10 Healthy Fast Food Choices

by Noah James on March 29, 2012 · 0 comments

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When it comes to eating healthy at home, Dr. Oz would be proud of me. My refrigerator is chocked-full of low-fat yogurt, green leafy vegetables, grilled chicken breasts, and Minute Maid Light™ Lemonade. I think it’s pretty safe to say I’ve mastered eating healthy at home. Now, put me on fast-food highway during my lunch break and it’s an entirely new game.

When racing from one appointment to the next, feeling ravenously hungry, I don’t care what I eat. I just need sustenance. And that’s when I get into trouble. The convenience, low cost, and downright tasty goodness of fast-food is all too alluring. All I have to do drive up, tell someone I want a juicy cheeseburger with piping hot fries and an ice-cold coke, hand over a little cash, and my tummy is satisfied. The problem is that my stomach likes to share this joy with my hips and thighs.

Thankfully, over the years, I have learned how to make smarter fast-food choices. I’m going to share with you my absolute favorite 10 Healthy Fast Food Choices:

10. Apple Pecan Chicken Salad, Wendy’s

 

Bursting with green and red apples, crisp lettuce, crumbled blue cheese, roasted pecans, cranberries, and grilled chicken this salad tastes decadent. Most of your fat and calories are from the cheese and pecans, so you can omit them, but why would you? For my taste, this is a way better option than the calorie-rich Caesar salad.

Nutritional information: 560 calories, 27g fat, 50g carbohydrate, 36g protein, 6g fiber, 1640mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 15

9. Tender Roast Sandwich, KFC

Not really known for its healthy options (Remember the Double Down sandwich?), you can still find a few healthier options at this deep-fry giant. The Tender Roast sandwich contains grilled meat, so it’s not as bad as their original crispy sandwich. Just make sure you tell them to hold the sauce.

Nutritional information: 300 calories, 4.5g fat, 28g carbohydrate, 37g protein, 2g fiber, 1,060mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 8

 

8. Chicken Fajita Pita, Jack in the Box

 

It’s almost hard to believe that any fast-food chain would carry an item made with whole grains, but The Jack in the Box pita is made with whole grains. The pita is stuffed with chicken, grilled onions, lettuce, cheese, tomato and fire roasted salsa. Tasty!

Nutritional information: 326 calories, 10g fat, 35g carbohydrate, 23g protein, 3g fiber, 987mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 8

7. A 6” Club Sandwich, Subway

My favorite thing about this sandwich is that it contains three different types of protein: lean roast beef, turkey, and Black Forest ham. I feel like I’m splurging! When ordering, make sure you order it on whole wheat bread with no mayo, cheese, or oil. Add mustard and lots of veggies for added flavor.

Nutritional information: 310 calories, 4.5g fat, 46g carbohydrate, 23g protein, 5g fiber, 880mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 8

6. Tendergrill Garden Salad, Burger King

It’s harder to find healthy choices at Burger King. The fast-food giant has made it a point to offer burgers higher in fat while everyone else is trying to slim down. The only other healthy choice at Burger King is the veggie burger, which I don’t particularly care for. The Tendergrill Garden Salad contains lettuce, tomatoes, grilled chicken, carrots and three types of cheese. When ordering, tell them no cheese and select the light Italian salad dressing.

Nutritional information: 300 calories, 16g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 33g protein, 5g fiber, 1,050mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 8

5. Grilled Chicken Go Wrap, Wendy’s

 

Just as a chicken sandwich is a healthier alternative to a hamburger, a chicken wrap is a far better choice than a chicken sandwich. Wraps contain less breading, so they’re lighter in carbs and calories.

Nutritional information: 260 calories, 10g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 19g protein, 1g fiber, 730mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 7

4. Grilled Chicken Salad, Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr. can be dangerous choice with its fried zucchini and massive cheeseburgers. However, don’t let the happy star scare you away. The Grilled Chicken Salad contains tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and grilled chicken on a bed of mixed salad. Ask them to hold the cheese and croutons, and order it with the low-fat balsamic dressing.

Nutritional information: 295 calories, 8.5g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 34g protein, 5g fiber, 1,190 mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 7

3. A 6” Veggie Delite Sandwich, Subway

Sometimes I just don’t feel like eating meat. For my vegan days, I head over to subway and order a 6” Veggie Delite. Order it on whole wheat or Italian bread, but don’t add cheese or mayo.

Nutritional information: 230 calories, 3g fat, 44g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 5g fiber, 310mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 6

2. Crunchy Taco, Taco Bell

The trick to making Taco Bell healthy is ordering your items “fresco” style. When you do this, they replace the cheese and sauce with a healthly blend of tomato, onion, and cilantro. This is a far healthier option than a regular crunchy taco.

Nutritional information: 150 calories, 8g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 7g protein, 3g fiber, 370mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 4

1. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait, McDonald’s

I could eat this delicious treat anytime. It tastes just as sinful as an ice cream sundae, but is much kinder to the waistline. It contains blueberries, strawberries, and low-fat yogurt. It comes with an optional serving of low-fat granola, so if you want to make it even lighter, omit the granola.

Nutritional information: 160 calories, 2g fat, 31g carbohydrate, 4g protein, 1g fiber, 85mg sodium

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 4

 

While these menu items are healthier choices than other fast-food options, they should be enjoyed as an occasional treat, not as a staple of your diet.

 

About the Author

Noah James hails from the land of tall trees and hops—Portland, Oregon. Having studied psychology in college, along with his passion for web development, you'll find his writing style a bit unique in that it's always taking you some place new. He's tech-junkie at heart, so he writes mainly for the geek in all of us here on In Good Measure. Noah can be contacted through his Google+ Profile.