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Healthy Fast Food Options

8 Healthy Fast Food Options

With the latest study claiming fast food is as addictive as drugs, breaking your Mickey D's habit cold turkey may be a bit daunting. Luckily, there are some healthy, or healthier, options at your fave fast food joints that can help you stay on track, even when you (accidentally) find yourself in the drive-through line.

Here are eight of our picks:

  1. McDonald's — The Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken, sans the dressing, has 220 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 890 milligrams of sodium.
  2. Burger King — BK's Spicy Chick'n Crisp Sandwich has 290 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 670 milligrams of sodium.
  3. Taco Bell — One Crunchy, Fresco Style Taco has 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 370 milligrams of sodium.

To see the final five healthier choices,


  1. Panda Express — Without rice, the Mushroom Chicken has 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 600 milligrams of sodium.
  2. Arby's — The Market Fresh, Chopped Farmhouse Grilled Chicken Salad, no dressing, has 260 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 770 milligrams of sodium.
  3. In-N-Out Burger — Go without the "spread" on the Hamburger with Onion and you'll be at 240 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 370 milligrams of sodium.
  4. Wendy's — If you don't go for a salad, try the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, which is 310 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 670 milligrams of sodium.
  5. El Pollo Loco — Top the Garden Salad with the skinless Flame-Grilled Chicken Breast for a total of 251 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 737 milligrams of sodium.


Join The Conversation
SaraNoH SaraNoH 6 years
hmmmmm.... on Panda's website it says the Mushroom Chicken has 220 calories for 5.9 ounces.... and that's without rice so.... I'd like to see the source Fit used for this info, just to cross reference. I hate contradictory nutritional values! :(
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I eat salads with chicken salad on them without dressing, but that's quite different from a salad with grilled chicken. I don't usually order the grilled chicken salads at burger places, since the quality of the veggies is always so bad. I usually go for the chili at Wendy's or the taco salad (sans shell) at Taco Bell. I often get an extra chicken soft taco or two and dump the contents into the taco salad. But I prefer the salad at Tijuana Flats.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I agree with everyone who says that low-calorie does not mean "healthy". How is a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger "healthy"? I guess it's a little better than say, a Big Mac, but still, c'mon. I like Subway's salads. You can get any sandwich made into a salad at's a little extra $, but very much worth it because you're getting your meat/filling on lettuce and spinach instead of bread. I like the Teriyaki chicken or the roasted chicken, light dressing, and a few sprinkles of nuts. So yummy.
SaraJeanQueen SaraJeanQueen 7 years
Honestly, if you're really craving a tasty meal, what's so wrong about a hamburger? I personally wouldn't ever do bacon on a burger, but if you have it without fries, your body is not going to hate you for it. I second the opinion of "whaaa?" for the no dressing... who eats plain lettuce and chicken? Gross. Although it is good to know that these salads don't top out at 700 calories if you are conservative with the dressing. I haven't ordered a fast food salad in a LONG time, but when I did, I do recall not even using half of that packet.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
The In-N-Out Veggie burger isn't bad. I used to eat them. I would get lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard, ketchup, grilled onions, and sometimes spread (it's like 1000 island, not vegan).
Asche Asche 7 years
Wendy's Chilli is pretty healthy, as is the Taco salad (if you don't add the gross cream dressing/sour cream/cheese).
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
onlysourcherry: no in n out where I live, but that story made me laugh out loud!!! they just gave you the bun! Wow, funny.. I'm sure not for you at the time, tho! danakscully: agreed - low cal does not equal healthy!
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
When I was a meat eater, I ate pretty much anything. I also worked at In-n-out for 2 years of that, so I ate burgers 3-5 times a week. Bleh, so much fat and calories (better quality food that any other place though). That, chicken fingers, ribs, bacon, if it was deep fried and covered in BBQ, I was all for it. I'm so glad I changed my eating habits. Still love BBQ though, Mmmmmm.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
LOL @ danakscully! I agree that it's ridiculous to label something "healthy" just because it's low-calorie. Virtually anything can be low-cal if you make the portion size small enough. I think a better title for this post would be "Relatively Low-Calorie Fast Food Options." Even when I was a meat eater, I wouldn't touch any of this food! Fast food "chicken" barely even resembles meat.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Betty, you're so weird :p Oooo, I like falafel sandwiches! We have an Indian Market not too far away who makes them REALLY good. Had my first one there a few months ago. I like Subway too, I get the Veggie Delight or Veggie Patty Sub.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
Actually Dana, I eat dry salads, but I think I'm the only one. I like to call ahead to a Middle-Eastern restaurant and order a $3 falafel sandwich... I know it's deep-fried but it's SO good and the rest of the ingredients are good for you... plus it's easy to eat in the car. I LOVE Subway... I get the $5 footlong and eat half and save the other half for later.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Chloe - Whoa! Hold the phone! Soda isn't healthy!?
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
And as Ella said, there are very few vegetarian options eating out, let alone healthy ones. I don't like that "low calorie, low fat" is often deemed healthy. Healthy implies that something is good for you, has nutrients, will benefit your health. I know no one goes to fast food for health food, but it's best to say "Better Fast Food Options" rather than healthy. All of the chicken in these dishes come from farm factories where the animals are injected with hormones and antibiotics. Healthy? Probably not. Who eats dry salads anyway? Please, come up with something better. If we push for change in fast food, they will provide it.
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
Again, low cal is not equal to healthy. Also, who is satisfied by one taco or a tiny chick'n crisp?
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I could never eat a salad without dressing. Also, I agree with Anon #1 - a bacon cheeseburger is not "healthy" by any stretch of the imagination. Judging by this logic, I guess a can of soda would be deemed a healthy snack because it's non-fat and has only 140 calories.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I worked at In-n-out, there is no veggie patty substitute. Honestly, the grilled cheese is better (if you eat cheese... Animal style with no lettuce is my preference, SO good). INO is known for Double Doubles and Animal fries. The fries are my favorite, ate them every shift for 4 years :p You have to eat them fresh though.
any any 7 years
i love subway, and at mcdonald i usually ask for prem. grilled chicken classic
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
ella, I kept hearing about how amazing In N Out was, so I ordered a veggie burger there to see what all the fuss was about. They gave me a bun with tomato and lettuce on it! Needless to say, I was underwhelmed.
michlny michlny 7 years
I agree anon. - it's about the QUALITY / nutrition of the food, not just calories/fat.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
Now, try to find healthy VEGETARIAN things at fast food restaurants. It's nearly impossible. Fast food chains don't really make "house salads", most have chicken. Burger King is the only one with a veggie burger. I stick to subway for sandwiches and salads.. it's about all I've got!
Burger King Oreo Mint Shake
Burger King Froot Loops Milkshake
Burger King Cheetos Chicken Fries
Burger King Lucky Charms Milkshake
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