Fast Food With Low Fat


Fast Food With Low Fat. Quick, convenient, and frequent meals are official trademarks of your average fast food eater. It’s easy to order a burger and fries, but it’s even easier to indulge in a double cheeseburger and two crispy chicken sandwiches on your next trip through the drive thru. If you want to eat fast food at least once a week without packing on the pounds, follow these nutrition commandments!

Fast Food With Low Fat

Low carb, low fat, and even high fat — there are many dietary approaches a person can take to improve or maintain their health. Eating a low fat diet is a simple way to cut out extra calories.

Doctors may advocate eating a low fat diet because calories from fat are higher per gram than those from protein or carbohydrates.

Some high fat foods — such as cookies, cakes, french fries, and greasy foods — may also have less nutritional value than healthful options such as fruits and vegetables.

Although fat is an essential part of a person’s diet, there are “good fats” and “bad fats.” Knowing the difference can help a person make informed choices about their meals.

In this article, we list some low fat foods and the benefits of a low-fat diet. We also look at a sample mix-and-match meal plan.

Low fat foods list

a woman looking out the window whilst eating some low fat foods
A doctor may suggest a low fat diet to cut out extra calories.

Low fat foods are those that have 30%Trusted Source of their calories or less from fats. So, if a food contains fewer than 3 grams of fat per 100 calories, it is a low fat food.

To determine if a food is low fat, a person can read its nutrition label.

It is vital to read the part of the label that lists specific values, as many manufacturers label foods as “low fat” despite them having a relatively high fat content.

Examples of low fat foods a person can incorporate into their diet include:

Cereals, grains, and pasta products

  • corn or whole wheat tortillas
  • baked crackers
  • most cold cereals
  • noodles, especially whole grain versions
  • oatmeal
  • rice
  • whole grain bagels
  • English muffins
  • pita bread

Dairy products

Dairy products can be high in fat, but food manufacturers often offer lower fat versions. These include:

  • fat free cheese
  • fat free or “skim” milk or yogurt
  • light or fat free cream cheese
  • low fat cottage cheese, milk, or yogurt

Some nondairy yogurts are also low fat.

Protein sources

cooked tofu in a bowl
Tofu is a good low fat protein source.
  • beans
  • lentils
  • tofu
  • egg whites
  • lean cuts of meat
  • lentils
  • tuna
  • peas
  • shrimp
  • skinless chicken or turkey breast
  • veggie burgers

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are naturally low fat. Choose fresh, frozen, or canned options.

Miscellaneous foods

Additional foods that can be a part of a low fat diet include:

  • mustard
  • sauces containing skim milk
  • salsa
  • vegetable based broth soups
  • popcorn
  • honey
  • jam
  • light salad dressings, or simply lemon juice and balsamic vinegar


When considering a low fat diet, it is important to remember that not all fat types are unhealthful. The key is to eat a varied diet of nutritious, natural foods and avoid those high in saturated or trans fats.

Manufacturers add saturated fats or trans fats to foods to extend their shelf life. These types of fat are also present in fried foods.

Foods for Both Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets

Low-carb and low-fat diets may seem to be at odds with each other, but they both have plenty of research saying that they can be safe and effective ways to watch your weight. If you follow one of these eating plans, it’s important to choose satisfying foods to meet your nutritional needs.

Remember that there are healthy fats (like the fat found in nuts, seeds, or avocado) and healthy carbs (like whole grains) that help your body flourish. Here are healthy picks for foods that can work for both low-carb and low-fat diets.


Greens and Lettuces

Spring Mix
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

The best way to fill up a low-carb, low-fat plate is to start with a generous portion of greens and lettuces. These add volume to a meal without adding many calories. Although iceberg lettuce isn’t bad, dark greens and lettuces are wiser choices, as they pack extra vitamins and minerals.

  • For a low-carb eating plan: Add bleu cheese, Italian, or vinaigrette dressing.
  • For a low-fat eating plan: Add lemon juice or low-fat dressing.



Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

This vegetable can be a centerpiece of either low-carb or low-fat dishes. In addition to being low in carbs and virtually fat-free, asparagus is low in calories and has vitamins including folate and vitamin A. One cup of asparagus also contains 2.8 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 32 mg of calcium.



Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Zucchini is another low-calorie, basically fat-free vegetable that’s delicious when added to stir-fry dishes. Zucchini can be sautéed alone or with other vegetables.

Zucchini provides some carbs (3.9g per cup) but is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin B6.1 It also provides some vitamin A, folate, riboflavin, thiamin, manganese, potassium, and small amounts of magnesium and phosphorus.



Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Tomatoes are delicious in a tomato soup or sliced raw on a salad or sandwich. As a vegetable (technically a fruit), tomatoes are naturally fat-free.



Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Chicken, depending on how it is prepared, is both low-fat and an excellent protein source. Like salmon, it is very low in carbs. Avoid recipes that call for breading (which adds carbs) and creamy sauces (which add fat).

 Low-Carb Chicken Tetrazzini


Game Meats

Venison with a spring of rosemary
Karl Blackwel / Getty Images

Game meats, such as venison and elk, are very lean, plus they’re an excellent source of protein, carnitine, and zinc.

6 nutrition experts on what they would order at a fast food restaurant

Click to play video: 'This is what nutritionists would order at fast food restaurants'
WATCH: Yes, there is such a thing as a healthy burger at your favourite fast food restaurant – Sep 16, 2017

There’s a reason why people are inclined to indulge in fast food from time to time — it’s quick, instantly gratifying and the restaurants are ubiquitous. But oftentimes, after the food has been consumed, guilt starts to set in. It doesn’t need to be that way, however.

Every fast food menu offers relatively healthy options (or at least, less unhealthy options) — it’s just a matter of knowing what to order, nutrition experts say.

“There’s no excuse to say, ‘I couldn’t get a healthy meal,’” says Kyle Byron, a Toronto-based nutritionist and trainer. “But most humans will succumb to the environment and it takes extreme goal focus to [order the right thing]. Don’t even look at the tempting foods, like cookies or chips. Think of it in terms of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’”

The next time you find yourself in the middle of a food court and at the mercy of your growling stomach, consider these healthier fast food options as chosen by nutrition experts.


“With most of these places, it’s the salad that’s the best option,” Byron says. “It’s boring and overpriced, but it’s a fact.”

At Subway, he recommends ordering a grilled chicken salad with loads of vegetables.

“Although even their chicken is slightly processed, it’s still so much better than their cold cuts,” he says. “You want to add as many vegetables as possible so that you have a better chance of feeling full longer, and Subway has a good selection of fresh vegetables to choose from.”

However, he cautions against doubling up on fats — if you get avocado on the salad, for example, opt for a light vinaigrette. And always be mindful of how much dressing you’re adding.

Burger King

The good news is, salads are not your only option.

“I’m not a big fan of fast food iceberg lettuce salads, so I’d probably order either the Whopper Jr. or the Grilled Chicken Sandwich,” says Abby Langer, a Toronto-based nutritionist. “I’d like to say I’d order the veggie burger, but it has so much sodium and sugar in it. The Whopper Jr. is perfect size-wise and still has that Whopper taste.”

And there’s no need to let this one meal derail you for the entire day, she says.

“Then I’d go home and have a big arugula salad for dinner to make up for the veggies I didn’t eat at lunch.”


With fast food salads, what’s in them and what you put on top of them can be chock full of fat and calories. That’s why Vanessa Vorbach, a holistic nutritionist in Vancouver, suggests starting with half the amount of dressing and then adding more if needed as you go along.

“If they have fresh lemon slices, I would squeeze that over the salad instead of the dressing,” she says.

At Wendy’s, her first choice is the Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad, and for dessert, she suggests opting for apple or strawberry slices. She says the salad offers several nutritious ingredients that make it a wise option, including quinoa, leafy greens and hummus.

“This salad is overall rich in fibre, protein and complex carbohydrates ensuring that you stay satiated and energized longer. It will also keep your blood sugar steady, which prevents cravings.”

Tim Hortons

A lot of the menu options at Tim Hortons sound healthy, but their sodium content says otherwise.

“If you’re watching your sodium levels, the Harvest Vegetable Soup is the best of all options,” says Janice Cohen, a Montreal-based registered dietitian and nutritionist.

But if calories are your main concern, there are a number of options available.

“The chili is comforting and filling, and offers a good amount of fibre and protein. The chicken noodle soup makes a good snack because it’s low in calories and carbs, and has a decent amount of protein,” she says.

She also points to sandwiches as a good option, as long as you stay away from extras like bacon, and opt for bread instead of a croissant.


What’s perhaps ironic about burger joints is that a basic burger is often the healthiest choice, and that gets compromised by the sides that go along with it, says Jessica Begg, a registered dietitian at Shift Nutrition in Calgary.

“The most important thing to keep in mind when [eating at these restaurants] is to avoid anything deep fried. By doing that, you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of where you’d otherwise be with a side order of fries or onion rings,” she says.

At Harvey’s, Begg suggests going for the Grilled Chicken sandwich and keeping the toppings simple with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.

“As long as you aren’t adding a deep-fried topping or getting fries on the side, there’s no need to skip the mayo.”

Otherwise, she says, the chain’s Build-A-Bowl dish is a good choice as long as you choose a healthy base, like rice or salad, and load up on fresh vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, corn and black beans. And as always, go easy on the dressing.

Click to play video: 'Lose weight by swapping 1 meal a week at your favourite fast food restaurant'1:51Lose weight by swapping 1 meal a week at your favourite fast food restaurantLose weight by swapping 1 meal a week at your favourite fast food restaurant – Jun 13, 2017


The Greek-ing Out Salad with Grilled Chicken (without the herb and garlic pita) is a natural choice, says Toronto-based holistic nutritionist Sarah Goldstein, but that’s not the only healthy option.

“The point isn’t just to look at caloric content, but the nutrient load and quality of the food you’re eating,” she says. “You want to get a good source of protein, fibre and vegetables.”

She points to wraps as a much better option versus burgers, especially if you choose a whole wheat tortilla.

“Whole grain wraps have far fewer ingredients than something made from white flour, like an English muffin, and the fewer ingredients a bread product has the less likely it is to be overly processed. You’ll find half the ingredients in a whole wheat wrap than you’ll find in an English muffin.”

This is especially significant if you’re lining up at McDonald’s in the morning, when the Egg McMuffin is typically the go-to.

“The Feta and Tomato More-Ning McWrap is a great option because it has eggs, which are a good source of protein, and the wrap is whole grain.”

She also points to the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal as a wise breakfast option, provided you skip the added maple brown sugar packet.

“The sliced apples and cranberries will provide enough sweetness, so you won’t need the added sugar,” she says. “I think what’s most important is changing how you view eating at a fast food restaurant — you can opt out of certain ingredients or choose not to add them. It’s not all or nothing.”

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