25 of the Healthiest Fast Foods You Can Eat
While we definitely wouldn’t recommend eating fast food as a regular part of your diet, sometimes it’s difficult to avoid. Business travel or long road trips do have their perks, but not being able to maintain a healthy eating schedule isn’t one of them. Besides feeling like garbage after having feasted on drive-thru fare, eating less than appetizing cuisine while on the go doesn’t have to be your norm, even if you are always on the move.
Samantha Kellgren, life coach and owner of SJK Fitness, shed some light on a handful of healthy choices when your dining options are slim. Making conscious decisions when it comes to your body’s fuel is always important, no matter where you are or how busy life gets. Here, Kellgren delivers us the healthiest grub you can eat at 6 major fast food restaurants.
Ah, the mack-daddy of all fast food restaurants. The Golden Arch, the crème de la crème of the international fast food chain empire. You’re most likely guaranteed to pass several McDonald’s during your travel, whether it be a cross-country road trip or travel through international airport, so when it’s available, keep these options in mind.
Oatmeal with Diced Apples and Yogurt Parfait (skip the brown sugar and cranberries and save 29 grams of sugar) – 340 calories, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 9 grams protein
Single Hamburger and Apple Slices and Cuties – 300 calories, 3 grams saturated fat, 12 grams protein
Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken (any low fat dressing) – 380 calories, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 33 grams protein
Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken and Apple Slices and Cuties – 360 calories, 6 grams saturated fat, 38 grams protein
Appealing to the “American meat lover” in folks, Arby’s doesn’t shy away from being home to hearty meals that don’t take much nutrition into account. However, when you find yourself here, try these menu items for a less red-meat induced choice.
Roast Turkey and Swiss Wrap (sans mayo) – 410 calories, 7 grams saturated fat, 13 grams protein
Classic Roast Beef Sandwich and Side Salad – 430 calories, 8 grams saturated fat, 27 grams protein
Jr Roast Beef Sandwich and Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad with Light Italian Dressing – 460 calories, 9 grams saturated fat, 34 grams protein
Grabbing coffee is a given, but trading a sweet treat for something with a little more nutritional value isn’t always as obvious. Next time you’re at this early morning spot, grab one of these items to keep you fuller for longer.
Spinach and Feta Breakfast Wrap – 290 calories, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 19 grams protein
Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal – 220 calories, 0.5 gram saturated fat, 5 grams protein
Reduced-fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich – 230 calories, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 16 grams protein
Evolution Fresh Strawberry Greek Yogurt Parfait – 250 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 14 grams protein
Zesty Chicken and Black Bean Salad – 360 calories, 2.5 gras saturated fat, 14 grams protein
Chicken BLT Sandwich – 470 calories, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 21 grams protein
Hearty Veggie and Brown Rice Bowl – 430 calories, 3 grams saturated fat, 10 grams protein
As a favorite amongst people across the country, Chipotle might seem like one of the healthier fast food options, but be careful, as ordering your meal with even the slightest of variations could result in a big difference in calories.
A tortilla packs a surprising amount of calories in it, so going sans wrap will serve you well. As Kellgren recommends, your best bet is building a better Burrito Bowl or Salad, with steak or sofritas, black or pinto beans, fajita veggies, fresh salsa, and going light on the cheese or guac. Most of these variations come to around 400 calories.
This home of “old-fashioned hamburgers” has made their fortune selling just that, but the establishment does also offer options for their more health-conscious customers.
Steel Cut Oatmeal – 330 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 5 grams protein
Grilled Chicken Sandwich – 350 calories, 1.4 grams saturated fat, 33 grams protein
Grilled Chicken Wrap – 270 calories, 3.5 saturated fat, 20 grams protein
Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (full) – 380 calories, 2 grams saturated fat, 36 grams protein
Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad (full) – 430 calories, 4 grams saturated fat, 39 grams protein
Possibly as well-known for their being closed on Sundays as they are for their chicken and waffle fries, Chick-fil-A isn’t just a favorite in the south. The chain, which has a loyal, cult-like following, delivers their obvious ingredient, chicken, in a few ways that will certainly make you think twice the next time you order.
Greek Yogurt with Granola and Multigrain Oatmeal (no toppings) – 300 calories, 2 grams saturated fat, 8 grams protein
Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Large Fruit Cup – 400 calories, 2 grams saturated fat, 31 grams protein
Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap and Medium Hearty Chicken Soup – 480 calories, 6 grams saturated fat, 48 grams protein
Grilled Market Salad and Medium Hearty Chicken Soup – 460 calories, 4 grams saturated fat, 38 grams protein
Spicy Southwest Salad and Medium Fruit Cup – 470 calories, 6 grams saturaed fat, 35 grams protein