About a third of Americans eat fast food every single day. That’s not the healthiest or cheapest habit around. But if you find that you don’t have the time or experience to put together homecooked food, that’s okay.
Many fast food restaurants offer healthy menu options, although they’re not always clear. If you can’t go cold turkey, you may be able to live a healthier lifestyle by changing up your fast food orders.
And who knows? You may even prefer the healthier items!
It’s time to get serious about getting healthy. Here are some of the healthiest fast food options around.
When you think of healthy fast food options, a chicken sandwich isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But it should.
Chick-fil-A’s menu is completely free of trans fats and remarkably customizable. It’s possible to both indulge and enjoy some low-calorie fast food — without feeling a tinge of guilt.
Rather than jumping towards a traditional breaded chicken sandwich, go grilled. You’ll avoid the carbohydrate-laden breading without saying goodbye to the protein-rich chicken goodness. You can also opt for a grilled chicken wrap or the grilled nuggets if that’s more your thing.
And what about sides? The side salad, chicken noodle soup, and fruit cups are all sound choices. Just do your best to avoid the potato fries and mac & cheese, as tempting as they may be.
Following our trend of healthy chicken eats, Kentucky Fried Chicken can give Chick-fil-A a surprising run for the money. You’re still looking at the grilled options as far as generic proteins go. And although it’s in the name, chicken is far from your only choice.
The honey BBQ sandwich is a guilt-free treat at around 400 calories. Just don’t indulge too much because of its high sodium content.
Unlike traditional fast food companies, you can enjoy a healthy side of green beans or corn on the cob. These low-calorie options will keep you satisfied and spare you from ordering a drink to keep the dry biscuits down.
Next time you’re thinking about heading to the nearest KFC restaurant or ordering by phone, be sure to check out the deals beforehand. It’s a great way to make a healthy option even more enticing.
Although Subway isn’t as popular as it once was, it earned its original fame by positioning itself as a healthy, convenient lunch option. And guess what? It still is.
Get your sandwich on healthy whole-grain bread, and make an effort to avoid Subway’s in-house condiments. Light mayo and mustard are fine, but their special sauces, such as the BBQ, can add more calories than an entire menu item at some of our other healthy stops.
The veggie delight is chock-full of healthy nutrients and has barely any calories. But if you’re looking for something more substantial, there’s nothing wrong with a classic turkey breast, roast beef, or turkey and provolone.
Do yourself a favor and refrain from adding extra cheese and other ingredients heavy in sodium, such as pickles and olives. This can turn a healthy fast food option into something far more sinister.
It’s easy to stay delicious and healthy at this Mexican fast food restaurant so long as you have the willpower to avoid the tortilla. Burrito bowls are the superior option since you’re avoiding the calories and sodium of the wrap.
Be sure to double-up on fajita veggies — which are both delicious and nutritious — and top up on the protein-dense black beans. Guacamole is an acceptable addition, though it does add a bit extra to the overall calorie count.
Here’s one last recommendation: skip the cilantro-lime white rice. You should skip the rice in general, but if you need it, just take the plain stuff.
If there’s a conversation about fast food restaurants, you know McDonald’s is going to be at the table. They were one of the first companies to start pushing healthier food options. And while it’s taken them some time to discover what works and what doesn’t, there’s now plenty of healthy choices available.
For breakfast, treat yourself to an egg white McMuffin. You can jump for a parfait or a strawberry banana smoothie, but they’re a bit on the sugary side. Be sure to keep that in mind if you’re counting carbs.
The chicken nuggets and grilled chicken sandwich are both a perfect source of healthy macros. You can even dive into the plain hamburger option if that’s what you’re into. Though it may be hard to limit yourself to just one.
When it comes to the sheer amount of healthy fast food options, it’s hard to beat Wendy’s. You can jump for the junior hamburger, a grilled wrap, or even a variety of their delicious salad options.
But the chili is what sets Wendy’s apart. You’d imagine that it should be avoided at all costs, but it’s actually the lowest-calorie side on the menu. Although the chili has more than its fair share of carbohydrates, it’s also a robust source of healthy protein.
Can’t say goodbye to fast food? Then say hello to healthier menu items. The healthiest fast food joints can even put some homecooked meals to shame.
The next time you visit your favorite fast food restaurant, mix up your usual order. You may find that healthy fast food is just as delicious as your current favorites.
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