Why Subway's New Low Carb Bread Is So Concerning

When Subway rolled out its new Hero bread, it looked like the sandwich chain had entered a new, health-focused era. According to Business Wire, the bread allegedly looks, feels, and tastes like regular bread but boasts superior nutrition stats and even has the social media backing of Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. A serving contains 0 grams of sugar, 1 gram of net carbs, 100 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 26 grams of fiber. Yet, not everyone's in love. Eat This, Not That! reports that any item that contains more than 5 grams of fiber can put some strain on your digestion system and if you choose to load the bread up with mayonnaise or bacon, the lack of sugar, carbs, and calories might not matter.

Trista Best, Registered Dietitian at Balance One Supplements, has also weighed in on the new low-carb Hero bread. "Strictly from a low carbohydrate standpoint, Subway's new Hero Bread is certainly an excellent option for those individuals, Best told Mashed. "This new bread option could benefit those watching their blood sugar due to a diabetes or pre-diabetes diagnosis. With the continued popularity of the Ketogenic Diet among those wanting to drop weight quickly, this Subway bread also gives a new option for these individuals when eating out."

"The primary benefit to eating sugarless bread is reducing the glycemic index of the bread," Best continued. "Glycemic index is a number assigned to foods based on the rate at which they increase blood sugar."

The downside of Hero bread, according to an expert

While this item looks good for some, Trista Best warns that the item sets off some immediate red flags. "The primary ingredient that would be a concern in Subway's Hero Bread is the modified wheat starch," she told us. "This form of starch is sourced from either wheat, potatoes, corn, or tapioca and provides almost no nutritional value but a significant amount of fiber."

Modified wheat starch, Best added, is commonly inĀ "processed foods and especially low carbohydrate foods as it increases the fiber amount which decreases the net carbs overall. The concern here is the method by which this starch is modified ... through chemical, physical, enzymatic methods. When modified through chemical means there can be contamination from harmful compounds like sulfuric acid or chlorine."

Some might benefit from Hero bread, but Best says it isn't for everyone. "Considering the fact that most consumers will choose refined bread options at Subway, rather than whole grain bread, switching to Hero Bread could be more beneficial by increasing dietary fiber and reducing carbohydrate intake," Best said. "However, for those that would typically eat whole grain breads this switch is a poor nutritional decision. Whole grain bread contains un-modified, non-processed, fiber and ingredients. There is also a higher rate of B vitamins, iron, and magnesium." Next time you head to Subway, keep this item on your radar and think about if it can make your meal that much better.