Worst Sandwiches — Double-Fisted Diet Wreckers

Man Eating On The Go

7 Sandwiches to Skip, 7 to Enjoy

At many popular sandwich chains, you can unwittingly gobble up a diet disaster — unless you know how to order. Browse our gallery of the 7 sandwiches that are poor bets — items that are packed with hidden calories. Then check out 7 better choices at the same restaurants. And beware the turkey sandwich, which has become a blank canvas for fattening additions of all kinds.

Schlotzkys deluxe original sandwich

Schlotzsky’s: Poor Bet

The medium-sized Deluxe Original-Style Sandwich has double servings of smoked ham, two kinds of salami, and three types of cheese. Layered in between, there are a few healthy things — like black olives, red onion, lettuce, and tomato — but that’s not enough to offset the fat, calories, and sodium. All that meat and cheese equals a whopping 980 calories, 47 g fat, 19 g saturated fat, and 3,820 mg sodium.

Schlotzkys chicken breast sandwich

Schlotzsky’s: Better Bet

The Small Chicken Breast Sandwich is a better choice at Schlotzsky’s. It has only 330 calories — fewer than half the calories of the “original-style” sandwich — along with a slim 2 g fat and no saturated fat. Chicken, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and fat-free spicy ranch dressing on a sourdough bun keep the calories and fat in check. But watch out for the sky-high 1,150 mg of sodium.

Blimpie meatball parmigiana sandwich

Blimpie: Poor Bet

Again, meatballs are bad news. The large Meatball Parmigiana has beef and pork blended meatballs covered in marinara sauce, melted provolone, and sprinkled Parmesan. All that meat and cheese equals 1,490 calories, 78 g fat, 32 g saturated fat, and 4,170 mg sodium. When ordering at a restaurant, beware of specialty breads, which often have extra calories.

Blimpie Beat Bet Roast Beef

Blimpie: Better Bet

Order the 6-inch Roast Beef and Provolone on wheat for a healthy and satisfying sandwich. The tally is: 460 calories, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 1350 mg sodium, and 6 g fiber. Keep these other Blimpie subs under 400 calories by skipping the cheese and sauce: ham, turkey, veggie, or club. Have it on wheat for a healthy dose of fiber.

Arbys roast turkey sandwich

Arby’s: Poor Bet

Arby’s Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon  Sandwich has bacon, turkey, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and ranch sauce. It all adds up to a colossal 800 calories, 34 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, and a shocking  2,420 mg sodium.

Arbys Best Bet Roast Beef Sandwich

Arby’s: Better Bet

A plain, Roast Beef Classic Sandwich is a decent choice for controlling calories. But skip the melted cheese, mayo, and the “horsey” sauce (50 calories and 5 g of fat in a tiny packet.) Arby’s sauce adds flavor with zero fat and only 15 calories. The nutrient tally before additions is 360 calories, 14 g fat, and 5 g saturated fat. The high sodium content may be a deal-breaker for some at 970 mg.

BK Worst Bet Tender Crisp Chicken Sandwich

Burger King: Poor Bet

“Crisp” is a red flag for high-fat, fried food. And the TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich is a classic example of fried chicken on a bun slathered with creamy, high-fat dressing. It tops out at 670 calories, 41 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, and 1,080 mg sodium.

BK Best Bet Tender Grill Chicken Sandwich

Burger King: Better Bet

The TenderGrill Chicken Sandwich on a Ciabatta bun is a juicy, grilled chicken filet topped with lettuce and tomato. Dressed with mayo, it has 470 calories, 19 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, and  850 mg of sodium. Skip the mayo for a slender 320 calorie sandwich. Pickles, onions, and mustard add kick without too many extra calories.

Boston Market Worst Bet Meatloaf Sandwich

Boston Market: Poor Bet

The Homestyle Meatloaf CarverSandwich sounds wholesome, but “hearty” or just plain “fattening” might be better descriptions. It has 960 calories, 49 g fat, and 23 g of saturated fat — the daily limit of this unhealthy fat for most people. With 1,990 mg of sodium, it nearly tops the daily limit for healthy adults (2,300 mg). 

Boston Market bbq chicken sandwich

Boston Market: Better Bet

The Pulled BBQ Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich is a tasty choice at Boston Market. Roasting the chicken makes it moist and tender. It’s relatively healthy compared to some of the other choices. It has 730 calories, 28 g fat, and 13 g saturated fat. But it has a whopping 1,990 mg of sodium. Take off the top layer of bread to cut calories or eat half and save half for another meal.

Subway chicken bacon ranch melt

Subway: Poor Bet

The 6-inch Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt is a fatty choice at a restaurant better known for its healthy options. This 6-inch sub weighs in at 590 calories, 30 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, and 1,360 mg sodium.

Subway Best Bet Ham Sandwich

Subway: Better Bet

Keep your personal calorie count low with the 6-inch Black Forest Ham Sandwich. This 6-inch sub has 290 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1g saturated fat, and 800 mg sodium. The restaurant has other low-calorie choices: roast chicken, roast beef, club, turkey breast, turkey breast and ham, veggie delight, or sweet onion chicken teriyaki. Top them with lots of veggies to keep them in the range of 230-380 calories.

Wendys asagio ranch chicken

Wendy’s: Poor Bet

The Asiago RanchClub With Homestyle Chickencan turn a quick lunch into a fatty affair that lingers on your hips.  Wendy’s tops their breaded, fried filet with 3 strips of bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo for  690 calories, 36 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, and 1,630 mg of sodium.

Wendys Best Bet Ultimate Chicken Grill

Wendy’s: Better Bet

Wendy’s Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich boasts only 390 calories, 10 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, and 1,080 mg of sodium.  This simple yet satisfying sandwich of grilled chicken, lettuce, and tomato is topped off with tangy honey mustard instead of slathered with high-fat mayo — for a dietitian’s delight.

Sodas And French Fries

Side Dishes and Drinks Count, Too

Before you order, glance at the calorie listing to be sure your choice is a “better bet.” And watch menu items that come with a side dish. Sidekicks that send the calories soaring include giant drinks, fries, chips, and salads loaded with dressing. Better bets are non-calorie drinks, fat-free milk, water, and sides with fruits and veggies. 

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