The Healthiest Items In Fast Food Restaurants According To A Dietician

For those times you have to eat out, but you are watching your health and your waistline, here are some options you may like to try.

Almost every fast food chain has an option on the menu that you can opt for and still keep that calorie count down. Arm yourself beforehand with helpful hints about healthier choices from an actual dietician!

Dinner With The Colonel

It is a challenge to eat more healthily at KFC, but if you skip over the fried chicken and stick with the sides, you can have food on the go without the nutritional negatives.

There is the green salad at just 15 calories if you skip the dressing. The corn-on-the-cob has 3g of fiber, 2 g of protein for 70 calories and the “Green Beans Side” gives you 2 g of fiber and 1g of protein in a tiny 25 calorie package.

Super Sonic Options

Sonic may not be too snack friendly, but if you are stopping by for a meal the “Jr.Burger” or “Jr. Deluxe” burgers and cheeseburgers are the lowest calorie sandwich options. All three have under 350 calories and between 16g-20g of protein. Just make sure you choose only one high-calorie topping. 

If you cannot eat a burger without a potato side, you can enjoy the mini size tata tots or mini size fries for a mini 130 calories.

Ducking Into Dunkin’ Donuts?

Dunkin’ Donuts has a DDSmart menu that has items with at least 25% less fat, sugar, sodium, or calories than the regular item, or a “good for you” ingredient.

A meat-free “Wake-Up Wrap” will give you 180 calories and 8g of protein. If you add some ham, you add just 2g of protein and only 20 calories. Alternatively, a “Veggie Egg White Flatbread” will set you back 330 calories while sneaking in some peppers, mushrooms, and onions.

Wicked Waffle House

Skip the orange juice and the waffles for breakfast and have two eggs on whole wheat toast with some nutrition-packed tomatoes. This will set you back less than 400 calories, although the exact numbers are not available because Waffle House does not publish nutritional information.

If you skip the dressing, you can have the “Grilled Chicken Salad” for just 170 calories. Alternatively, if you want a bigger dinner, go for the “Grilled Chicken Dinner” platter for 570 calories.

Chew On This At Chipotle

Big “Burrito Bowl” fan? Try choosing either beans or rice next time to cut your carbs. Whenever you choose rice, ask for the brown rice to up your fiber intake with around the same calories.

Just don’t think that something like a chip and tomato salsa snack will be ok. It is a whopping 570 calories with sodium and carb numbers that go off the charts.

Stick with choosing fajita veggies, grilled chicken, and salad items for a lower-calorie, higher nutrition option.

Breakfast Is Safe With An Egg White Delight McMuffin

Need to grab breakfast on the go but limited in where you can to buy it? No need to pass on Ronald McDonald’s place. 

An “Egg White Delight McMuffin” serves up 260 calories, 16g of protein, and just 8g of fat to give you a delicious breakfast that is trans fat and guilt free. One of these delicious packages contains Canadian bacon, freshly grilled egg whites, and white cheddar cheese, all on a tasty English muffin.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

A delicious green bed of spinach, romaine, and baby kale is host to luscious layers of tasty ingredients in this drool-worthy salad from McDonald’s. For your 350 calories, you get a healthy 37g of protein and a nutrition friendly 12g of fat. The “Southwest Grilled Chicken” is a tasty treat.

There are are plenty more chicken suggestions coming up, but if you are swinging by the home of the golden arches, this is the option those in the know would buy.

Cuties Are A Tasty Treat

If you need to round off your meal with a dessert or if you just need a quick sweet fix, you do not have to go with a calorie-laden confection. A little-known desert option at Micky D’s is the mandarin orange slices called “Cuties.” 

There are only 8g of carbs in this 35 calorie, fat-free dessert and as an added bonus you get a whopping 35% of your daily vitamin C. 

Ring My Taco-Bell

When you are in Taco Bell, skip any menu item that sounds like it may have been designed by an eight-year-old who wanted all of their favorite foods at once.

Beware the “Veggie Power Menu Bowl.” It sounds healthy, but with guacamole, cheese, Pico de Gallo, and avocado ranch sauce, it crams 480 calories into the base dish, without add-ons.

Think plain and stick with the “Soft Chicken Taco” with shredded lettuce, shredded chicken, and cheese. Avoid all of the optional add-ons, and you will have 10g of protein and 170 calories in one tasty handful.

Half Time At Panera

If you are in the mood for a sandwich from Panera, a half portion Steak & Arugula on Sourdough will only set you back 250 calories and provide you with 12g of protein. In fact, the “half” options are fabulous if you’d like a larger meal with some variety.

A half Strawberry Poppyseed salad is 170 calories with 12g of protein. Add the steak sandwich and you still have room for a veggie black bean soup at 90 calories.

Nip Into In-N-Out-Burger

The burger chain where you can have your beefy fix on lettuce leaves instead of a bun, In-N-Out Burger presents a challenge if you’d like to eat more healthily, but it is not an impossible one.

Forego the special spread sauce on your burger, and you slash 80 calories. If you want the bun around your patty instead of lettuce, a regular burger is 310 calories while a cheeseburger is 400. Not great for your diet, but not a belt-buster, either.

Check Out Chick-Fil-A

You don’t have to go deep fried at Chick-Fil-A. Try the Grilled Nuggets for a measly 140 calories with an incredible 25g of protein and add a Superfood Side to round out your meal. With kale and broccolini tossed in a maple vinaigrette, dried sour cherries and a blend of nuts, the Superfood Side will add 190 calories and 4g of protein to your meal. Add a Fruit Cup, and you’re set.

What Do You Get When You Eat Fresh?

Just because their tagline is “Eat Fresh” it doesn’t mean that you can go to town on the Subway menu and not blow your healthy eating.

Stick to the “Fresh Fit” choices list, but watch out for all of the additional calories you may be adding with dressings, cheese, and extra vegetables. You should also avoid the ham because of the high salt content and go for the 9-Grain bread over the Italian or sourdough.

Baked Potatoes For Your Belly

If you can stand to eat a plain baked potato, Wendy’s offers one on their menu, and it will set you back 270 calories while giving you 7g of fiber and 7g of protein. On the other hand, if you cannot go plain, there is the “Bacon and Cheddar Baked Potato.” This option gives you 380 calories, has 8g of fiber 8g of protein and has the added advantage of sneaking a few vegetables onto your plate.

Power Up At Wendy’s

Wendy’s also offers you the Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad which is in no way a low-calorie option, but it does boost the protein and vegetable level of your meal.

For 480 calories, you get an impressive mix of greens, peppers, beans, rice, quinoa, tomatoes and more with a grilled chicken breast. This salad racks up 8g of fiber and a hefty 35g of protein. Not a bad way to go if you’re out and about but still trying to think skinny!