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IBX Insights

For the Love of Hoagies

By May 4, 2018June 30th, 2021Fitness Nutrition
Three hoagies: Turkey, Ham and Cheese, Roast Beef and Swiss with Lettuce and Tomato on Crusty Rolls

As any Philadelphian knows, a hoagie by any other name — sub, grinder, hero, zeppelin, or poor boy — isn’t a hoagie.
But, as with most things that are off-the-chart delicious, hoagies aren’t the healthiest things on the menu. In fact, a classic Italian hoagie has roughly:

  • 700 calories
  • 50g of fat
  • 2500mg of sodium
  • 52g of carbs
  • 42g of protein

Upon closer inspection, it’s clear that the cold cuts (deli meat) are at the heart of the problem — according to the FDA’s 2,000-calorie diet nutrition guidelines, cold cuts make a hoagie entirely unhealthy.


Fat (g)

Carbs (g) Visit

Proteins (g)

Sodium (mg)

8-inch hoagie roll 200 4 50 8 230
Boiled ham (3 slices) 60 1 0 9 590
Capicola (3 slices) 120 7.5 1.5 12 810
Provolone cheese (3 slices) 120 9 0 7.5 285
Genoa salami (3 slices) 130 10 1 6 500
Shredded lettuce (1/2 cup) 3 0 1 0 3
Tomato (4 slices) 14 0 3 1 4
Onion (1/4 cup) 0 0 0 0 0
Dry hoagie 647 31.5 56.5 43.5 2,422
Olive oil (1T) 125 14 0 0 < 1
Red wine vinegar (1T) 3 0 0 0 19
Hoagie with oil/vinegar: 775 45.5 56.5 43.5 2,441

So, at the risk of having my Philadelphia citizenship revoked, I have objectively tried to find a way to healthy-up a hoagie while maintaining its sacred hoagie-ness.

Option A: Go Veggie

Probably the quickest and easiest way tune up your hoagie is to pass on the deli meats altogether. Load up on tomatoes, peppers, spinach, lite cheese, pickles, oil, and spices. Top it off with a dash (or two) of oil and vinegar, and, there you have it: a heathier hoagie.

Option B: Eat Half a Hoagie

It’s possible that someone (someone probably not from Philly) could stop eating a hoagie half way through and, in theory, reduce/improve the nutritional content by half. If this option seems too hard to do alone, consider going halfsies with a friend.

Option C: Choose Healthier Hoagie Ingredients

With the wide variety of multigrain rolls, low fat condiments, and low-fat/low-salt deli options available for most of the ingredients listed above, you could swap the full fat/salt versions for their “lighter” counterparts.  Here are some options:

  • Whole wheat hoagie rolls have 1/3 fewer calories, carbs, fat, and protein.
  • Extra veggies and peppers can add moisture to a dry (condiment-free) hoagie.
  • Lite cooked ham has 25 percent less sodium.
  • Low salt salami has half the sodium; low fat salami has half the fat.
  • Low fat provolone has 50 percent less sodium and calories.

Option D: Eat Fewer Hoagies

This option is for those who refuse to sacrifice flavor for nutrition. If this is you, consider counteracting the nutritional impact of your next hoagie by:

Whichever hoagie option you choose, be sure to enjoy and savor every bite. May I suggest having one with a side of Eagles highlights?


Sheila Perlick

I am a copywriter at IBX as well as a spouse, parent, dog owner, and kind of meh cook. Just like a lot of people, I am always looking for ways to make my day-to-day life easier so I can spend more time with family, sneak in a little more exercise, and (hopefully) get more sleep.