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Best Healthy Fast Food Choices

Best Healthy Fast Food Choices – Just because a food is convenient doesn’t mean it lacks all the nutrients. In fact, many fast food restaurants offer relatively healthy options that are perfect when you’re on the go or too busy (or tired!) to cook. So we consulted a nutritionist and made wraps, salads, bowls, etc. including, we scoured the menus of top fast food restaurants to find the healthiest foods anywhere. Our biggest purchase? You have options!

Karin Evans, Ph.D., R.D., C.H.E.S., remembers a time when the only “healthy” options at the drive-thru were pretty sad-looking salads. “Now I feel like there are a lot of options,” he said. He adds that menu variety is key to meeting everyone’s health needs. It’s easy to immediately associate “healthy” with “low calorie,” but it brings up the fact that “healthy” is actually a very subjective term. “What’s healthy for one person may not be healthy for another,” he says. Some people may need to avoid certain allergens, such as soy and gluten, while diabetics may need to be more aware of their sugar intake.

Best Healthy Fast Food Choices

Best Healthy Fast Food Choices

With this in mind, no order will be universally healthy for everyone. When making our selections, we focused on foods that meet key macros like fiber and protein or that contain fresh fruits and vegetables. We also consider portion sizes and special diets such as vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. Ahead, find the healthiest fast food options you can eat when you really need some food.

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Believe it or not, some Starbucks sandwiches and pastries have as many calories as fast food hamburgers. However, the coffee chain’s fiber-rich hot oatmeal options are plentiful and don’t skimp on flavor. Say “no thanks” to added sugars to minimize your sugar intake. The 410-calorie rolled, steel-cut oats come with brown sugar and you can choose your own toppings, including dried cranberries, raisins and walnuts.

“Women, in particular, often benefit from a good dose of whole grains because it’s a great way to get magnesium, which is often lacking in their diets and is important for reducing insulin resistance,” says Bethany Doerfler, M.D., a nutritionist at Northwestern Medicine.

Nutrition Facts: 410 calories, 12g fat (1.5g saturated fat), 67g carbs (7g fiber, 34g sugar), 140mg sodium, 8g protein

NutritionStarringYOU.com founder and author Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N.

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. “Features sliced ​​grilled chicken breasts served on a bed of fresh mixed greens topped with crumbled blue cheese and a mix of red and green apples, strawberries and blueberries. It’s also topped with pecan granola and toasted almonds.”

Nutrition facts: 540 calories, 31 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 41 g carbs (5 g fiber, 26 g sugar), 1,020 mg sodium, 28 g protein (some with no added sugar from fruit fresh)

This pizza chain may be famous for its stuffed crust pizzas and gooey cheese sticks, but it’s surprisingly easy to eat lighter with a thin crust option.

Best Healthy Fast Food Choices

The Veggie Lover Pizza includes mushrooms, onions, green peppers, Roma tomatoes and black olives. “Adding vegetables to pizza is one way to increase the nutrient density of a long-time favorite,” says Evans. A medium-sized pie has 170 calories per serving.

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Try to order “light” cheese to keep sodium to a minimum, says Rachel Lustgarten, a clinical dietitian at Weill-Cornell Medicine’s Center for Comprehensive Weight Management. “With pizza, believe it or not, the combination of cheese and dough makes it pretty high in sodium before you add anything to it,” he says.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 170 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 410 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 8 g protein

This popular chain may tout the slogan “Fast food, not fast food,” but dieters aren’t fans of many of its menu items, which include options like grilled cheese curds, chili cheese dogs, and crackers. stuffing

The next time you’re craving classic fast food at Dairy Queen, opt for the kids’ burger served with banana and milk. If you can’t indulge in sweets, go for the kid’s vanilla ice cream cone (170 calories).

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“I often encourage my clients to buy baby food because it can give people control over the portions they’re looking for, helping them keep calories, saturated fat, and sodium in check,” says Doerfler.

Nutrition Facts: 350 calories, 14g fat (6g saturated fat), 35g carbs (1g fiber, 7g sugar), 620mg sodium, 20g protein

With its cool, retro-inspired menu (which includes things like hot dogs and chili cheese fries), eating healthy at Sonic isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it can be done. “Hot dogs are highly processed, which is the biggest concern, and the bread will contain refined carbohydrates,” says Neal Malik, R.D., associate professor at California State University-San Bernardino.

Best Healthy Fast Food Choices

Sonic offers the Grilled Chicken Wrap, an all-white grilled chicken breast served on a flour tortilla with lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing. “Ask to skip any sauce or mayo. If there are packets next to it, you can add them yourself,” Malik said.

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Even if you don’t limit your sauce, this sandwich adds up to a decent 480 calories. If you’re going to indulge in fries, remember this for any fast food restaurant: Opt for thin, flat fries over curly fries or french fries. Malik notes that the more surface area a potato has, the more fat it will absorb.

Nutrition Facts: 480 calories, 21g fat (5g saturated fat), 38g carbs (2g fiber, 3g sugar), 1,650mg sodium, 31g protein

“These delicious bites are made with cage-free egg whites with Monterey Jack cheese, spinach, and fire-roasted red peppers and are cooked using the French sous vide technique to create a velvety, flavor-packed texture. Pair with a piece of fruit for a fiber boost ,” says Harris-Pincus.

Nutrition Facts: 170 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 11 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 470 mg sodium, 12 g protein

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Taco Bell is open to customizing its menu items, making it easy to choose a healthy option. Skip the added cheese and sour cream and opt for the Power Menu Bowl Combo instead.

“Those are two big high-fat, high-calorie areas,” says Lustgarten. “To make it look more like a salad bowl, you can swap out the rice as the base for lettuce.”

When it comes to protein, stick with the chicken or go meatless and just enjoy the bowl of greens, beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo salsa. “These make the dish really hearty and full without relying on meat,” Lustgarten said.

Best Healthy Fast Food Choices

With no chicken, no added sauce, no cheese, no sour cream and no rice, the Power Menu Bowl has only 190 calories with 6 grams of fat and 3 grams of sugar, making it ideal for a mini meal or a tasty snack.

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“It’s refreshing to find tofu on the quick-service menu! And with eggplant, it doubles the flavor,” says Harris-Pincus. “This vegetarian-style dish features lightly fried tofu, eggplant, and red peppers in a sweet and spicy sauce. Order it with a side of veggies to soak up that extra sauce and add more nutrients and fiber to the meal. It also contains less sodium than most Panda Express meals at 520 mg.

Nutrition Facts: 340 calories, 24g fat (3.5g saturated fat), 23g carbs (3g fiber, 17g sugar), 520mg sodium, 7g protein

Avoid “comfort” eating at this chain. “They have a classic chili that would be a great choice to serve alongside baked potatoes,” says Malik. A small side of Wendy’s Chili con Carne has just 253 calories, while a regular baked potato has 232 calories, and both are good sources of satiating fiber.

Nutrition Facts for Chili: 253 calories, 13g fat (5.5g saturated fat), 15g carbs (1.9g fiber, 3.5g sugars), 1.5g sodium, 19g of protein

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Nutritional information per baked potato: 232 calories, 5.4 g fat (3.4 g saturated fat), 39 g carbohydrates (4.7 g fiber, 2.4 g sugar), 1.9 g sodium, 4.4 g protein

Hardee’s or Carl’s Jr. of this fast food chain in your area. no matter what it’s called, one thing remains consistent: it likes its burgers tall, greasy, and cheesy.

“While many fast food companies are looking for low-carb, nutritious or healthy menu options, Carl’s Jr. has gone in the opposite direction of doubling down on ingredients,” says Malik. “So it’s going to be a little harder to find better options.”

Best Healthy Fast Food Choices

Although this does not mean that it is impossible. The chain has several options available, including a grilled chicken sandwich. This sandwich pops

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