12 Healthy Fast-Food Orders That You Can Grab-and-Go
Just because you're out and about doesn't mean you have to settle for a calorie bomb. Try these healthy fast-food items next time you find yourself hitting the drive-thru.
There are more healthy fast-food options than ever before. “When it comes to fast food, thankfully, there has been a growing demand for healthier choices and an improved response on the part of fast-food chains,” says board-certified physician Richard Han of JustAnswer.com.
So what is the healthiest fast food? We found crunchy salads, juicy chicken and even burgers that fit into your healthy eating plan.
Taco Bell: Fresco Crunchy Taco
Coming in at 150 calories, 8 grams of fat and 370 milligrams of sodium, this is one of the healthiest fast-food items available. While most tacos fall to the 170-300 calorie range, stay mindful of the sodium content and limit any extra sauces. For a flavor boost, opt for a fresh salsa instead of sour cream and cheese.
See why Taco Bell is one of the healthiest fast-food chains out there.
KFC: Roasted Chicken Caesar Salad
Caesar salad doesn’t usually make the list of healthy fast-food options. But when you hold the croutons and go light on the dressing, it’s a great choice. Without the high-fat toppings, this KFC salad comes in at only 190 calories, 6 grams of fat and 740 milligrams of sodium. Try adding a side of fresh fruit for a quick lunch.
Want the taste of Caesar salad without the salad? Try this grilled Caesar chicken.
Culver’s: Chicken Noodle Soup
Low in calories but high in comfort, this classic comes in at 110 calories and 2 grams of fat. If you’re watching your salt intake, this might not be your best bet, as it has a whopping 1,100 milligrams of sodium. Learn more about Culver’s, a chain that’s the pride of the Midwest.
Subway: Veggie Delite Sandwich
Looking for a light lunch on the go? You can’t go wrong with the 6-inch Veggie Delite sandwich at Subway when you want healthy fast food. Before the cheese and sauces, it has 230 calories, 3 grams of fat and 280 milligrams of sodium. Add some grilled chicken or cheese to up the protein and stay full longer.
If you thought that McDonald’s salads were the best healthy fast-food choices on the menu, we have a shock for you. The Southwest Salad is loaded with more sodium than a hamburger! So satisfy your real craving and go for the burger with 250 calories, 9 grams of fat and 520 milligrams of sodium. Add a small fries for the most satisfying treat. See why McDonald’s has such craveable fries.
Burger King: Whopper Jr. or Hamburger
On a quest for the healthiest fast-food burger out there? Go with the King and grab a Whopper Jr. for 290 calories, 12 grams of fat and 500 grams of sodium. Just hold the mayo to keep this meal part of your healthy lifestyle.
Arby’s: Ham and Swiss Melt
Though Arby’s is known for its roast beef, don’t forget their lighter sammies. A ham and Swiss melt is filling, and at just 300 calories, 9 grams of fat and 1,030 milligrams of sodium, it’s one of the healthiest fast-food items at this restaurant. Note that many menu items at Arby’s are high in sodium, so if you’re trying to keep your salt intake down, choose one of the fast-food establishments in the top five.
In-N-Out Burger: Hamburger
If you can’t get enough of In-N-Out, lighten up your meal by sharing it with a friend. Split a hamburger and an order of fries with a pal and you’ll get the indulgent flavor you’re craving, but with 393 calories and 448 milligrams of sodium.
Sonic: Junior Burger
No matter where you go, there is probably a Sonic nearby. Swing by the drive-thru! The Junior burger is one of the top healthy fast-food burgers out there, with 450 calories, 27 grams of fat and 560 milligrams of sodium. It’s also hands-down one of the best fast-food burgers.
Chipotle: Vegetarian Burrito Bowl
With plenty of light options like roasted veggies and hearty brown rice, you can put together a healthy Chipotle order in seconds. The vegetarian burrito bowl clocks in at 470 calories, 16 grams of fat and 1,595 milligrams of sodium. To cut back on the sodium, try recreating your favorite meals with these Chipotle copycat recipes.
Chick-fil-A: Grilled Nuggets
You may not think of chicken nuggets as being on the list of healthy fast-food, but maybe that’s just because you haven’t tried Chick-fil-A’s juicy grilled nuggets yet. These savory little bites have only 130 calories and 3 grams of fat while packing a whopping 25 grams of protein per serving.
Chick-fil-A’s salads are another healthy menu option. Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy them with Chick-fil-A salad dressings coming to the menu in 2023.
Find the most popular Chick-fil-A item on the menu.
Starbucks: Grilled Chicken and Hummus Protein Box
For a healthy fast-food option that will keep you going all day, pull into the Starbucks drive-thru for a grilled chicken and hummus protein box. This meal has 300 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat and 780 milligrams of sodium. It also packs 7 grams of fiber and 22 grams of protein to fill you up without weighing you down. Don’t forget to order healthy Starbucks drinks, too!
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