-friendly. Since most meats are permitted on paleo in moderation, it’s recommended to stick to Subway’s lean meats and fish like chicken, turkey, tuna, and roast beef as long as you consume them sparingly.
There aren’t too many options when it comes to paleo-friendly condiments, sauces, and dressings at Subway. Your best bet is to stick to mustard or vinegar, as all of Subway’s other condiment options contain either sugar, soybean oil, canola oil, or other processed ingredients.
While the Veggie Patty at Subway is made of mostly vegetables, it also contains several ingredients that are not paleo-friendly, such as soybeans, canola oil, and corn.