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Get Heart Healthy with Subway’s Savvy Dietician

Written on June 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm , by

Heart-healthy options are poppin’ up all over the Subway menu. (Photo courtesy of Subway.com)

Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern

It’s no secret that Subway is known for being one of the healthiest fast-food options in the industry (who could forget Jared’s larger-than-life weight loss?). But as of last year, it’s also the first of its kind to receive the stamp of approval by the American Heart Association. So what does that mean for you? More nutritious (and tasty!) bang for your buck.

In fact, Subway recently got 16 AHA-approved meals on its menu. To bring you expert nutritional know-how for your crazy-busy summer, we chatted with Subway’s Corporate Dietician of 13 years, Lanette Kovachi, RD. She knows it can get difficult to stay on track while on-the-go, and facing a variety of fast-food choices is no joke. “When it comes to eating out, people get overly hungry and end up choosing a restaurant where they’re not going to get good options,” Kovachi explains. “They’re in dire-hunger mode, and they just go for that indulgent sandwich or meal, or they eat too many portions.” The trick, she says, is not letting yourself become too ravenous. When that happens, “your body takes over and craves more calories and fat.”

But when you’re on the brink of an I’ll-eat-absolutely-anything-right-now-level of hunger, limiting portions and staying satisfied is easier said than done. To keep from succumbing to the pitfalls of dining out, curb your cravings by eating fresh fruit right before chowing down. Kovachi recommends snacking on apples: “They fill you up and take off the edge.” It’s no surprise, then, that apple slices are a staple item on Subway’s menu. “It’s not exciting,” she admits, “but they’re quick to grab and cost-friendly.”

Of course, we can’t always find a Subway when we’re on the road and hunger pangs strike. Then, it’s all about moderation: “When you order out, just try to think about what’s a sensible portion,” Kovachi suggests. “Even if you’re feeling really hungry, know that ordering half of what you really want is still going to satisfy your cravings.”

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Debbie Phelps, Michael’s Mom, on the Olympics, Heart Health and Challenging Her Son in the Pool

Written on February 10, 2012 at 9:41 am , by

Debbie and her medal-winning son, Michael. (Photo courtesy of The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection Fashion Show 2012, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

There is one strong mom cheering from the stands when 16-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps dives into the pool. Debbie Phelps was an athlete in her own right in high school and still enjoys keeping fit. And as a Subway Famous Fan, alongside her son, Debbie enjoys supplementing all that action with a healthy diet. “I love my milk, veggies and protein, but have to have a little bit of ice cream! It’s all about moderation,” Phelps says, with a laugh.

We caught up with the mom of three on Wednesday right before she walked in The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection Fashion Show in New York City to learn more about her first trip down the runway and whether she’d ever challenge her son to a lap race.

How does it feel to be a model?

Walking in a fashion show has been an item on my bucket list, but I never thought I’d have the opportunity. I feel elegant and sophisticated in the beautifully-beaded Adrianna Papell dress.

Do you ever exercise with Michael?

No way! As Michael’s mom, I feel that the safest place for me is not in the pool. I gravitate to the treadmill and StairMaster upstairs! I’m not afraid of the water but when I was growing up, the pool was a place for fun, not competition.

How are you and Michael feeling about the upcoming Olympic Games in London this summer?

It feels like we were just in Beijing! We’re so excited. It is bittersweet and emotional, though, that his goggles and Speedo will be hung up after the London Games. Michael has brought awareness to the sport and has shown such drive and dedication. We hope to take our grandchildren with us to watch.

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Five Ways to “Eat Fresh” and Build a Better Lunch

Written on July 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm , by

Written by Lauren Cardarelli, Editorial Intern

Pile the veggies high! (Photo courtesy of Subway)

Pile the veggies high! (Photo courtesy of Subway)

Subway is known for promoting nutritious, fresh produce and made-to-order food (remember Jared and his amazing slimdown?). By recently introducing avocado to their menu and reducing sodium levels, the world’s largest restaurant chain has improved its reputation in the health world once again.

We had the opportunity to get the skinny on the healthy, fast food by chatting with Lanette Kovachi, MS, RD, Subway’s Corporate Dietician for almost 10 years, and Rachel Johnson, PhD, MPH, RD, member and vice-chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Here are the top five tips we picked up to build a better lunch:

  1. Load up the veggies. “We have lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, onions,” Kovachi said. “Add in all those vegetables, you get two servings of veggies. Bulk up the sandwich without adding many calories.”
  2. No need to skip the condiments. “With our sandwiches, there’s room to add things and you’re still keeping it under 500 calories, which is a pretty good calorie level for a 6-inch sandwich,” Kovachi said. Looking to make some healthy swaps? Try avocado instead of mayonnaise on your sandwich or cut down on salad dressing calories with olive oil and vinegar.
  3. Think beyond the sandwich. “I think there are lots of other healthy choices when you think about beverages,” said Johnson. “There’s water. They have milk, which, you know, most Americans have a shortfall of calcium and vitamin D, so that’s a great option.” Consider pairing your sub and drink with a bag of baked chips or apple slices to complete your meal.
  4. Personalize while reaping the taste and nutrition you desire. Subway provides a plethora of healthy components so it’s hard to not have your cake—or should we say sub—and eat it, too. Start with one of the eight Fresh Fit sandwiches and customize with protein-rich meats, high-fiber breads (now fortified with calcium and vitamin D) and low-calorie vegetables!
  5. Skimp on sodium without feeling deprived. The folks at Subway pride themselves on recently reducing sodium levels without affecting ingredient taste or quality. After years of evaluating and improving upon every sandwich component, the Subway Fresh Fit lineup has seen a 28 percent sodium reduction with a 15 percent reduction across the menu. “We had all the other bases covered with the fat and calories, vegetable quantity, fiber so this was the next step to really make the sandwich a complete nutritional package,” Kovachi said.

More from FITNESS: Make gourmet sandwiches at home with these recipes from top TV chefs.