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Healthy Fast-Food Options at 8 Top Fast-Food Chains

Low-calorie fast-food and low-fat fast-food options

Plus, smart choices at Chinese and Mexican restaurants

Fast-food meals might be fast, but they can also be high in calories or fat—or both. Fortunately, it is possible to make better choices when you’re looking at the menu boards and choosing healthier fast-food options. Use this guide to find selections at 8 top fast-food chains that are 350 calories or less and contain no more than 3.5 grams of saturated fat. Spending just a few moments planning ahead means convenience doesn’t have to trump your health goals.

Arby's

Top low-calorie, low-fat picks:

*Ham & Swiss Melt Sandwich: 300 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

*Jr. Roast Beef Sandwich: 210 calories; 2.5 g saturated fat

*Prime-CutChicken Tenders (3 pieces): 350 calories; 2.5 g saturated fat

*Jr. Turkey & Cheese Sandwich: 220 calories; 2.5 g saturated fat

 

*The nutrition information is from the respective restaurants’ Web sites. Please refer to their nutrition guides for more information.

*Brands mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Top low-calorie, low-fat picks:

*TENDERGRILL® Chicken Sandwich (without mayo): 320 calories; 1 g saturated fat

*Big Fish Sandwich (without tartar sauce): 350 calories; 1.5 g saturated fat

*Chicken Nuggets (6 pieces): 280 calories; 3 g saturated fat

If you’d really like a burger, also consider:

*WHOPPER JR.® (without cheese or mayo): 240 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

If you’d really like a meal with vegetables, also consider:

Chicken Caesar Garden Fresh Salad Wrap (grilled): 340 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

 

*The nutrition information is from the respective restaurants’ Web sites. Please refer to their nutrition guides for more information.

*Brands mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Top low-calorie, low-fat picks:

*Original Recipe® Chicken Breast (without skin or breading): 130 calories, 0.5 g saturated fat

*Honey BBQ Sandwich: 320 calories; 1 g saturated fat

*Extra Crispy Tenders (2 pieces): 250 calories; 1.5 g saturated fat

*Kentucky Grilled Chicken® Breast: 220 calories; 2 g saturated fat

*Snack-Size Bowl: 280 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

If you’d like a side dish, also consider:

*Green beans: 25 calories; 0 g saturated fat

*Mashed potatoes without gravy: 90 calories; 0.5 g saturated fat

*Corn on the cob: 70 calories; 0 g saturated fat

 

*The nutrition information is from the respective restaurants’ Web sites. Please refer to their nutrition guides for more information.

*Brands mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Top low-calorie, low-fat picks:

*Chicken McNuggets® (6 pieces): 280 calories; 3 g saturated fat

*Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich: 350 calories; 2 g saturated fat

*Grilled Chicken Honey Mustard Snack Wrap: 260 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

If you really want fries consider:

*Small fries: 230 calories; 1.5 g saturated fat

 

*The nutrition information is from the respective restaurants’ Web sites. Please refer to their nutrition guides for more information.

*Brands mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Top low-calorie, low-fat picks:

*Thin n Crispy Veggie Lover’s® Pizza (1 medium slice): 180 calories; 3 g saturated fat

*Garden Party Pan Pizza (1 medium slice): 230 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

*Buffalo State of Mind Hand Tossed Pizza (1 medium slice): 210 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

*Sweet Sriracha Dynamite Hand Tossed Pizza (1 medium slice): 210 calories; 3 g saturated fat

*Skinny Italy Pizza (1 large slice): 220 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

If you’d like an appetizer, also consider:

*Breaded Bone-in Buffalo Wings (2 pieces): 220 calories; 2.5 g saturated fat

*Traditional Wings–Buffalo Mild (4 pieces): 260 calories; 3 g saturated fat

*Baked Boneless Wings (4 pieces): 200 calories; 1 g saturated fat

*Boneless Wings (2 pieces): 200 calories; 2 g saturated fat

 

*The nutrition information is from the respective restaurants’ Web sites. Please refer to their nutrition guides for more information.

*Brands mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Top low-calorie, low-fat picks:

*6-inch Subway Club® (on 9-grain wheat bread with lettuce, onions, green peppers, pickles, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fat-free honey mustard): 340 calories; 1.5 g saturated fat

*6-inch Veggie Delite® (on 9-grain wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and cucumbers): 230 calories; 0.5 g saturated fat

*6-inch Black Forest Ham (on 9-grain wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, and honey mustard): 320 calories; 1 g saturated fat

If you’d like more vegetables in your meal, also consider:

*Oven Roasted Chicken Breast Chopped Salad (without dressing or croutons): 130 calories; 0.5 g saturated fat

*Turkey Breast and Ham Chopped Salad (without dressing or croutons): 110 calories; 0.5 g saturated fat

 

*The nutrition information is from the respective restaurants’ Web sites. Please refer to their nutrition guides for more information.

*Brands mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Top low-calorie, low-fat picks:

*Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco: 150 calories; 1.5 g saturated fat

*Fresco Chicken Soft Taco: 140 calories; 1 g saturated fat

*Fresco Burrito Supreme®–Chicken: 340 calories; 2.5 g saturated fat

*Gordita Supreme®–Chicken: 270 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

If you want to try a Doritos® Locos Taco (DLT), also consider:

*Cool Ranch® DLT: 160 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

If you want a side dish, also consider:

*Black beans and rice: 180 calories; 0 g saturated fat

 

*The nutrition information is from the respective restaurants’ Web sites. Please refer to their nutrition guides for more information.

*Brands mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Top low-calorie, low-fat picks:

*Small Rich & Meaty Chili: 170 calories; 2 g saturated fat

*Crispy Chicken Sandwich: 350 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

*Grilled Chicken Go Wrap: 260 calories; 3.5 g saturated fat

*Chicken Nuggets (4 pieces) with BBQ Dipping Sauce: 225 calories; 2.5 g saturated fat

If you're looking for more vegetables, also consider:

*Sour Cream and Chives Baked Potato: 320 calories; 2 g saturated fat

*Garden Side Salad with Light Ranch Dressing (no croutons): 70 calories; 0.5 g saturated fat

*Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (full size with Spicy Roasted Cashews and Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette): 335 calories; 1 g saturated fat

 

*The nutrition information is from the respective restaurants’ Web sites. Please refer to their nutrition guides for more information.

*Brands mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Once you look past the fried tortilla chips and oversized, overstuffed burritos, you’ll find there’s a lot of healthy Mexican food to enjoy. Here‘s a quick list of some easy substitutions.

Instead of Try
Flour tortillas Corn tortillas
Carnitas (slow-cooked pork) Grilled fish or chicken
Refried beans Frijoles à la charra or borracho beans and Spanish rice
Quesadillas (fried flour or corn tortillas with meat and/or cheese) Chicken fajitas (grilled chicken and vegetables with a soft corn tortilla)
Chalupas and tacos Taco salad (don’t eat the tortilla shell)
Flautas, chimichangas, burritos Chicken or beef enchiladas with red sauce or salsa

Going out for Chinese food? You'll find lots of fried foods on many Chinese menus, along with plenty of meat recipes and dishes made with eggs. Chinese food can be high in sodium, too. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthier options. Here's a quick guide to help you find them.

Instead of Try
Egg drop soup Wonton or hot-and-sour soup
Egg rolls or fried wontons Steamed vegetable dumplings
Fried entrées Boiled, broiled, steamed, or lightly stir-fried entrées
Meat dishes Vegetable dishes
Fried rice Steamed rice
Lobster sauce (has egg yolks) Sweet-and-sour sauce, plum, or duck sauce (but watch the sodium)

One More Thing...
Chinese menus often have a lot to offer, and in large portions. So why not divvy it up? Order a variety of entrées with your companions—then you can try a little of everything. Oh, and you'll probably want to ask the cook to leave out the high-sodium soy sauce, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and salt.

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