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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Healthy Eating arrow Is Jersey Mike's Healthy? Healthiest Options and Nutrition Facts

Is Jersey Mike's Healthy? Healthiest Options and Nutrition Facts

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: January 15, 2024
11 min read 1268 Views 0 Comments
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Jersey Mike’s is a well-known sandwich chain across America, but does it make a healthy, on-the-go option?

is jersey mike's healthy

When looking to eat a healthier diet, it can be difficult to work out what is actually healthy and what is not. Coming up with new dishes for each mealtime can be challenging, and sometimes stopping by a takeout chain is quicker and easier.

Jersey Mike’s is a sub chain offering many different handmade sandwiches, which are great for a quick lunch on the go. But is a Jersey Mike’s sandwich a healthy option?

We’re going to take a closer look at Jersey Mike’s menu to find the healthiest sandwiches you can choose so you can still stick to your diet. Read on to learn more about Jersey Mike’s healthiest sub.

Is Jersey Mike’s Healthy?

Jersey Mike’s is not a healthy choice for on-the-go sandwiches.

While some of the ingredients in the extensive sandwich menu could be considered healthy choices, the lowest calorie option from a Jersey Mike’s store comes in at 670 calories. This is a relatively high calorie intake for one sandwich.

You can choose healthier options at Jersey Mike by selecting lean proteins, loading up on vegetables, selecting whole grain breads, customizing condiments and going easy on cheese. If you are tracking your macros, check nutritional information online or in the restaurant.

What Is Jersey Mike’s?

Jersey Mike’s is an American sandwich chain that offers handmade subs and hoagies. They offer hot subs, cold subs, sides, desserts, and drinks, but they are most well-known for their impressive range of handmade hoagies.

You will find Jersey Mike’s franchises across America with a few locations outside of the US, too – Canada and Mexico. The chain prides itself on offering homemade sandwiches and is a favorite of American sandwich fans across the country.

Below, we have taken a look at the healthiest sandwiches you can find at Jersey Mike’s menu. The list includes the lowest-calorie subs you can find at the franchise.

  • BBQ Beef: This roast beef-based sub has 670 calories and only 3g of saturated fat and 0.3g of trans fat. It is likely the healthiest sandwich at Jersey Mike’s; however, this sandwich does have 19g of sugar. It is recommended that men limit their sugar intake to 36g per day and women to 24g per day, meaning this sandwich would constitute a good chunk of your daily sugar allowance.
  • Mike’s Chicken Philly: This sub contains 670 calories per sandwich. It contains 10g of saturated fat and 0.5g of trans fat. Both of these are bad for your health [1] and should be eaten in limited quantities. The daily recommended intake of saturated fats is just 30g per day for men and 20g for women.
  • Grilled Pastrami Reuben: This sub combines Swiss cheese with pastrami, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing. It has 730 calories and 30g of fat, of which 9g is saturated fat and 0.3g is trans fat. This sub is also relatively high in salt, with 2,158mg. It is recommended that you limit your sodium intake to no more than 6,000mg per day. This sub does feature fermented foods known to be good for gut health.
  • Turkey and Provolone: One of the cold subs you can find at Jersey Mike’s, this relatively healthy sandwich uses turkey breast, which is natural and contains no additives. The sub does, however, have 780 calories per serving with 8g of saturated fat and 1g of trans fat.
  • Ham and Provolone: Another cold sub, this sandwich has 810 calories with 10g of saturated fat and 1g of trans fat. It’s got a lower protein value than the Turkey and Provolone sub, which makes it slightly less healthy.

As you can see from the top 5 healthiest sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s, none of them are particularly healthy, and all are relatively high in saturated fat. On the positive, most of the sandwiches do have high protein content and use natural and additive-free meats.

If you are looking for a way to lead a healthier life, you could consider getting an extra hand with nutrition apps. Nutrition apps contain healthy recipes, calculators, and other essentials for weight loss goals.

Nutrition/Types of Jersey Mike’s Sandwiches

Type of SandwichSize (Inches)Carbohydrates (g)Calories (kcal)Sugars (g)Protein (g)
Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak77485012 48
Original Italian7719401144
Bacon Ranch Melt7738801149
Chicken Philly Cheese Steak7706701045
Big Kahuna Chicken Cheese Steak7737201149

#1 Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak

This particular sub is an incredibly popular option. While it is definitely not Jersey Mike’s healthiest sub, it combines many favorites into one roll, including Frank’s Red Hot sauce, blue cheese dressing, and seasoned chicken.

It has 850 calories per serving with 40g of fat, of which 14g is saturated and 0.5g is trans. It has a very high sodium content, with 3,513mg per sub, as well as 12g of sugar. It also contains 48g of protein per sandwich.

Ingredients

Chicken: The seasoned chicken in this sub is free from additives and is a source of quality protein. Chicken is often recommended as a good addition to a healthy diet and may promote weight loss [2].

Frank’s Red Hot sauce: Though this sauce is a low-calorie addition to the sub, it does have a very high salt content. If you are looking for a low-sodium option at Jersey Mike’s, this is not the sandwich for you.

Blue cheese dressing: A popular dressing on subs and salads, blue cheese dressing is relatively high in fat, and the main ingredient is canola oil, which is a highly-refined oil. Highly processed oils are known to be damaging to your health [3].

#2 Jersey Mike’s Original Italian

A classic cold sub, Jersey Mike’s Original Italian sub is another option that is definitely not one of the healthiest sandwiches. It has a whopping 940 calories per sub, which is nearly half the recommended daily intake. It also has 13g of saturated fat and 1g of trans fat.

It contains provolone, ham, a combination of deli meats, and an olive oil blend. Deli meat is a highly processed meat option, and eating lots of processed meat can be damaging to your health, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and even some cancers [4].

Ingredients

Provolone: This high-fat cheese adds flavor to the sub but is very high in saturated fats. Provolone is a good cheese for the ketogenic diet but could be considered unhealthy due to its saturated fat content.

Ham: Contributing to the high protein content of this sandwich, the ham used in this sub is locally sourced and free from additives, making it a more healthful ingredient.

Salami: A highly processed meat, salami contributes lots of saturated fat to this sub. Processed meats are known to be bad for your health.

#3 Bacon Ranch Chicken Cheese Steak (Bacon Ranch Melt)

Also known as the Bacon Ranch Melt, this sub combines applewood smoked bacon with ranch dressing for a sandwich that has 880 calories per serving. It has 14g of saturated fat and 44g of total fat, along with 11g of sugar. The one saving grace is that the sandwich does provide 49g of protein.

The Bacon Ranch Melt also comes with lettuce and tomato, but don’t let this fool you into thinking this is a healthy sandwich option!

Ingredients

Applewood smoked bacon: A flavorful addition to the Bacon Ranch Melt, applewood smoked bacon is high in protein but also high in saturated fat.

Ranch dressing: A creamy and herbaceous dressing, ranch is a popular sandwich dressing at Jersey Mike’s. It is high in fat, but only around 7g per 100g is saturated. However, you should still consume healthy fats throughout the day.

#4 Mike’s Chicken Philly Cheese Steak

This is a twist on the Famous Philly you can find at Jersey Mike’s, and it uses chicken rather than beef, making it one of Jersey Mike’s healthier subs. It’s got lower sodium and fat contents than the Famous Philly, making it one of the healthiest sandwich options at Jersey Mike’s.

It combines grilled onions, peppers, and melted white American cheese with chicken. It contains 670 calories per sub.

Ingredients

Chicken: As the main component in the sub, chicken provides most of the calories in this filling. It is a source of protein and is additive-free. Jersey Mike’s prides itself on sourcing local produce too.

White American cheese: With a high saturated fat content, white American cheese adds flavor but seriously brings down the health of the sandwich.

Grilled onions: Adding flavor and a small number of nutrients, grilled onions may contain a fair bit of sugar, depending on how they are made.

#5 Big Kahuna Chicken Cheese Steak

One of Jersey Mike’s healthier Big Kahuna options, the chicken style comes with grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos, and white American cheese. It has 720 calories per sub, with 13g of saturated fat and 49g of protein.

If you’re looking for a protein hit at Jersey Mike’s, this could be a good sub option for you, but be aware of the high sugar and fat content.

Ingredients

Chicken: As with other chicken subs, the meat is locally sourced and additive-free, making it a high-quality source of protein.

White American cheese: As mentioned previously, white American cheese is relatively high in saturated fat.

Onions, peppers, mushrooms, and jalapenos: These vegetable additions add a small number of nutrients to the sub but nowhere near enough to counteract the high fat and calorie content.

3 Health Benefits of Jersey Mike’s

The sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s may not be the healthiest. However, the sandwiches do have some benefits. We have closely examined these below.

#1 Locally sourced, quality meat

Jersey Mike’s is proud to source locally where possible, and this means that much of the meat they use is high-quality and free from additives and preservatives. Ultra-processed foods have been shown to have a damaging effect on human health, so limiting foods with lots of additives can help you be healthier. It’s important to focus on healthy fats instead of consuming saturated ones. [5]

It is important to note that Jersey Mike’s does use processed meats and sauces, cheeses, and other ingredients containing artificial ingredients. If you are looking to make a healthier choice at Jersey Mike’s, it may be best to avoid cheese and other unhealthy ingredients.

#2 Handmade sandwiches

The sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s are handmade in front of you.

This means they are not packed with preservatives for a long shelf-life. Sulfites and other preservatives commonly found in food have been shown to inhibit the growth of the beneficial gut bacteria that keeps our digestive system in good health. [6]

As above, this is not to say that none of Jersey Mike’s ingredients have preservatives. In fact, many of the sauces, cheeses, and ultra-processed meats contain preservatives that could be damaging to your health. The healthiest sandwich, therefore, could be the option with the fewest of these components in them.

#3 High in protein

Meat is the main component of many of the subs at Jersey Mike’s, and for this reason, lots of the options have a high protein content. Dietary protein is incredibly important in muscle building and repair, and it can support weight loss by boosting satiety. [7]

3 Side Effects of Jersey Mike’s

While there may be some useful benefits of Jersey Mike’s sandwiches, there are also many drawbacks too. Below, we’ve taken a look at the different cons that come with choosing this on-the-go food option.

#1 High in saturated fat

Even the healthiest sandwich options at Jersey Mike’s have a very high saturated fat content. Saturated fat is known to have damaging effects on your health, including increased cholesterol levels and risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

#2 High sodium content

Sodium intake needs to be around 6g per day, and more than this can lead to increased blood pressure, which, in turn, increases your likelihood of developing a heart condition. Many of the sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s have at least 2–3g of salt per sub, making them incredibly high in salt.

#3 High in calories

The subs on offer at Jersey Mike’s are very high in calories, with the lowest option we found having a whopping 670 calories. Though high calories don’t always mean unhealthy foods, the majority of the components of the subs are not particularly nutritious, meaning many of the calories in the subs are empty calories.

Ask for an olive oil blend instead of mayo, ranch, or other calorie-dense condiments.

This is not the case for all subs; in fact, the chicken and turkey-based subs could be classed as Jersey Mike’s healthier choices and offer lots of protein and healthy fat. Subs that rely heavily on processed deli meats, on the other hand, don’t offer much in the way of nutrition.

Jersey Mike’s vs. Subway

Calories/Nutrient (per serving)Jersey Mike’s Original ItalianSubway’s Italian BMT
Calories (kcal)940532
Carbs (g)7130
Fiber (g)43.1
Sugar (g)114
Fats (Total)5335
Protein (g)4425

FAQs

How big is a regular sub at Jersey Mike’s?

A regular sub at Jersey Mike’s is 7 inches, but you can opt for a giant sub, which is 15 inches in total. You can also size down and order a mini, which is just 5 inches.

What types of bread does Jersey Mike’s have?

Jersey Mike’s offers a few different bread options. These are white, whole-wheat, rosemary parmesan, and gluten-free.

Is Jersey Mike’s bread healthy?

The sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s come with various bread options, including white bread, wheat bread, and specialty breads. Your individual dietary needs and preferences determine how healthy the bread is, as well as its type and ingredients. To make a healthier choice, choose multigrain or whole-grain options.

Are Jersey Mike’s sandwiches good or bad for weight loss?

Jersey Mike’s sandwiches are incredibly high in calories. As you can only lose weight by eating fewer calories than you burn, these subs are not a good idea for weight loss.

Is Jersey Mike’s meat processed?

It is true that Jersey Mike’s uses processed deli meats. Meats that have been processed are those that have been smoked, cured, salted, or added to other preservatives to preserve them.

A Word From a Nutritionist

While some of Jersey Mike’s “healthier” hoagies contain sources of high-quality protein, on the whole, these subs are not the healthiest choice at all. Many of them are high in saturated fat, salt, and artificial ingredients. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend eating at Jersey Mike’s if you’re looking to lose weight.

On-the-go food can be helpful in this busy world, and it can be the difference between rating something at lunchtime and not. Eating takeout food every now and then won’t have irreversible consequences for your health, but take care not to overdo it.

The healthiest diets are balanced and include lots of fruit, veggies, whole grains, high-quality protein, and healthy fats. Ensure that you are eating a healthy diet most of the time, so if you do choose to eat takeout every now and then, it does not have damaging effects on your health.

Conclusion

Jersey Mike’s serves delicious sandwiches, but it is not a healthy option. While occasional takeout will not harm your health, strive to eat homecooked, wholefood foods that feed your body rather than ordering takeaway.

Sources

  1. Trans fats—sources, health risks and alternative approach – A review (2011 Oct) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551118/
  2. Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: an Italian consensus document (2015 Jun 9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462824/
  3. The effect of pan fryingon thermooxidative stability of refined rapeseed oil and professional blend (2015 Sep 16) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4711448/
  4. Processing of meats and cardiovascular risk: time to focus on preservatives (2013 May 23) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680013/
  5. Ultra-processed foods and human health: What do we already know and what will further research tell us? (2021 Feb) https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(21)00027-4/fulltext
  6. Sulfites inhibit the growth of four species of beneficial gut bacteria at concentrations regarded as safe for food (2017 Oct 18) https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0186629
  7. Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit (2019 May 22) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566799/
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: January 15, 2024
11 min read 1268 Views 0 Comments
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