You’ve probably heard a lot about how junk food negatively affects your body. You’ve probably also heard about all of the studies carried out on fast food and the ingredients, chemicals, and additives it contains. Nevertheless, when your stomach starts to rumble, and you are dying for a quick bite, a Big Mac just seems too tempting to resist. You might have seen the following infographic floating around the last couple of months about the ingredients of the Big Mac and their effects on your body.
You’ve also probably discovered that it can be a challenge to choose a healthy meal while running into a fast food chain. However, don’t freak out about how everyone should be packing their own lunches and eating only whole foods made from the freshest ingredients; we all know that sometimes that’s just not realistic.
If you DO find yourself with fast food as your only option, wouldn’t it be nice to know which food choices you can make that are the healthiest for you? There are some healthier fast-food options out there. You just need to know how to order. (Fun fact: It might not be the salad!)
- Fruit & Maple Oatmeal—290 calories, 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 160 mg sodium.
- Egg McMuffin—300 calories, 17 grams of protein, 750 mg of sodium and 4 g of fiber.
- Grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap plus small French fries—480 calories, 19 grams of fat (5g saturated)
- Double Chicken Chopped Salad—220 calories, 36 grams protein, 4.5 grams total fat, 480 mg sodium, 4 grams (good source) fiber, 50% daily value of vitamin A, 50% daily value for vitamin C.
- 6″ Subway Club on 9-Grain Wheat Bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cucumbers, and Sweet Onion Sauce plus apple slices—445 calories, 4.5g fat (1.5g saturated)
- Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with tomatoes, green peppers, onions, olives, and cucumbers with honey-mustard dressing plus Yogurt Parfait—400 calories, 6g fat (1.5g saturated)
- Fresco Steak Burrito Supreme plus black beans—430 calories, 10.5g fat (3g saturated)
- Fresco Chicken Soft Taco plus Pintos ‘n’ Cheese—330 calories, 10.5g fat (4g saturated)
- Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich—290 calories, 6 g fat, 29 g protein, 650 mg sodium.
- Whopper Jr. (no mayo) plus Value-Sized Onion Rings—410 calories, 18g fat (5.5g saturated)
- Veggie Burger plus apple slices—440 calories, 16g fat (2.5g saturated)
- Perfect Oatmeal—140 calories, 5 grams protein, 2.5 grams total fat, 105 mg sodium.
- Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box (hummus, grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, cucumber, and pita bread) plus a banana—380 calories, 7g fat (1.2g saturated)
- Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl (grilled chicken, black beans, roasted corn, jicama, tomatoes, feta, greens, and quinoa with chile vinaigrette) plus Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend—450 calories, 15g fat (2.5g saturated)
Use this list as a guide, or visit restaurant websites to tally totals for your preferred favorites. Nearly every fast-food chain makes nutritional information available on site as well, so be sure to take a quick look if you want to get the inside scoop on what you’re eating. And remember that these selections are healthier options for the occasional fast-food meal, but they may have other nutritional flaws (like high sodium), so you might not want to make it a regular part of your nutrition plan.