Healthy Fast Food Options

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Healthy Fast Food Options




When you think of ‘fast food’ you probably think ‘high-fat, calorie-laden.’ Many fast food choices are unhealthy. A healthy food, ideally, should be low in total fat, saturated/trans fat, sodium and cholesterol. It should also be a good source of essential nutrients and other substances your body requires, such as protein, dietary fiber and vitamins/minerals. It is difficult to eat at a fast food establishment and control your sodium intake. Strive to keep your meal to about 800 mg (1/3 of the recommended daily limit). All of the selections provide around 800 mg of sodium or less, unless otherwise specified. If you are trying to maintain or lose weight but eat out often, fast food chains can be a diet-friendly choice. Unlike many sit-down/diner-type restaurants, fast food restaurants generally list the nutrition facts for all of their menu items online or in a brochure at the establishment, so you can plan what you will eat ahead of time and make an informed choice. Try these healthy options, listed alphabetically by restaurant name. This is a mere sampling of choices, not an exhaustive list.

Au Bon Pain

  • Low-fat black bean soup (small): 190 calories, 1 g fat, 34 g carbs, 19 g fiber, 12 g protein
  • Carrot ginger soup (small): 100 calories, 2 g fat, 16 g fiber, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein
  • Garden vegetable soup (small): 50 calories, 1 g fat, 9 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein
  • Tomato Florentine soup (small): 90 calories, 2 g fat, 13 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein
  • Mayan chicken harvest rice bowl with brown rice: 510 calories, 13 g fat, 72 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 27 g protein

Blimpie

  • Buffalo chicken salad (does not include salad dressing): 170 calories, 3.5 g fat, 14 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 20 g protein
  • Veggie salad sub (6”): 270 calories, 6 g fat, 48 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 11 g protein

Boston Market

À la carte (request no added salt)

  • ¼ of a rotisserie chicken (white meat, no skin), green beans and garlic dill new potatoes: 420 calories, 9 g fat, 32 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 54 g protein
  • 5 oz. roasted turkey breast (request no added salt), steamed vegetables and sweet corn: 410 calories, 9 g fat, 45 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 46 g protein

Burger King

  • Tendergrill Chicken Garden Salad: Hold the cheese and top with ½ package of light Italian dressing: 250 calories, 10 g fat, 13 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 33 g protein
  • BK Veggie Burger (no mayo): 340 calories, 8 g fat, 46 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 23 g protein

Carl’s Jr.

  • Original grilled chicken salad (no dressing): 270 calories, 9 g fat, 23 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 25 g protein
  • Cranberry, apple, walnut grilled chicken salad (without dressing): 320 calories, 11 g fat, 29 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 27 g protein (recommend using ½ package of raspberry vinaigrette salad dressin g with either salad)

Chick-fil-A

  • Chargrilled and Fruit Salad: Top it with reduced- fat berry balsamic vinaigrette. Per serving: 290 calories, 8 g fat, 32 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 22 g protein

Cousin’s Subs

  • 7 ½” cheese steak sub – special request: 390 calories, 10 g fat, 49 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 24 g protein
  • 7 ½” garden veggie sub: 310 calories, 5 g fat, 59 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 13 g protein
  • Nearly any item off of the ‘Better Bunch Menu’

Jack-in-the-Box

  • Chicken fajita pita: 320 calories, 11 g fat, 33 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 24 g protein
  • Hamburger deluxe + side salad (no dressing): 340 calories, 15 g fat, 37 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 15 g protein
  • Taco: 194 calories, 11 g fat, 16 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein

KFC

  • Honey BBQ Sandwich: 280 calories, 3.5 g fat, 40 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 22 g protein
  • Oven-roasted chicken breast (no skin or breading), house salad with ½ package of Hidden Valley® fat-free ranch dressing, side of green beans and mashed potatoes (no gravy): 308 calories, 6.5 g fat, 28 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 38.5 g protein (this option with sides is higher in sodium – about 1,200mg)

McDonald’s

  • Premium Asian salad with grilled chicken: 300 calories, 10 g fat (mostly unsaturated from the almonds), 23 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 32 g protein
  • Fruit and yogurt parfait: 160 calories, 2 g fat, 31 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein
  • Premium Southwest salad with grilled chicken (no dressing): 290 calories, 8 g fat, 28 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 27 g protein
  • Chipotle BBQ snack wrap (grilled): 250 calories, 8 g fat, 27 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 16 g protein
  • Honey mustard snack wrap (grilled): 250 calories, 8 g fat, 27 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 16 g protein

Panda Express

Each individual item is up to 700 mg of sodium – use care if you follow a low-sodium diet or if ‘pairing’ items.

  • Veggie spring roll: 160 calories, 7 g fat, 22 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein
  • Broccoli beef: 150 calories, 6 g fat, 12 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 11 g protein
  • Mixed veggies (side): 70 calories, ½ g fat, 13 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein
  • Tangy shrimp: 140 calories, 4.5 g fat, 16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 8 g protein

Subway

Soups listed provide up to 450 mg sodium per serving.

  • 6″ Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast: 310 calories, 5 g fat, 47 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 23 g protein
  • 6″ Veggie Delite: 230 calories, 2.5 g fat, 44 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 8 g protein
  • Chicken tortilla soup: 110 calories, 1.5 g fat, 11 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein
  • Fire-roasted tomato orzo soup: 130 calories, 1 g fat, 24 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein
  • Grilled chicken and baby spinach salad (no dressing): 130 calories, 2.5 g fat, 10 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 20 g protein

Taco Bell

The Fresco-style tacos have up to 500 mg sodium per serving.

  • Fresco chicken or steak soft taco: 150 calories, 3.5 g fat, 19 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 to 12 g protein
  • Fresco regular soft taco: 180 calories, 7 g fat, 20 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 8 g protein
  • Fresco crunchy taco (higher in fat but if you really want the ‘crunch’): 150 calories, 8 g fat, 13 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein
  • Chicken Fiesta taco salad (Fresco-style): 240 calories, 6 g fat, 24 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 23 g protein
  • Bean burrito: 350 calories, 8 g fat, 57 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 12 g protein

Wendy’s

Most of Wendy’s salad dressings are lower in sodium (up to 250 mg per package).

  • Small size chili: 210 calories, 6 g fat, 21 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 17 g protein
  • Baked potato with reduced-fat sour cream and chives: 320 calories, 3.5 g fat, 63 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 8 g protein
  • Apple-pecan chicken salad (½ size) with pomegranate vinaigrette dressing: 230 calories, 9 g fat, 23 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 18 g protein

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