Healthy Options at Togo’s

November 8, 2010 2:00 pm
Posted in: Menu Mondays
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Togo's Salad with Hummus

A satisfying Togo's Farmer's Market Salad with Feta, Hummus, and tons of delicious veggies.

Togo’s is a sandwich chain with about 240 locations on the West Coast (mostly California), similar to Quiznos and Subway.  Unfortunately, as with nearly every other restaurant, they’re heart-stoppingly-high in sodium. Even so, there are definitely ways to mitigate that — and find a healthful, delicious, and affordable lunch.

Because of the high sodium and low fiber in their breads, I recommend getting a salad instead of a sandwich.  Pictured above is a recent lunch I had at Togo’s — I got the Farmer’s Market Salad (which had a ton of crisp, fresh veggies, including red cabbage, cucumbers, and tomatoes), and I spruced it up with some feta crumbles and a couple of scoops of hummus.  I got the Fat Free Grape Vinaigrette on the side, but ended up barely touching it — the salad had plenty of flavor on its own!  This was a large, filling, delicious salad — and a relatively healthy choice overall.

If you really want a sandwich, a good compromise is their “Pick Two,” in which you can choose two options from a half-sandwich, half-salad, and a cup of soup.  Careful, though: A “half sandwich” is not half of a 6″ Regular sandwich — it’s really a 4″ sandwich. So the nutrition numbers will be around 2/3 of a regular, not half!

You can also get a kid’s-size 3″ sandwich, which is actually half of a regular sandwich.

I can’t stress enough on the salads (and salad wraps) how much of a difference the dressing makes — you can easily double or triple the calories (and fat, and sodium) in your lunch, without it even tasting all that much better.  This is one of those times that a small sacrifice in taste (if any) can pay huge dividends in your health.

Salads – Better Choices

Numbers are for Full Salads, WITHOUT DRESSING.

Asian Chicken Salad
200 cal, no sat fat, 9g total fat, 400mg sodium, 17g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g sugar, 21g protein

Farmer’s Market Salad
160 cal, 2.5g sat fat, 6g total fat, 550mg sodium, 20g carbs, 5g fiber, 5g sugar, 7g protein

BBQ Chicken Ranch Salad
230 cal, no sat fat, 3.5g total fat, 620mg sodium, 31g carbs, 5g fiber, 16g sugar, 20g protein

Salads – Worst Choices

Numbers are for Full Salads, WITHOUT DRESSING.

Cobb Salad
330 cal, 9g sat fat, 20g total fat, 870mg sodium, 12g carbs, 6g fiber, 4g sugar, 29g protein

Santa Fe Chicken Salad
370 cal, 4.5g sat fat, 16g total fat, 950mg sodium, 33g carbs, 10g fiber, 6g sugar, 27g protein

Taco Salad X
600 cal, 20g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat, 39g total fat, 1,190mg sodium, 36g carbs, 9g fiber, 8g sugar, 26g protein

Salad Dressings – Better Choice

I’m only able to make one recommendation here.  The others are either very high in calories, sodium, or both.  All are 2.5 ounce servings, unless noted.

Fat Free Serano Grape Vinaigrette
90 cal, 290mg sodium, 21g sugars

Salad Dressings – Worst Choices

Asian X
380 cal, 33g fat, 830mg sodium

Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
90 cal, 780mg sodium

Blue Cheese X
260 cal, 26g fat, 780mg sodium

Buttermilk Ranch X
350 cal, 26g fat, 890mg soidum

Caesar
150 cal, 12g fat, 800mg sodium

Italian Vinaigrette
300 cal, 32g fat, 420mg sodium

Spicy Pepitas
340 cal, 35g fat, 450mg sodium

Taco Sauce (1 ounce)
31 cal, 243mg sodium
This is obviously intended for the Taco Salad, which is by far the worst salad (sans dressing) on the menu.

Salad Wraps – Better Choices

Togo’s will turn any salad into a wrap, and they even have three tortilla options (I’ll list those separately). These numbers include a whole wheat wrap and the specific dressing.

The best option would actually be to get the Farmer’s Market wrap with the Fat-Free Serano Grape Vinaigrette (instead of the Balsamic Vinaigrette) — which would bring the sodium down to a reasonable level.

By the numbers, almost any wrap will be better for you than any regular-size sandwich (with maybe the exception of the Avocado & Cucumber Sandwich).

Farmer’s Market Wrap with Fat Free Serano Grape Vinaigrette
440 cal, 3g sat fat, 12g total fat, 700mg sodium, 75g carbs, 9g fiber, 15g sugar, 12g protein
Numbers are estimated.

Farmer’s Market Wrap with Balsamic Vinaigrette
440 cal, 3g sat fat, 14g total fat, 980mg sodium, 72g carbs, 9g fiber, 8g sugar, 12g protein

BBQ Chicken Ranch Wrap with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
630 cal, 4g sat fat, 26g total fat, 1,420mg sodium, 77g carbs, 8g fiber, 18g sugar, 27g protein

Chicken Caesar Wrap with Caesar Dressing
550 cal, 4.5g sat fat, 20g total fat, 1,310mg sodium, 67g carbs, 8g fiber, 6g sugar, 31g protein

Salad Wraps – Worst Choices

Again, these are still better than most of the sandwiches — even if they might have more calories, they have less sodium and more fiber.

Santa Fe Chicken with Spicy Pepitas Dressing X
800 cal, 9g sat fat, 44g total fat, 1,260mg sodium, 75g carbs, 13g fiber, 6g sugar, 34g protein

Taco Salad Wrap with Taco Sauce
670 cal, 10g sat fat, 26g total fat, 1,580mg sodium, 90g carbs, 13g fiber, 13g sugar, 24g protein

Asian Chicken Wrap with Asian Dressing
670 cal, 4.5g sat fat, 32g total fat, 1,140mg sodium, 74g carbs, 8g fiber, 16g sugar, 28g protein

Cobb Wrap with Blue Cheese Dressing
680 cal, 9g sat fat, 36g total fat, 1,330mg sodium, 63g carbs, 11g fiber, 6g sugar, 32g protein

Wrap Tortillas – Better Choice

The wraps are almost identical for all the numbers — except for fiber.  That’s a good indicator that the whole wheat tortillas most likely use at least some whole wheat.

Whole Wheat Tortilla
300 cal, 290mg sodium, 6g fiber

Wrap Tortillas – Worst Choices

Don’t be fooled into thinking these are healthy because they might contain a tiny bit of spinach or sun-dried tomatoes.

Spinach Tortilla
320 cal, 290mg sodium, 2g fiber

Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Tortilla
320 cal, 300mg sodium, 2g fiber

Cold Sandwiches – Better Choices

They use a huge amount of sodium in their breads. Half-a-day’s worth of sodium (or a full day’s worth if you’ve already got high blood pressure) is the best you could ever hope to do with a regular-size sandwich from Togo’s.

The “Best” Choices are all under 2,000mg sodium, and are listed in order of increasing sodium content. Sigh.

Avocado & Cucumber
560 cal, 4g sat fat, 25g total fat, 1,340mg sodium, 75g carbs, 9g fiber, 7g sugar, 13g protein

Hummus
650 cal, 4.5g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 27g total fat, 1,770mg sodium, 90g carbs, 9g fiber, 6g sugar, 18g protein

Avocado & Cheese
740 cal, 13g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 40g total fat, 1,790mg sodium, 73g carbs, 9g fiber, 6g sugar, 25g protein

Turkey and Avocado
640 cal, 4g sat fat, 26g total fat, 1,800mg sodium, 74g carbs, 9g fiber, 7g sugar, 36g protein

Turkey & Cranberry
670 cal, 3g sat fat, 19g total fat, 1,860mg sodium, 95g carbs, 4g fiber, 33g sugar, 34g protein

Egg Salad & Cheese
750 cal, 12g sat fat, 39g total fat, 1,890mg sodium, 70g carbs, 4g fiber, 8g sugar, 31g protein

Albacore Tuna
660 cal, 5g sat fat, 28g total fat, 1,900mg sodium, 73g carbs, 4g fiber, 9g sugar, 30g protein
Compared to other restaurants, their tuna is remarkably low in fat.

Cold Sandwiches – Worst Choices

If you do nothing else, please promise me you’ll avoid the Salami.  I’ve listed the sandwiches in order of decreasing sodium content, just to illustrate my point.

Salami and Cheese X X X
1,100 cal (!!), 17g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat,  53g total fat (!), 6,230mg sodium (!!!!!!), 73g carbs, 4g fiber, 15g sugar, 87g protein
Are you kidding me?  Not a typo: That’s three days’ worth of salt in one sandwich.

Capicolla, Dry Salami & Provolone X X
1,080 cal (!!), 17g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 59g total fat (!!), 4,980mg sodium (!!!!), 69g carbs, 4g fiber, 12g sugar, 73g protein

Turkey, Ham, Salami & Cheese X X
920 cal, 13g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat, 41g total fat, 4,550mg sodium (!!!), 71g carbs, 4g fiber, 11g sugar, 70g protein

Turkey, Salami & Cheese X X
900 cal, 13g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat, 13g total fat, 4,230mg sodium (!!!), 70g carbs, 4g fiber, 11g sugar, 69g protein

Mortadella, Salami & Provolone X X
870 cal, 14g sat fat, 41g total fat, 4,180mg sodium (!!!),  71g carbs, 4g fiber, 11g sugar, 58g protein

The Italian X X
860 cal, 14g sat fat, 43g total fat, 3,740mg sodium (!!), 71g carbs, 4g fiber, 11g sugar, 51g protein

Black Forest Ham & Cheese X
670 cal, 10g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 31g total fat, 2,710mg sodium, 67g carbs, 4g fiber, 7g sugar, 35g protein

Pastrami Reuben X
990 cal, 19g sat fat, 55g total fat, 2,600mg sodium, 67g carbs,  3g fiber, 9g sugar, 52g protein

Turkey, Roast Beef & Cheese
770 cal, 9g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat, 30g total fat, 2,490mg sodium, 69g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g sugar, 59g protein

Turkey, Ham & Cheese
690 cal, 9g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat, 29g total fat, 2,430mg sodium, 68g carbs, 4g fiber, 7g sugar, 42g protein

Chipotle Roast Beef X
990 cal, 12g sat fat, 49g total fat, 2,450mg sodium, 66g carbs, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 66g protein

BBQ Ranch Chicken
750 cal, 4g sat fat, 27g total fat, 2,300mg sodium, 88g carbs, 4g fiber, 32g sugar, 42g protein

Cheese
800 cal, 20g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 45g total fat, 2,260mg sodium, 68g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g sugar, 34g protein

Turkey Bacon Club
680 cal, 12g sat fat, 32g total fat, 2,210mg sodium, 68g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g sguar, 35g protein

Pacific Cobb
710 cal, 9g sat fat, 36g total fat, 1g trans fat, 2,170mg sodium, 68g carbs, 6g fiber, 8g sugar, 51g protein

Roast Beef & Avocado
720 cal, 5g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 29g total fat, 2,120mg sodium, 70g carbs, 6g fiber, 6g sugar, 46g protein

Turkey & Cheese
670 cal, 8g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat, 28g total fat, 2,110mg sodium, 68g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g sugar, 42g protein

Chicken Salad
650 cal, 4.5g sat fat, 29g total fat, 2,010mg sodium, 74g carbs, 5g fiber, 10g sugar, 26g protein

Hot Sandwiches – Avoid

Every single hot sandwich has over 2,000mg sodium.

Chicken
630 cal, 3g sat fat, 20g total fat, 2,070mg sodium, 72g carbs, 4g fiber, 8g sugar, 44g protein

Meatball
690 cal, 13g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 27g total fat, 2,180mg sodium, 78g carbs, 5g fiber, 6g sugar, 33g protein

Roast Beef
730 cal, 5g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 25g total fat, 2,410mg sodium, 67g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g sugar, 58g protein

Pastrami
750 cal, 12g sat fat, 33g total fat, 2,280mg sodium, 69g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g sugar, 43g protein

Sicilian Chicken
710 cal, 9g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat, 28g total fat, 2,010mg sodium, 73g carbs, 4g fiber, 8g sugar, 41g protein

BBQ Beef
670 cal, 7g carbs, 1.5g trans fat, 19g total fat, 2,010mg sodium, 85g carbs, 3g fiber, 29g sugar, 40g protein

French Dip
840 cal, 10g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat, 33g total fat, 2,690mg sodium, 67g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g sugar, 67g protein

Soups – Better Choices

Garden Vegetable
80 cal, 0.5g total fat, 600mg sodium

Chili
200 cal, 4g total fat, 730mg sodium

Fresh Mushroom and Brie
200 cal, 8g sat fat, 14g total fat, 700mg sodium
A bit high in the saturated fat, but lower than most others in the sodium.

Soups – Worst Choices

Broccoli Cheddar X
240 cal, 8g sat fat, 15g total fat, 1,110mg sodium

Southwestern Chicken and Green Chile X
260 cal, 11g sat fat, 18g total fat, 1,000mg sodium

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle X
120 cal, 2.5g total fat, 1,280mg sodium

Roasted Yukon Baked Potato
300 cal, 12g sat fat, 20g total fat, 880mg sodium

New England Clam Chowder
250 cal, 8g sat fat, 16g total fat, 960mg sodium

Moroccan Lentil
130 cal, 1g total fat, 940mg sodium
Lower in calories, but still too high in sodium.

Breads

Their nutrition information lists numbers for a 1″ section of bread — therefore, due to rounding, it’s tough to discern which are really better.  They note the following bread portions:
2″ – Soup, 3″ – Kid’s, 4″ – Half Sandwich, 6″ – Regular Sandwich, 9″ – Large Sandwich

Considering that they all have at least 95mg of sodium per inch, you can see how it adds up quickly.

Classic White, 1″
50 cal, 100mg sodium

Honey Wheat, 1″
50 cal, 120mg sodium, >1g fiber
A 6″ sandwich would give you 120mg more sodium — then again, you’d also get more fiber. Tough call.

Onion Herb, 1″
50 cal, 100mg sodium

Dutch Crunch, 1″
50 cal, 95mg sodium

Parmesan, 1″ X
60 cal, 140mg sodium
On a 6″ sandwich, that would give you an extra 60 calories and 240mg sodium compared to the Classic White or Onion Herb.

Menu Mondays are my recommendations for the most healthful options at chain restaurants. Although it may be tough to find “perfect” options when eating out, it’s important to choose “better” whenever possible, and I hope these guides will help make that easier for you.

indicates the “best-of-the-best,” and X indicates the “worst-of-the-worst,” more or less.

Togo’s Nutrition Information (PDF).

7 Comments on "Healthy Options at Togo’s"
  1. Comment left on:
    November 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm
    Gudrun says:

    thank goodness the egg salad sandwich is on the ok list – that is my favorite Togo’s sandwich, although it has been a long time since I have visited. Togo’s was close to my house growing up, but there do not seem to be quite as many anymore….

    • Comment left on:
      November 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm
      Andrew says:

      Yup, Egg Salad is on the “ok” list (relatively speaking). I still can’t believe how much sodium is in ALL of their offerings, though.

      Sadly, too, it’s probably also safe to assume that they don’t source their eggs from any cage-free or organic farms — considering that neither health nor sustainability are not mentioned anywhere on their website (not even a little bit of lip service!), I doubt animal welfare is high on their list, either. Sigh.

  2. Comment left on:
    November 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm
    Annelies says:

    I think the key you hit on is the hidden sodium in the breads (and even the lunch meats). I don’t get to Togo’s often, but find the BBQ Chicken Ranch salad to be a tasty and filling option, dressing on the side. Good write-up Andrew!

    • Comment left on:
      November 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm
      Andrew says:

      Thanks! Every time I review a menu, I’m frustrated by the amount of sodium in everything! If it weren’t for that, there would be so many more green check-marks in my reviews. Salad, sans dressing, is definitely the way to go. :)

  3. Comment left on:
    June 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    Annie says:

    It seems like they changed their menu slightly and now the balsamic is low fat. The only non-fat dressing they have is honey mustard, which sounds kind of gross. Anyway, I had the farmer’s market salad with balsamic in a whole wheat wrap and it was absolutely delicious!!! Thanks for doing the analysis for me! (And yes, I’m no longer following the rules, but I am trying to make better choices).

  4. Comment left on:
    February 1, 2012 at 8:57 am
    Kristina says:

    So, this explains my 30lb weight gain over the past 6 months! I usually get a large Italian on sourdough! Yikes! I love it there, but it seems like probably only a place to go if you want a quick healthy salad. If you’re looking for a sandwich, seems like you’re better going off to the much more bland and industrialized Subway. Haha. Thanks for this! I’ve found your website very helpful in my recently renewed efforts to lose weight! :)

  5. Comment left on:
    April 18, 2014 at 11:11 am
    Sara says:

    Thanks for this guide, Andrew! I used it today to pick a “half” sandwich of avocado and cucumber. I also went with the garden vegetable soup.

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