Can I Eat Low Sodium at Jimmy Johns
Sandwich shops are a conundrum! They often claim to be a “Healthy” Fast Food option, yet that is often deceiving. In answering the question of Can I Eat Low Sodium at Jimmy Johns I hope to take a look at some basic rules you can apply at any sandwich shop and stay within you low sodium requirements for the meal. We already covered some of these things when we took a look at Subway.
A sandwich contains several components that all typically will take a food item off the menu for us. The bread, buns, or rolls, are often high in sodium. The meats and proteins used, especially ham and processed meats like salami, pepperoni, and more are extremely high in sodium. Chicken, which we have been trained to think is a healthier option is often soaked in saltwater prior to freezing to be shipped to the restaurants. The sauces, seasonings, and condiments then also have to be looked at and considered.
The criteria we use to define a meal is based upon the USDA recommendation of 2300 mg a day for a healthy person. So divide it by three. The American Heart association and the Mayo Clinic have recommended 1500 mg a day for prevention of heart issues, for those with high blood pressure (hypertension), and those who are over the age of 50.
A new challenge for those of us that are scouring websites for the nutritional information, is that while many restaurants are starting to share the nutrition information, including sodium, are doing so with a web tool that is called a nutrition calculator. Jimmy John’s is one of those websites. The calculator is a nice addition, but there are a few challenges for us on the low sodium diet. The calculator is usually hard to find, you usually have to go through the contact us page or the FAQ section of their website to find. The calculator is not easy to operate on a mobile device (phone), and you have to customize each sandwich choice itself. If that sandwich doesn’t meet your sodium requirements, you must start from scratch with another choice. None of this is easy to do while waiting to place your order at the counter. So let’s take a look at some rules you can use to speed up the process:
Can I Eat Low Sodium at Jimmy John’s
Let’s start with the bread. An average roll, or the bread used for their Club Sandwiches is between 200-400 mg. You can knock that right off of any sandwich in a couple ways: the first is simply cutting the sandwich size in half, and the second is ordering an Unwich, where they wrap the sandwich in lettuce, instead of bread.
A good habit that many low sodium lifers have developed is that of bringing your own seasonings and condiments with you when you are heading to a restaurant. Then they can control what they are adding. If you don’t do that, here are some tips for Jimmy John’s:
Mayonnaise will add 150 mg to any sandwich, so for our heart’s sake, lets hold the mayo.
The Dijon mustard they use adds 135 mg to any sandwich, so again, you can save sodium by going without. Yellow mustard only adds 55 mg if you grab a packet.
Their Avocado spread only has 60 mg.
The 2 lowest sodium options to order are:
Roast Beef at 440 mg
Roasted Turkey Breast at 530 mg
The worst offender is the Tuna Salad which comes in at a whopping 1140 mg added to the sandwich.
Cheese is also a High Sodium offender. It puts all of the sandwiches on the Jimmy John’s menu over the top of our sodium requirements for a meal. The only way to fit in a slice of provolone is to order a Veggie sandwich and skip the proteins.
Pickles, Chips, & Cookies:
Each bag of chips comes in at 100-160 mg of sodium, except the salt and vinegar is 210 mg per bag.
The Chocolate Chunk cookie is 294 mg.
The Oatmeal Raisin Cookie is 400.74 mg.
The Jumbo Kosher Dill is a whopping 2090 mg. (Farewell pickle!)
So what is the final verdict to can I eat low sodium at Jimmy John’s? Well, the choices are slim, but if you stick to a half sandwich or unwich of beef or turkey and vegetables, you can order something that will keep you within your sodium requirements for the day. Let me know what you think in the comments below!