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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Healthy Eating arrow Is Jimmy John’s Healthy? Menu Overview, Nutrition, Calories

Is Jimmy John’s Healthy? Menu Overview, Nutrition, Calories

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: June 21, 2023
5 min read 1457 Views 0 Comments
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We all love the popular restaurant Jimmy John’s, known for being “freaky fast.” However, is this famous sandwich chain healthy?

is jimmy john's healthy

Many people love Jimmy John’s for its tasty food and high-quality, quick service. It is a well-known sandwich restaurant that appears healthy and nutritious, but is it actually good for you?

Is Jimmy John’s Healthy?

Jimmy John’s is a relatively unhealthy sandwich restaurant as some sandwiches are very high in calories, carbohydrates, and saturated fat. However, a few substitutes can be made that can help lower the calories and fat and improve the nutrition.

What Ingredients Do Jimmy John’s Sandwiches Contain? 

Jimmy John’s offers many sandwich options, or you could create your own unique sandwich based on your preferences. 

For the protein options, they offer ham, roast beef, turkey, salami, capocollo (which is similar to salami), bacon, tuna salad, and avocado spread. They also offer provolone cheese on their club sandwiches.

Each Jimmy John’s sandwich comes topped with fresh lettuce, tomato, and mayo (unless you ask for them to be left off). In addition, they offer many different “Freebies” or add-ons, including mustard, pickles, oil and vinegar, oregano and basil, onion, customer, and peppers. 

Finally, in terms of pieces of bread, you can choose French bread or sliced wheat. 

Each sandwich is very customizable, making the combinations and possibilities endless.

What Are the Healthiest Sandwiches at Jimmy John’s?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, red meat is high in saturated fat, which has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. 

So, avoid consuming too much red meat in your diet, and instead opt for fish, poultry, or plant-based protein.

Replace the mayo with mustard to make each of these sandwiches a healthier choice. Consider removing the cheese as well.

Furthermore, add more vegetables, including onion and cucumber, to add more nutrition to your sandwich.

Avoid the “Plain Slims” since they are just meat and cheese without any of the healthy vegetables and nutrients.

Low-carb options

To reduce the carbohydrates in your sandwich, try their “Unwich,” which replaces the sandwich bread with lettuce and can decrease your caloric intake by between 230 and 350 calories.

Not interested in the lettuce bun option? Choosing sliced wheat bread will at least add some extra fiber and nutrients to your sandwich. 

Low in calories and fats

Depending on the sandwich you pick and the size you order, some Jimmy John’s sandwiches can get pretty high in calories and fat. However, some do have lean meats, including poultry.

Some sandwiches have as many as 860 calories in the regular size and 1710 calories in the giant size. For some, 1710 calories are what they consume for an entire day. 

When ordering at Jimmy Johns, it is best to avoid the “Giant” sandwiches which are 16” in length (double that of the regular sandwiches). Instead, opt for the “Little John,” the “Plain Slim,” or a regular sandwich such as “The Veggie” or the “Turkey Tom.”

The “Turkey Tom” made with turkey breast is made with lean meats with fewer grams of fat (including saturated fat) compared to the roast beef sandwiches, for example.

Additionally, to decrease the number of calories and grams of fat, ask for less mayo or even no mayo and substitute with either “Jimmy mustard” or yellow mustard. Only order the oil and vinegar topping in moderation, as it will significantly increase the fat and calories in your sandwich. 

While it has no red meat such as roast beef, the “Totally Tuna” and the “Club Tuna” are quite high in calories as well, along with some of the other sandwiches. 

Vegetarian and vegan picks

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, Jimmy Johns still has a nutritious and tasty option for you.

To make “The Veggie” sandwich vegan, sub out the mayo for yellow mustard and remove the cheese. This also dramatically decreases the fat and calories. 

Unfortunately, this is the only sandwich on Jimmy John’s menu appropriate for the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. 

Allergy-friendly foods 

Based on Jimmy John’s allergen guide, some of the most common allergens are present in their food. The allergens covered in Jimmy John’s allergen guide are milk, soy, wheat, eggs, fish/shellfish, tree nuts/peanuts, sesame, and gluten.

If you have a soy, wheat, sesame, or gluten allergy or intolerance, it is best to order your sandwich as an “Unwich.”

Additionally, if you have a milk or gluten allergy, ask to remove the cheese.

The mayo contains soy and eggs, so avoid the mayo if you are allergic.

It is also important to note that many of Jimmy John’s ingredients are processed in a facility that also processes peanuts and/or tree nuts and should be avoided if you have a peanut or tree nut allergy. 

See the complete list of items processed with peanuts and tree nuts and the rest of the allergen information from Jimmy John’s here

Drinks, sides, and desserts

Let’s briefly cover the options Jimmy John’s offers for drinks, sides, and desserts. 

Of course, they have soft drinks, including Coke, diet Coke, sprite, and lemonade. Additionally, they have more unique beverage options, including Monster Energy. 

While water is always your best bet, opt for a diet Coke to avoid consuming empty calories and excess sugar. 

You can get potato chips with flavors from plain to salt and vinegar to BBQ for their side options. For the lightest option, choose their “Thinny Chips” or avoid the chips altogether. 

If you are still looking for that salty side, try the jumbo pickle that only has 20 calories. 

Finally, they serve giant cookies from chocolate chip to oatmeal raisin. If you are set on that sugary treat, try having just half the cookie and saving the rest for tomorrow.

A Word From a Dietitian

Jimmy John’s can seem like a great place to get a quick and delicious meal on a budget. However, many of their club sandwiches are very high in calories, carbohydrates, and fat.

Not to mention the high amount of sodium that practically any processed deli meat contains.

However, with such a customizable menu, you can make a Jimmy John’s sandwich nutritious by making a few changes.

You can swap out the bread for whole wheat or a lettuce wrap, add more fresh veggies, choose poultry as your protein, substitute mustard for mayo, and limit the portion size to the regular or even the “Little John” sandwich.

Additionally, watch out for the added calories, fat, and sugar from adding a drink, cookie, and bag of chips. Although it is high in sodium, opt for a low-calorie pickle instead.

FAQs

Is Jimmy John’s healthy for diabetics?

Yes, Jimmy John’s can be suitable for diabetics. However, it is important to note that it is important to watch portion sizes and choose healthy options. For example, opt for wheat sandwiches and Unwiches. Choose lean proteins such as turkey, tuna, and vegetarian sandwiches and avoid adding bacon, extra mayonnaise, or extra cheese.

Is Jimmy John’s good for weight loss?

Yes, Jimmy John’s can be a good option for weight loss. It is important to watch portion sizes and choose lean proteins such as turkey or tuna, and go for vegetarian sandwiches and Umwiches. Most importantly, avoid extra mayonnaise, bacon or cheese, as these can add extra calories and fat.

Does Jimmy john’s have vegan options?

Yes, Jimmy John’s has vegan options. The #6 Original “Veggie” sandwich can be made vegan by removing both the Provolone Cheese and the Mayo. You can also add Jimmy Peppers, pickles, or onions for additional toppings. Replace the mayo with any of the vegan condiments, such as Grey Poupon, Mustard, Oil & Vinegar or the Oregano-Basil Seasoning.

Conclusion 

The Jimmy John’s brand is a famous fast-food sandwich chain known for its incredibly fast delivery. But, with the tips and tricks in this article, it can be a healthy place to eat too.

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: June 21, 2023
5 min read 1457 Views 0 Comments
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