Wouldna€™t it be great if you could enjoy the speed and convenience of fast food without sacrificing your commitment to eating well? The beans at Taco Bell and some other fast food restaurants are vegetarian a€“ just ask before you order. Poor-quality meat produced in inhumane a€?concentrated animal feeding operationsa€? is on the menu at many fast foods joints. Even if you avoid meat, youa€™re still going to get plenty of salt, fat and sugar at any fast-food joint. Lots of fast-food restaurants are responding to customer demand for healthier food and allergen-free options. A quick glimpse at your smartphone will let you know exactly what youa€™re getting into when you place your order.
Many seemingly healthy items are still packed with calories and unhealthy doses of salt, sugar and saturated fat.
The salad you order may seem healthful until you take the dressing and croutons into account.
Fries can be baked at home and made in a much healthier (yet satisfying!) way with a lot less salt and fat.
The fries, on the other hand, could raise your blood pressure (since theya€™re coated with salt) and turn straight into glucose (which will flood your bloodstream almost as soon as you swallow).
Scientists have discovered that our bodies dona€™t respond to calories in liquid form the same as we do when chewing is involved. We can gulp down a lot of sugar water (thata€™s what soda really is a€” liquid candy) before we start feeling full, making it possible to consume a ton of non-nutritive calories. Be careful to distinguish real juice, which contains vitamins and actual fruit, from fruit drink, which has tons of added sugar, artificial additives, and little to no nutritive value whatsoever.
The healthy option in this case is to listen to your body and stop eating when youa€™re full. When you discover that your favorite fast food establishment doesna€™t offer menu items that work for you, or if you feel they could be doing more to provide healthy options for their customers, let them know.
If the line of customers behind you is too much pressure, check out the restaurant website and figure out what youa€™re going to orderA before you get there.
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Even though we all know how bad fast food is for our health, many of us still eat it on a regular basis. The Bacon & Egg Bagel and Breakfast BLT Bagel, each delivering around 500 calories and 23g of fat. Any of the McBistro items, which load 500 to 600kcals and 20 to 30g of fat to your daily nutritional intake. Any of the McFlurries except the small Smarties flavour, which contain close to or over 600 calories.
Dave Thomas’ chain is known for its old-fashioned hamburgers and wide variety of chicken sandwiches. Stay away from the W sandwiches, which start at 580 calories and 33g of fat for the Single and go up to a whopping 1060 calories and 67g of fat for the Triple! Not surprisingly, the Baconator and Bacon Deluxe sandwiches rank poorly; they start with 660kcals, 40g of fat and go up to 970kcals, 63g of fat. Both the BLT Cobb salad and the Spicy Chicken Caesar salad also contain close to 500kcals and 25g of fat before you add the dressing.
Any of the Frosty Shakes, from over 500 calories all the way up to a frightening 1000 calories for the Caramel Large.
The keel pieces are the worst fried chicken items, packing 320kcals and 16g of fat per piece.
Medium and large fries are overloaded with calories, from 940 to 1530 calories, and a jaw-dropping 47 to 77g of fat.
With 530kcals and 34g of fat, the Sausage, Egg, Cheese breakfast sandwich is not the best way to start your day. Surprisingly, the worst of the donuts isn’t the glazed but the Walnut Crunch, with 360kcals and 23g of fat. With the Timbits, the Sour Cream Glazed has the highest per Timbit calorie count (90kcals) and a high fat count too (4.5g).
When it comes to the cookies, the peanut butter (280 calories, 16g of fat) is actually worse nutritionally than any of the chocolate ones. If you’re hankering for a muffin, stay away from the Triple Chocolate (450 calories, 16g of fat).
Both the Frosted Cinnamon Roll and the Chocolate Danish are poor choices, with close to 500kcals and over 25g of fat in each. The tasty Iced Cappuccino and French Vanilla Cappuccino unfortunately add 250 calories and 8 to 11g of fat to your meal. Arguably the biggest pizza chain in Toronto, the key to eating healthier at Pizza Pizza is to not have too many slices! The Sausage Mushroom Melt and the Bacon Chicken Mushroom Melt are each at 320 calories and 16g of fat for a large slice. Now that we’ve seen the worst that fast food eateries have to offer, let’s look at the available options to reduce the calories and fat in your order.
Hash browns are surprisingly lower in calories and fat than expected: 160 calories and 10g of fat.
Pick the Original Recipe drumstick (100kcals, 6g of fat) or wing (130kcals, 8g of fat) pieces. If you’re craving bite-sized chicken, the Crispy Strips (330 calories and 15g of fat) are healthier than the Popcorn Chicken. Finally, mashed potatoes (180kcals, 0g of fat for medium size) are better for you than fries.


The healthiest breakfast sandwich would be the English Muffin with Egg and Cheese (280 calories, 11g of fat). Despite their bad rep, the bagels without cream cheese or butter are actually not terrible nutritionally, with the highest calorie and fat counts at 330kcals and 9g for the Twelve-Grain Bagel.
With Timbits, the Dutchie and Apple Fritter are your best nutritional bets (50 calories, 1.5 to 2g of fat for each Timbit). Another Iced Cap alternative would be the Iced Coffee; with milk, it contains only 70 calories and 1g of fat. Cheese and Garden Veggie are the absolutely lowest, at 220 calories and 10 to 11g of fat for a large slice. Before you head to the nearest fast food chain, remember this: the recommended daily intakes for calories and fat are approximately 2000kcals and 65g (applies to adult women, the limit can go up to 2500kcals for able-bodied men).
If you don’t like cooking, find some friends to cook for and make a nice evening out of it! While you can’t compare the nutritional value of high volume processed vegetables and chicken their organic counterparts, the following items are not bad options for a quick easy meal and can be found readily easy.
Make your own salad with romaine lettuce, chicken, black beans and fajita vegetables for a protein packed healthy fast meal. If you can control yourself by not ordering a Fatty Coffee Drink, Starbucks has some excellent options for a quick healthy lunch or snack.
Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets.
Whether you frequent the fast food drive-through or visit it as an absolute last resort for a meal, ordering the healthiest fast food choices can keep your diet on track. Panera may not be the first restaurant that comes to mind when you hear fast food, but this fast casual eatery has a delectable variety of breakfast and lunch items that will keep you on track with your diet. Voted as one of "Health" magazine's America's Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants, Einstein Bros.
Diet-friendly fast food choices aren't solely salads (and even salads can be diet nightmares when drowned with dressing and other high-fat ingredients). McDonalds is known for its Happy Meals and burgers, but the popular fast food restaurant has a variety of chicken-based sandwiches and wraps that can fit in a healthy diet. When Wendy's is your only fast food option, order the small chili (220 calories), side salad without croutons and light on the dressing (140 calories), and mandarin oranges (90 calories) for a well-rounded fast food meal. Its the time to enjoy fast food with no guilt pangs!  If you thought fast food is not good for you – think again!
A delicious and healthy combination of grilled chicken, fresh grape tomatoes, hummus, cucumber and pita bread with banana which will satiate your hunger pangs with complete satisfaction. A mouthwatering combination of healthy and nutritious black beans, feta, quinoa with chili vinaigrette, grilled juicy chicken, jicama, greens and fresh tomatoes.
A smart slice of freshly baked zesty chicken pizza which is filled with the freshness and nutrition of green chilies, chicken and cheese is certainly one of the foods to crave for! This mouth-watering grilled mustard snack wrap, southwest salad without the chicken and fresh apple slices packaged is quite healthy and filling. Time to enjoy your favorite Fish sandwich meal without worrying about health as this dish is not going to load you with plenty of calories.
An exotic combination of your favorite vegetables in one platter offering health and complete nutrition.
I travel a lot for work and often find myself in airports and in unfamiliar cities wondering where and what I can eat that will fill me up, not out. The good news is that most restaurant chains -- from coffee shops to burger joints -- have better-for-you options and almost all of them have nutrition information (although it's not yet legally required in all states) readily available. For more ideas on how to order fast food that's not necessarily fat food, here's what what some of the nation's top nutrition pros order when they're eating out at chain restaurants. Informed, healthy choices are possible, especially if you do a bit of preparation in advance.
This is a fantastic option for anyone trying to cut meat-based saturated fats from their diets. McDonalda€™s French fries, for example, list a€?natural beef flavora€? as an ingredient, and in many locations theya€™re cooked in the same deep fryers as fish and chicken. If you really want to make an informed decision when it comes to healthy fast food, youa€™re going to have to think about all of the ingredients.
Even if ita€™s been cut and sprayed with preservatives or pumped up with artificial grape flavoring for some insane reason, it still contains fiber and vitamins. Places like McDonalda€™s and Burger King come to mind first when we think of fast food, and our minds run naturally to burgers and fries, but the truth is there are a lot of other options. These places can harder to find, but ita€™s worth a couple minutes of extra driving if youa€™re looking for a quick, satisfying and (at least somewhat) healthy meal. Ask for dressing on the side, split the sandwich with your honey and stick to vegetarian options when in doubt.
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That’s probably because when we’re tired, pressed for time, or leaving a club at 3am, the ubiquitous and quick-serving chains with the big bright signs seem like the fastest, easiest way to fill our appetite. While it’s easy to just denounce everything on a fast food menu as unhealthy, not all meals are created equal.
Avoid the large Rolo at all costs—830kcals and 33g of fat from a dessert is not a good idea! However, the danger comes whenever you combine items in one go, such as a sandwich with a donut, or a bagel with Timbits. Having 3 large pizza slices can load you with 700 to 900 calories, plus 18 to over 30g of fat, depending on the toppings.
The Pepperoni, Mediterranean Veggie, and Pesto Amore are each at 230 calories and 10 to 12g of fat. Also, keep in mind that when you order a combo meal, you’re adding up the nutritional values of the sandwich, the fries, and the soft drink (which typically contains 100 to 200 calories and up to 50g of sugar). However, it’s a lot cheaper than going to the store and purchasing a fruit, vegetable, or a lean meat. She truly is a great listener and takes the time to get to know your needs and desires in a home.


Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana.
If you're craving Mexican fast food, Taco Bell's Fresco Bean Burrito is a healthy, high-fiber fast food option.
The Grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap is a tasty combination of grilled chicken, cheddar and jack cheeses, and tangy honey mustard sauce. Other healthy fast food options include Ceasar Side Salad light on the dressing (200 calories) and Sour Cream and Chives Potato with broccoli but free of cheese, bacon, and butter (330 calories).
One personal size pizza is of 138 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 4.38 grams of fat and 7 grams of proteins. A perfect lunch combination which will satiate your hunger pangs and not load you with additional calories. Do not select the tartar sauce but pick the side healthy salad instead of those calorie rich French fries. This salad includes fresh red cabbage, corn, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, corn, broccoli and more.
Since eating out makes it harder to keep your daily calories in check, you have to learn how to dodge the calorie minefields in restaurant menus. Another lesser-known fact is that almost all chain restaurants will customize an order for you, so go ahead and ask for your burger to be wrapped in lettuce, or hold the calorific add-ons like dressings and creamy sauces.
I also want to have at least 20 grams of protein and a serving of fruit or veggies, and for the food to be made with fresh ingredients. For dinner, I like Qdoba bowl made with grilled chicken, beans, fajita veggies, lettuce, cheese and salsa for 350 calories. The more I learn about the conditions there, the more reluctant I am to eat conventionally raisedA meat anywhere. You can find gluten-free breading, rolls or pizza crust in many of the top chain restaurants today as well.
In some locations restaurants are legally required to post nutrition facts and calorie counts.
Youa€™ll find your whole family loves oven-roasted a€?friesa€? even more than the ones that come from the burger place. Salads and sandwich-based items like falafel are quick to make, and many restaurateurs have been able to streamline the production process in the same way as a McDonalda€™s while using fresh, local ingredients.
Customers are the lifeblood of these businesses, and individual voices gathered to form a united chorus will eventually be heard. When shea€™s not exploring the local food scene, she loves snacking on homemade goodies in front of the TV with her husband.
Convenience, speedy service, big portions, and greasy taste triumph in our moment of weakness over counting calories and measuring grams of fat, sometimes more often that we’d like to admit.
In fact, some fast food items may surprise you with their nutritional information, while offerings from seemingly healthier chains contain more calories and fat than you may think. To get the idea of what are the healthier choices while visiting your favourite fast food next time, just have a look at our infographic that compares some of the meals you could have!
Pair it with a side of fresh steamed vegetables, and you’ve got a guilt-proof pit stop. Chipotle makes it easy to create your dish with simple color-coding for GMO’s along with other designations for preservatives, organic, and responsibly raised meats. This antibiotic-free chicken and mix of fibrous veggies with a dollop of hummus packs 33 grams of lean protein—without many calories, thanks to a satisfying squeeze of lemon in lieu of dressing.
When you're hungry for something other than bagels, do the half-order of the Chipotle Salad – it's a vegetarian salad composed of mixed greens, roasted corn and black bean salsa, tomatoes, two cheeses, and chipotle vinaigrette with tortilla strips. At 350 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 12 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of protein, the Fresco beats the eatery's high-calorie, high-fat burrito options, such as the Grilled Stuft Beef Burrito (700 calories) and Grilled Stuft Chicken Enchilada Burrito (690 calories). At 260 calories and 9 grams of fat, you can pair this fast food wrap with a green salad ( go light on the dressing) for a balanced fast food meal that is under 350 calories.
Pick water or select diet soda instead of carbonated drinks or sweetened fruit juice with this sandwich meal. It includes a combination of your choice of vegetables and condiments which are served on fresh bread.
That's not as easy as it sounds because in some cases, what seems like "lighter" fare like salads, turkey sandwiches or soups can have more calories than a burger.
Some of my go-tos: burrito bowls with grilled chicken and veggies from quick-casual Mexican restaurants, veggie omelets from diners, burgers or grilled chicken sandwiches in lettuce (no bun) at fast-food joints.
No, Ia€™m not talking about the gas-station attendant with the heart tattoo and the dreamy eyes a€“ although quick and satisfying is probably just what she would be. Ita€™s hydrating, ita€™s not packed with unnecessary salt and sugar, and it might even be free. They avoid the added salt and sugar because they know many of their customers reject unhealthy indulgence in favor of a new kind of treat a€” the healthy fast food option.
If youa€™re like me, youa€™ve found yourself staring up at the menu board with no clue where to begin. In the most extreme cases, such as the Heart Attack Grill in the States, people make a regular diet out of unhealthy fast food meals, knowing full well that these meals put them in serious health risk. The only drawback of the Fresco is that it has more than 1000 milligrams of sodium, so watch the sodium level of the rest of the foods in your daily diet. Yes, but remember that moderation is the key – you should never over indulge in your guilt free gorging! This delicious roast beef sandwich can be paired with crunchy apple snapz which adds to just 50 additional calories and 2g of fiber.
And a recent Harris Interactive survey of adults reported that 90 percent of adults dined out in the past month. In fact, USDA calculations suggest that eating out just one meal a week could equal two pounds gained in a year!



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