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204 locations in West, Midwest, SouthNoodles and Company isn’t your typical greasy Asian food-court joint. The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. Who hasn’t unwrapped a sandwich while driving down the highway or pulled a hard U-turn into a fast food joint on the way home from a late meeting or soccer game? Well, guess what: We surveyed the nation’s 100 largest fast-food chains, as defined by the number of locations, and found many are creating menus that look more and more like what we’d cook ourselves (if we had the time)—from nutritious soups and healthy salads to fresh whole grains and sensible desserts.
Using criteria that was created with the help of our expert panel, we scored the chains on such factors as the use of healthy fats and preparations, healthy sodium counts in entrees, availability of nutritional information, and the use of organic produce to determine the 10 highest-ranking restaurants. This bakery-cafe-based eatery wowed our judges with a comprehensive menu of healthy choices for every meal.
Panera also won top honors for kid fare, dishing out RD-approved crowd-pleasers like squeezable organic yogurt, PB&J (with all-natural peanut butter), and grilled organic cheese on white whole-grain bread.
We love: Delicious, nutrient-packed combos like a half–Turkey Artichoke on focaccia bread with a bowl of black bean or garden vegetable soup. Our judges applauded the portion-control option: Reduced sizes of, say, a stuffed baked potato, are $1 less. A pioneer in healthy fast food, Au Bon Pain serves up sandwiches, soups, salads, and hot entrees made with whole grains, veggies, and hormone-free chicken.
We love: Yummy low-cal soups, from Jamaican Black Bean to Fire Roasted Exotic Grains and Vegetables.
But Corner Bakery also has healthy salads, sandwiches, and soups made with whole grains, fresh, lean meats, and vegetables, as well as great portion-controlled combinations that make limiting calories a no-brainer.
Buffet-style Chipotle gives every customer complete control over her burrito, taco, or salad.
Someone at Atlanta Bread must be a Seinfeld fan: There are muffin tops (half the size of regular muffins) on its breakfast menu—the low-fat pumpkin muffin top has only 200 calories, compared with 320 to 640 calories for regular-size muffins. Danger zone: Pasta entrees at some locations are offered with bread … that’s a whole lotta carbs!
14,000 locations nationwideAmong the big burger-based chains, McDonald’s is leading the way in overhauling its menu to offer more heart- and waist-friendly fare. We love: The chain’s 260- to 270-calorie Snack Wraps (choose grilled chicken) for protein without a lot of unwanted carbs. Danger zone: Although McDonald’s made our list, this is still the land of supersizing and giant sodas. OK, we all know that bagels are pretty high-carb, but slathering cream cheese or butter on them is what really gets you into trouble. You may have noticed that Baja-style Mexican cuisine—think: fresh ingredients and fish instead of beef and chicken—is a growing trend. We love: The 460- to 555-calorie Mondito-size burrito, which fills you up but keeps fat and sodium in check.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Cheeseburgers aren't exactly health food, even though the lettuce and tomato they (sometimes) come with are basically salads. Editor's Note: The list is comprised of each restaurant's standard cheeseburger, with the standard fixings.
Frechman used the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help determine what was most and least healthy.
A big cheeseburger means big calories (557) and more grams of trans fats (2g) than any burger in this ranking. Wendy, America's favorite pigtailed redhead not involved in the adult industry, makes a burger with 1,180mg of sodium, more than any cheeseburger mentioned here. Burger King Tender Grilled Chicken Garden Salad – 300 Calories, 16g of Fat, 33g of Protein. Taco Bell Soft Taco (Beef, Chicken, or Steak) – 160-200 Calories, 5-9g of Fat, 9-13g of Protein. 17th February 2015 12:09 pm Vincent Tay Comments Off on Here Are The Healthiest Foods You Can Find At Fast Food Restaurants.
In fact, it goes beyond Asian fare and cuts out the grease (only healthy soybean oil is used in sauteing). See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy (Your California Privacy Rights) for more information.
We practically live in our cars, so we need quick food, and please, we’d like it to be healthy. Sure, it’s the home of the Big Mac, but did you know it also serves a mean yogurt-and-granola parfait? Largely because of its devotion to organic food: About one-fifth of all its ingredients are organic, from blue-corn tortilla chips and whole-wheat wraps to field greens and spinach. Tasty combos like Japanese Pan Noodles with broccoli, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, Asian sprouts, and sauteed beef. The only options are two kinds of cookies and a Rice Krispy Treat bar that checks in at 530 calories and 19 grams of fat! Take the Happy Meals, which you can order with a side of apple dippers (with low-fat caramel) instead of fries and low-fat milk or fruit juice instead of soda.
Whole grains are easy to get here, with whole-wheat tortillas available as an alternative in burritos.
In particular, steer clear of the Mondo Breakfast Burritos, which are more than 1,000 calories. But in the interest of tipping you off to the most- and least-healthy burgers, we spoke to Ruth Frechman, a registered dietitian nutritionist, to help us look at eight major fast-food joints' cheeseburgers. She says that the purpose of the guidelines is to "promote health and to reduce the risk of disease," and since "Americans are consuming too many calories, saturated fats, sodium, as well as added sugars," she focused on finding the burgers with the least amount of those.
Sonic also leads the pack in fat (43g), protein (35g, and not such a bad thing!), and cholesterol (120mg). Jack's offering also features an amount of cholesterol (80mg) equal to both the McDonald's and Burger King cheeseburgers combined. While, yes, there are many unhealthy meals on fast food restaurant menus, that doesn’t mean all of them are bad.


If you’re ever on a diet and need fast food in a pinch, try one of these lighter options. Here, you choose from three food types: Asian, Mediterranean, or American, then within each style, pick from four noodle bowl options. Plus, its creative salads—like the Nutty Mixed-Up Salad with organic field greens, grapes, chicken breast, feta cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries, pumpkinseeds, raisins, and organic apples—make you actually want to order the greens. We love the Farmer’s Scrambler: eggs scrambled with red and green bell peppers, red onion, mushrooms, potatoes, and Cheddar cheese. In fact, Chipolte won high marks for its commitment to organics, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, and produce sourced from local suppliers, which is revolutionary in a chain this big. This innovative bakery also features whole-grain bread, fresh sandwiches (including paninis), and hearty, healthy soups and salads.
For kids, our panel of judges gave a thumbs-up to the bagel dog (picture a Pig-in-a-Blanket with bagel-style bread as the “blanket”) and a fruit salad upgrade.
The chain gets high marks for its new 320-calorie chicken burrito, available at most locations.
We recommend working off that fat by rollerskating around a parking lot, or maybe going on a milkshake cleanse. Until Now… Wow5 Things to Consider When Planning a Kids Birthday PartySometimes, the Need to Nap is Just Too Strong to Resist. For starters, you can pick from two whole-grain breads for your sandwich and have an apple with it instead of chips (though the chips are fine, too—they can be baked!).
Lean proteins—hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken, beef, shrimp, and organic tofu—can be added, too.
You can opt for a small portion,” says judge Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, Health’s Senior Food and Nutrition Editor.
Many of its entrees can be low-sodium, if you choose add-ins such as the fajita veggies and green tomatillo salsa. It earned high marks for great sides, too, including fire-roasted black bean and corn salad. Our judges were also impressed that Taco Del Mar banned lard from its beans and bakes its fish and taco shells instead of frying them. Regardless, the important takeaway here is that this has a more calories from fat count (290) and cholesterol (85mg) than most of the other burgers, but a lower sodium (690mg) count.
After going through the menus of some fast food giants, I was able to find the healthiest options they offer. Staring at all of that food suddenly made me hungry… Share this post if you are a fast food enthusiast like me!
Registered dietician Moore notes that an Egg McMuffin, at 300 calories, is a smart alternative to other “calorie-laden biscuit breakfasts.” And our whole panel commends McDonald’s for spelling out the nutritional information right on the back of its tray liners. Okinawans are the world leaders with regards to having the highest population of lean and healthy centenarians and they attribute it all to their diet and lifestyle.
This is a simple calculation of dividing your serving size in grams into the calories per servings, but you don’t have to excel at math because they have defined a food pyramid making it even easier. The caloric density of a food is the numbers of calories that are contained in 1 gram of that food. The exercise component of this diet is integral to its success for weight loss and long-term weight management. When you read about it just in a description then it really looks like it’s something that won’t work in a western lifestyle. T he one I saw came with more detail because it was in a book and it really described what the Okinawa diet was all about in a visual way that suddenly had it making sense to me. From that I was able to better understand how I could go about adopting all of the various parts of the diet into my own life in a realistic way. There are a lot of changes that I had to make and I had to buy a lot of new kinds of foods to stock in my pantry, which made it rather expensive at the start. But over time, and not very much time, mind you, I have been able to gradually work all of the rules of this lifestyle into my own.
I am not flawless with it every single day because there are still a lot of foods that I love that just don’t fit into this diet.
But the key is that I follow it for the majority of time so I find that I feel a lot healthier and even a lot calmer. I wish there was some way to actually measure stress because I would love to be able to see how much it has dropped since I started to eat more vegetables, fish, and rice, and less white bread and sugar. I think my taste buds have actually changed because things that used to seem bland to me suddenly are a lot higher in flavor. The only thing that I do in this diet that it doesn’t seem to recommend in anywhere that I noticed is that I make an effort to try to keep my sodium down.
This diet doesn’t seem to even take sodium into account and both of my parents are on blood pressure medication so I would really rather not follow in their footsteps when it comes to that sort of thing. My own blood pressure has gone down and I want to keep it that way so on top of this diet I also pay close attention to the amount of sodium that I am eating.
I know that my doctor is even happy with me just because I’m eating more veggies, exercising, and losing the extra fat.
To me, that sounds like the ideal and it really seems like something that people should do. The problem is that while all of the foods that they eat in Okinawa on this diet are cheap and local, in other parts of the world, like where I live, they’re actually pretty expensive. Even when I was trying pretty hard to make it work and was shopping sales and freezing a lot of food to try to help to make sure that I always have the minimum possible spending for the highest amount of health, I then started to find that there really wasn’t enough variety in this diet. Pretty much, I had between five and seven different dishes that were being repeated over and over.
When you combine that with eating leftovers of the same meals, it really felt like I was eating the same stuff with nearly no variety at all. I found that I was craving foods that I never used to crave, if only because they were different from what I was forcing myself to eat.
It took me about three and a half weeks to start to get tired of this diet and then I was pretty much through with it at about the five week mark. I had been very enthusiastic about it at first but it just feels like one of those things that probably works great when it applies to your part of the world, but when you try to bring it to somewhere else where the recipes are all new and the ingredients aren’t necessarily local then it starts to create a lot of barriers that make it very challenging to keep up with.


I would recommend this to someone who lives in a coastal area where they get a lot of fish for cheap, but I wouldn’t say that this is good for someone who lives in a prairie area or someone who is a lot farther inland. I also question this diet a little bit because it really seemed like it had a lot of salt in it. It’s not easy to be able to stick to it all of the time when you live in the western world but as long as you are eating at home or preparing your own meals then you can make it happen. I find that this is one of the best diets for me to follow if I am looking to be able to give myself a healthy boost instead of just weight loss. I find that I do lose weight on it but mostly my focus is on how good and complete it is overall. I can’t say that I live with this permanently because it’s just too hard with where I live and work and I find that it gets too expensive to always buy this kind of food at my local grocery, but at the same time, I will do it for a month at a time, or if I want to do something healthy for a full day, I’ll just stick to this plan and feel good about myself. If it was possible to follow this all the time and for me to afford it, I really think that I would. All too many diets focus just on the food and they forget how important it is to keep regularly active. I really don’t think that a diet plan is complete - especially a lifestyle diet – if it doesn’t work with both diet and exercise. Everything tastes good, you feel energized and you never get that bogged down feeling from eating too much food. Overall, it just feels like you’re doing the right thing for your body, the longer you stick to it.
But at the same time, living in the US doesn’t really lend itself to following this type of diet. It does take some extra effort to be able to make sure that I don’t slip back into less active, starchier and more red meat based ways. It is a completely logical, healthy diet plan and I think it is something we’d all be better off trying if we could do it. So I made a command decision to try to work it into my own life because I want to be able to benefit from it in that overall healthy way. I like that you don’t have to starve yourself or eat any weird foods that are just a pain over time to try to procure or prepare.
What I found holds this diet back, though, was very personal for me, so maybe other people won’t have this problem. It is just that as much as I was dedicated to change and trying something new, this was far more of a change than I had expected it to be.
I was becoming increasingly unenthusiastic about the foods that I was supposed to be eating and I started to crave foods that I was never all that wild about before, but that I really wanted simply because I shouldn’t be eating them. It was silly and I know that it was all a matter of my own willpower not kicking in so that I could build all the habits I needed, but that’s exactly how it worked out for me. I continued with my normal eating habits but then blended in some of the good parts of the Okinawa diet so that I would get more of the benefits from that than I was getting before, even if I wasn’t on the full out “program”.
This makes a tremendous amount of sense when you really study it, and I can see how this would result in spectacular health when practiced over the long term. I enjoy the fact that it does have some allowance for things like a limited amount of alcohol. It has a very good attitude toward enjoying life, but for doing things in moderation because more isn’t always better. You can have a taste of something and get just as much enjoyment out of it as you do when you gorge yourself on it. You don’t have to feel guilty or know that you’re harming your weight or your health by the way that you’re eating. You’re just enjoying a lot of variety and flavors in a healthy way so that you will prevent illness and live a long and healthy life. It’s this type of detail that should be taught to children in every year of their public schooling.
The more healthy habits we can teach young people, the better equipped they will be to make the right choices when they get older. This should include not only what the right foods are, but also where to buy them, how much of them to use, and how to prepare them. That way, healthy eating isn’t just a concept to kids, but it’s actually something real that they can do for themselves. It’s not that the individual diets can’t help you to lose weight, but because temporary changes don’t last long enough to keep your weight down over time, even if you manage to achieve great weight loss. The trick is to find direction to help you to rewrite the way you live your life, so that you’ll stick to it pretty much forever.
It just makes you feel like you’re perpetually paying into something and that you’re on a forever diet. It just feels like I have an understanding of how I’m supposed to live to be healthy, not “good” and “bad” foods.
Instead of eating a never ending supply of processed packaged dinners that are designed to “help” with weight loss or maintenance, I eat lots of fresh foods and am always satisfied by my meals. This plan took almost thirty years to create, too, so you know that the developers – a solid research team from an international group of experts – so you know that the goal was to come up with a great way to eat in a healthy way, and not just to make money. This is where the diet came from and I like that they didn’t just brush their hands and consider it complete.
I don’t know if it’s going to lengthen my life, but I’m sure that it will keep me healthy overall.
I haven’t been on it very long but I already feel far more positive, energetic, and stronger overall. It doesn’t take long after you start this diet to realize that you’re doing something tremendously healthy for your body.



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