We all know the feeling: you’re craving some Fast Food With Most Protein, but you don’t want to compromise your health by eating grass-fed beef or pasture-raised chicken. So you’ve gotta wonder: what fast food has the most protein? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that we’re here to tell you! The bad news is… well, there isn’t any fast food with tons of protein that can pass for healthy. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. What are we even talking about when we talk about “protein”.
Related post: Beef For Protein
Fast Food With Most Protein
1. MCDONALD’S MCDOUBLE
Per serving: 400 calories, 20g fat, 33g carbs, 2g fiber, 7g sugar, and 22g protein
We get it: Sometimes a salad just won’t cut it. Luckily, McDonald’s McDouble, (aka two beef patties, American cheese, pickles, ketchup, onion, and mustard) is relatively low in calories and carbs considering the amount of protein it offers. If you want, you can nix the cheese and lose 50 calories and 4 grams of fat.
2. ARBY’S ROAST CHICKEN ENTRÉE SALAD
Per serving: 250 calories, 14g fat, 8g carbs, 3g fiber, 4g sugar, and 25g protein
3. CHICK-FIL-A LEMON KALE CAESAR
Per serving: 470 calories, 24g fat, 22g carbs, 0g fiber, 8g sugar, and 43g protein
Another high-protein salad option is Chick-Fil-A’s rendition of a kale Caesar. Shaved Parmesan, panko breadcrumbs, and fresh lemon wedges make it feel very 2021.
4. WENDY’S APPLE PECAN SALAD
Per serving: 460 calories, 23g fat, 26g carbs, 5g fiber, 18g sugar, and 39g protein
The combination of apples, dried cranberries, roasted pecans and crumbled blue cheese feels a little bit ’90s and we are so into it. Go easy on the dressing if you want to keep the amount of sugar to a minimum.
5. CHIPOTLE SALAD WITH CHICKEN, FAJITA VEGETABLES, AND ROASTED CHILI-CORN SALSA
Per serving: 295 calories, 8.5g fat, 24g carbs, 6g fiber, 7g sugar, and 37g protein
TBH, Chipotle’s menu is all about mixing and matching, so it’s one of the easiest restaurants to find a healthy option. But to make it even simpler, we suggest swapping your usual burrito bowl for a salad (no rice equals fewer carbs) and adding the just-sweet-enough corn salsa in place of the dressing.
NHAT V. MEYER/DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA/THE MERCURY NEWS VIA GETTY IMAGES
6. SHAKE SHACK SHACK BURGER (LETTUCE WRAP)
Per serving: 320 calories, 24g fat, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugar, and 21g protein
At Shake Shack, you can ask for any sandwich on the menu to be served in a lettuce wrap instead of the usual bun. While this won’t add any protein, it will reduce the number of carbohydrates by 24 grams—worth it if you’re watching your carb intake.
7. SUBWAY 6-INCH OVEN-ROASTED CHICKEN SUB
Per serving: 270 calories, 4.5g fat, 41g carbs, 5g fiber, 8g sugar, and 21g protein
Subway’s Fresh Fit menu includes items with higher amounts of protein, plus 400 calories or fewer and two servings of vegetables. To maximize the nutrition factor, pile your sandwich high with all the veggies.
8. MCDONALD’S MCCHICKEN
Per serving: 400 calories, 21g fat, 39g carbs, 1g fiber, 5g sugar, and 14g protein
FYI, McDonald’s has reduced its menu since COVID-19, but the brand still serves the OG McChicken. Hold the mayo, and you’ll shave off 100 calories and 11 grams of fat.
9. STARBUCKS CHICKPEA BITES AND AVOCADO PROTEIN BOX
Per serving: 560 calories, 37g fat, 43g carbs, 13g fiber, 7g sugar, and 15g protein
Meatless fast-food meals that still contain a decent amount of protein are few and far between, but this Starbucks option is fully plant-based and has 15 grams of the good stuff. It’s also high in fiber to keep you feeling full longer.
10. STARBUCKS GRILLED CHICKEN AND HUMMUS PROTEIN BOX
Per serving: 300 calories, 9g fat, 32g carbs, 7g fiber, 6g sugar, and 22g protein
Another high-protein item at the popular coffee chain is the grilled chicken and hummus box, which contains 22 grams of protein and only 9 grams of fat.
Highest Protein Fast Food Options
If you’re following a high-protein diet, fast food may not seem like the greatest choice.
But you might be surprised to see that there are some great options out there for ya!
I don’t want to try to direct you towards the “healthiest” item at every fast food restaurant, because we all define healthy differently.
Instead, look at which items have the most protein to help you hit your protein goals.
We’ll look at two options for high-protein fast food:
1) The menu item with the highest protein overall. This is usually packed with calories as well.
2) The highest protein for a menu item under 500 calories. If you want to maximize your protein but don’t want to consume a ton of calories, looking at options under 500 calories will help keep you on track.
Highest Protein McDonald’s Menu Item
Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese
740 Calories, 42g Fat, 43g Carbs, 48g Protein
This burger from McDonald’s is not necessary the “healthiest” option out there, but it’s the highest protein item that McDonald’s currently offers on their menu. I was surprised to find that a Big Mac contains much less protein, with only 25g of protein overall (with 550 calories).
Highest Protein McDonald’s Menu Item Under 500 Calories
Quarter Pounder With Cheese (No Ketchup)
500 Calories, 26g Fat, 38g Carbs, 30g Protein
If you go with the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, but leave out the condiments, it’ll leave you with exactly 500 calories and 30g of protein. Believe it or not, this burger contains more well-rounded nutrition than a chicken sandwich.
If you order a McChicken, it contains 400 calories but only 14g of protein- less than HALF of the quarter pounder!
Highest Protein Burger King Menu Item
2,100 Calories, 93g Fat, 52g Carbs, 70g Protein
Burger King takes the crown of having the single highest calorie item of any fast-food chain. The Bacon King is listed on the Burger King website as having over 2,000 calories! The Bacon King contains a full half-pound of beef, cheese, a “hearty portion of thick-cut bacon,” ketchup, and mayonnaise.
Technically speaking, this item contains the most protein, but considering the calories, it’s not a great choice for your protein intake, considering it contains 93g of fat, 40g of which are saturated fat.
Let’s look at an option that’s a bit lower-calorie…
Highest Protein Burger King Menu Item Under 500 Calories
Related Post: Food With High Protein Low Fat
Bacon Double Cheeseburger
390 Calories, 21g Fat, 27g Carbs, 24g Protein
Much like at McDonald’s, the double cheeseburger from Burger King will get you the most protein under 500 calories. However, the protein total is not all that impressive. If you break down the full Burger King menu, you’ll find that Burger King has some of the lowest-protein options, so it may not be great for a high-protein diet.
Highest Protein Wendy’s Menu Item
Big Bacon Triple
1,220 Calories, 86g Fat, 38g Carbs, 75g Protein
The Big Bacon Tripe from Wendy’s is a massive burger, so it comes as no surprise that it’s the highest protein item on the menu. I’ll let Wendy’s website explain this one to ya: “Three-quarters of a pound* of fresh, never-frozen beef, Applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, crisp lettuce, tomato, pickle, ketchup, mayo, and onion on a toasted bun.”
Highest Protein Wendy’s Menu Item Under 500 Calories
Grilled Asiago Ranch Chicken Club
490 Calories, 21g Fat, 34g Carbs, 40g Protein
Wendy’s is one of the few fast-food chains with a grilled chicken sandwich option, and it clocks in as the highest-protein item under 500 calories.
If you want to go with even lower calories, go for the Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich. That sandwich contains only 350 calories and still packs 33g of quality protein.
Chick-fil-A is one of the best fast-food restaurants out there if eating high-protein is your goal. By using lean white-meat chicken in most of their menu items, most of the options are low calorie and very high in protein.
Highest Protein Chick-fil-A Menu Item
Chick-fil-A® Cool Wrap
350 Calories, 12g Fat, 29g Carbs, 42g Protein
The Cool Wrap is made up of grilled chicken, lettuce, and shredded cheese. On its own, it is rather low-calorie, but be mindful of the dressing it comes with. If you pair the wrap with the Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing, it will add 310 calories!
Highest Protein Chick-fil-A Menu Item Under 300 Calories
12 Piece Grilled Nuggets
200 Calories, 4.5g Fat, 2g Carbs, 38g Protein
If you follow a low-carb or keto diet, the grilled chicken nuggets are going to be your go-to order. A 12-piece is only 200 calories and 38g of protein, on par with any grilled chicken breast.
4 Type Of High Protein Fast Food To Order At A Restaurant
Whether it is a fitness goal you’re trying to achieve or looking to maintain a lean figure, proteins are part of the diet staple these days. On top of that, it takes a sheer amount of hard work, a consistent exercise routine, and deliberate planning to achieve your fitness goals.
Although we aren’t direct advocates of exercise and fitness, we understand the importance of both in every person’s life. After all, Blink is about making the right choices as a restaurateur looking to expand their business or just an ordinary person on the prowl for healthy food. Today, speaking of healthy food, we will talk about the importance of high-protein fast food. There’s no harm or shame in consuming fast food with a side of condiments. Everyone does it these days. Some people love fast food to the extent that their body goes to a tipping point where weight maintenance becomes an issue.
Others consume fast food every once in a while to not deteriorate from their long-term fitness goals.
Since proteins are essential to muscle growth and reduced-fat aggregation, are there good quality vs. bad quality proteins? And in terms of high protein fast food, which type of fast food is right for you?
Good High Protein Fast Food Vs. Bad Protein: Is It A Myth Or A Fact?
All of the questions, as mentioned earlier, are important. Proteins do not vary so much in quality compared to carbohydrates and saturated fats. But then again, there’s a smidge of a difference between the type of proteins and the actual source of proteins.
So, when we say that as long as it is the correct type of high-protein fast food consumed in moderation, it could be interpreted into many things.
Back in the late ’90s, you might be able to recall the Atkins Diet fad. This diet was ideal for people with day jobs or odd office timings, folks who could not dedicate a lot of time to daily workout regimens at their gym. Essentially, any Atkins Diet consisting of clean food with high protein and low carb meal plans was good.
While looking for reliable high-protein fast food sources, you can’t completely overlook the importance of an exercise routine. However, much later, it was determined by the researchers at The Nutrition Business Journal Co. that taking high-quality proteins is equally important as any high-intensity workout. Both aspects of this equation go hand in hand.
If you cannot keep up with your fitness goals, such as X percentage of weight loss in Y number of months, despite relying on high protein fast food, you need to hit the gym. If going to a gymnasium isn’t a plausible option, then make sure you are doing cardio or some strenuous workout at home – and that too daily.
Are There Other Sources Of Protein Except for High Protein Fast Food?
There are many other reliable sources of high-quality protein.
No, we’re not talking about homemade meals or breakfast menus with a side of oatmeal. We’re talking about industry-manufactured protein supplements and protein powders. Of course, some of them adversely affect the kidneys if they’re not taken in moderation. Others might be of low quality. But as long as it is an FDA-approved protein supplement coming from a reliable company, you have nothing to worry about.
The good thing about protein powders compared to high-protein fast food is that there are no condiments in the former case. The fat amount is almost non-existent, and the same goes for carbs, saturated fatty residue, sugar, and vice versa.
We have eggs, fish, and beef to count on natural protein sources in fast food options. The Department of Commerce in the U.S. reportedly suggested that the consumption of beef and fish increased by 25% during 1998 – 2004.
Meanwhile, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association reported beef consumption of up to 4.5% during the same timeline.
But, here’s an important thing to consider if you are thinking of eating beef burgers as a direct source of high-protein fast food.
Not all kinds of beef are the same – or so people thought, long before nutritionists and researchers dug further into the topic. A cheeseburger made from any beef and a lean sirloin steak does not induce the same effect on the human body. Sure, the cheeseburger may taste better, but it doesn’t interpret the amount and the quality of the protein you’d expect from a high-protein fast-food menu.
70% of the U.S population is struggling with obesity. Without delaying it any further, let’s look at some of the best high-protein fast food.
4 High Protein Fast Food Meals You Should Try At A Restaurant
- McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder, With Or Without Cheese
The Double Quarter Pounder without Cheese comes with 48g of protein. That’s roughly equivalent to two scoops of high-quality protein powder. In the latter case, your body won’t be absorbing the extra 740 calories and 42 grams of carbs.
If you want to buy a Big Mac or McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, add 43 grams of carbohydrates to the menu. The Big Mac has 25g of protein and weighs 550 calories. Although its protein count is less than the Double Quarter Pounder, the number of fats and carbohydrates is also not significant. So, if you were to take our advice on high-protein fast food, we’d recommend the Big Mac.
- McDonald’s Quarter Pounder With Cheese But No Ketchup
On a separate note, if you’re craving a quarter pounder with a relatively clean conscience, then The Quarter Pounder with Cheese is a better choice.
We are looking at 500C, with only 26G of saturated fat and 30G of proteins. These burgers are more of a cornerstone menu item for once in a while, kind of high protein fast food meal. Instead of a Quarter Pounder, people who desire a sandwich can make one at their home.
The recipe requires the same ingredients, but you swap them with sandwich bread instead of burger buns. The good thing about a Quarter Pounder Sandwich is that it only has 350 calories, induces a full stomach feeling, and comes with 32 grams of protein.
If you’re wondering why we haven’t made mention of any tomato ketchup, that’s because ketchup has high amounts of sodium. It is an ideal substance for underweight people as your body can retain water rather quickly. However, high sodium diet also leads to increased chances of high blood pressure. Therefore, avoid Salt and Ketchup as much as possible.
Burger King’s Bacon King
Ain’t nothing like waking up to the smell of fresh bacon in the morning. But, if you don’t have a bacon machine or the tenacity to rustle up some sort of bacon breakfast in the morning, you can snag one at your local Burger King branch.
The Bacon King burger comes with 2100 calories, 70G protein, and 93G fat.
It’s the perfect high-protein fast food meal for anyone looking for a wholesome lunch or breakfast menu. Considering the caloric intake, you should only stick with one Bacon King burger without any soft drinks or ketchup. Two thousand one hundred calories are ideal for a day’s worth of sustenance for human bodies. Going overboard with extra calories in any form will result in additional weight and long-term obesity.
- Burger King’s Bacon Double Cheeseburger Without Ketchup And Fries
Although the ketchup and fries combo takes the sting out of any burger, we recommend doing so to maintain a guilt-free diet.
Coming in hot at 390 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 24 grams of protein, the Bacon Double Cheeseburger is a decent substitute te for anyone thinking of his ideal high-protein fast food menu on a cheat day. Of course, anything we mention or talk about in this post is only to be consumed fortnightly. Repeating the same diet will hinder your fitness or ongoing weight loss goals.
Related Post: Food With Rich Protein
Word Of Caution
In all honesty, high-protein fast food meals are not recommended to be consumed daily. The reason is the accompanying carbs, saturated and trans fat that come with the high protein amount. Halfway through their fitness goals, people know that protein without fats and minimum calories are the ideal goals each day.
If you are craving burgers, sandwiches, and a little bit of extra food on the side, do so during your cheat meal days. In the end, consistency in your diet and exercise program will earn you that V-tapered physique.