What fast food should i eat for dinner? Fast food is a part of almost everyone’s life. Whether it is on your way home or you’re just in a hurry and you want something easy, fast food is always there for you. You never know what fast food restaurant you’ll end up at, so here are some tips to help you pick the right one. In this article you will read about what fast food you should eat for dinner.
Best Fast Food Meals
So you’re trying to eat healthy and/or lose some extra pounds, but you’re on the road and in a hurry – so you find yourself in the drive-through line. Not to worry: There is such a thing as healthy fast food (or at least healthier). You can order a meal at most fast food chains with less than 500 calories, moderate amounts of fat and saturated fat, and ample protein and fiber.
Here are 10 of the healthiest fast food meals from some of the top fast food chains. (To make sure your beverage choice doesn’t undo the calorie savings, be sure to go for a zero-calorie drink like water, unsweetened tea, coffee, or diet soda.)
Healthy Fast Food Meal No. 1. Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Fruit Cup (Chick-fil-A)
Several fast food chains offer a grilled chicken sandwich. The trick is ordering it without mayo or creamy sauce, and making sure it’s served with a whole grain bun.
One of the healthier grilled chicken sandwiches out there is made by Chick-fil-A. Grilled chicken sandwiches at Carl’s Jr., Wendy’s, and McDonald’s are close seconds. The Carl’s Jr. sandwich comes with BBQ sauce, while the Wendy’s sandwich includes a calorie-friendly honey mustard sauce. Make sure you order the McDonald’s sandwich without mayonnaise.
Nutritional breakdown: A Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich (without the honey-roasted BBQ sauce), along with a large fruit cup, has 400 calories, 3.5 grams fat (8% calories from fat), 1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 1120 mg sodium, 65 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, and 30 g protein.
Healthy Fast Food Meal No. 2. Chili-Topped Potato (Wendy’s)
You won’t find a “chili topped potato” on the Wendy’s menu. But you can make this savory and satisfying meal happen by buying the plain baked potato and a small chili. Together, they make a balanced meal with ample protein, carbs, and fat, and half a day’s worth of fiber (12 grams).
A plain baked potato and small chili from Wendy’s has 460 calories, 6 g fat (12% calories from fat), 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans-fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 855 mg sodium, 80 g carbohydrate, 12 g fiber, and 21 g protein.
Healthy Fast Food Meal No. 3: Grilled Chicken Breast with Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob (KFC)
When you want something far from standard fast-food fare, KFC’s meal deal can be a healthful solution. Choose their tasty grilled chicken breast as your entree, and mashed potatoes and corn as your two sides. This combination offers plenty of protein (41 grams) with a moderate amount of carbohydrate (49 grams) and fat (10 grams).
A meal of grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, and 5.5-inch corncob from (KFC) contains 430 calories, 10 g fat (21% calories from fat), 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans-fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 905 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, and 41 g protein.
Healthy Fast Food Meal No. 4: Chick-n-Minis Breakfast (Chick-Fil-A)
What’s the best fast food breakfast sandwich? Believe it or not, there are a few contenders. There’s the Breakfast Jack from Jack in the Box, which is fairly low in calories, fat, and sodium (284 calories, 11 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 790 mg sodium). And then there’s McDonald’s Egg McMuffin, which has more fiber and protein (2 g fiber, 18 g protein) than many other breakfast sandwiches. But the title goes to Chick-Fil-A’s Chick-n-minis — the lowest in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium among the offerings at the major chains.
Chick-Fil-A’s Chick-n-Minis have 260 calories, 10 g fat (35% calories from fat), 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans-fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 650 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, and 14 g protein.
Healthy Fast Food Meal No. 5: Chicken Teriyaki Bowl (Jack in the Box)
This dish would be better if it had brown rice instead of white rice, and the sodium is definitely high (1461 milligrams). Still, it’s very low in saturated fat yet contains plenty of protein (25 grams) and some fiber (4 grams). I chose the Chicken Teriyaki Bowl over Jack in the Box’s Steak Teriyaki Bowl because the steak option has even more sodium (1739 mg) plus 2 more grams of saturated fat.
The Chicken Teriyaki Bowl from Jack in the Box contains 585 calories, 6 g fat (9% calories from fat), 1 g saturated fat (2% calories from saturated fat), 0 g trans fat, 36 mg cholesterol, 1461 mg sodium, 106 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, and 25 g protein.
Healthy Fast Food Meal No. 6: Chargrilled Chicken Cool Wrap (Chick-fil-A)
I think this is the best-looking, best tasting, most satisfying fast food chicken wrap on the market. It doesn’t compare to the smaller wraps made by a couple of other chains. Although you’d probably need two of the smaller wraps for a meal, one of these wraps is likely to satisfy. It’s packed with fiber (9 grams) and protein (33 grams) and moderate in fat and saturated fat. However, it is high in sodium (1,300 mg) and any dressing served with it would add to that. The two Chick-fil-A dressings lowest in fat and sodium are Fat-Free Honey Mustard (60 calories, 0 g fat, 210 mg sodium) and Reduced Fat Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette (70 calories, 2 g fat, 150 mg sodium).
Chick-fil A’s Chargrilled Chicken Cool Wrap with Fat Free Honey Mustard Dressing has
470 calories, 12 g fat (23% calories from fat), 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans-fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 1510 mg sodium, 64 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 33 g protein.
Healthy Fast Food Meal No. 7: Southwest Salad and Fruit n Yogurt Parfait (McDonalds)
The grilled chicken salads offered at a handful of fast-food chains are among the best options — as long as the chicken is grilled, not fried, and the dressing is light. One standout is McDonalds’ Southwest Salad, which is the highest in fiber and protein and among the lowest in saturated fat among the major chains’ chicken salads.
Another good choice would be the Chargrilled and Fruit Salad from Chick-fil-A, the lowest in fat and cholesterol. (Adding a large bowl of their Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup would make this a filling meal.) Not including dressing, the Burger King Tendergrill Chicken Garden Salad is the lowest in calories, and Carl’s Jr.’s Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Salad is the lowest in sodium.
A meal of McDonald’s Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken (not including dressing) and Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait has 480 calories, 11 g fat (21% calories from fat), 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans-fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 1045 mg sodium, 61 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, and 34 g protein.
Fast-Food Restaurants That Serve Healthy Foods
While most fast foods are based on cheap, unhealthy ingredients, many fast-food establishments now offer healthy alternatives.
Some major chains even focus exclusively on providing healthy fast food.
These can be life-savers when you don’t have the time or energy to cook a healthy meal.
Here are 10 fast-food restaurants that have some healthy options on the menu.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is a restaurant chain that specializes in foods like tacos and burritos.
The company tries to use only organic, local ingredients, with meats from naturally raised animals.
Healthy options: burritos, tacos, and salads, with a variety of meats, veggies, rice, beans, and guacamole
Locations: all over the United States, as well as Canada, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom
Chick-fil-A is a fast-food restaurant that specializes in chicken sandwiches.
They were the first fast-food chain in the United States to offer a menu completely free of trans fat.
They have taken strides to make their dishes healthier. In particular, their kids’ menu offers fruit cup sides and milk to drink.
Healthy options: grilled chicken nuggets, chicken salads, grilled market salad, and multi-grain breakfast oatmeal
Locations: throughout the United States
Wendy’s is the third-largest hamburger fast-food chain in the world, behind McDonald’s and Burger King.
Although their menu consists mostly of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and French fries, they also offer some healthier alternatives.
Healthy options: chicken salads and chicken wraps
Locations: 30 countries worldwide, mostly in North and South America, Asia, and the Caribbean
McDonald’s is the world’s biggest fast-food chain.
It is famous for its signature burgers, such as the Big Mac.
Most of the offerings at McDonald’s are highly processed and unhealthy. The company has been slammed for its role in facilitating the worldwide obesity and type 2 diabetes epedemics.
However, due in part to this critique, McDonald’s has added several healthy options to its menu.
Healthy options: several healthy salads, mostly made with chicken, vegetables, and fruit
Locations: worldwide, in a total of 119 countries
You can take a look at their salad menu here.
5. Ruby Tuesday
Ruby Tuesday has many restaurants across the globe.
They offer a large menu, ranging from steaks and seafood to pasta and salads.
The healthier options on their menu are marked with the moniker “Fit & Trim.” Those dishes contain fewer than 700 calories per serving.
Ruby Tuesday offers options based on all sorts of dietary needs, such as gluten intolerance.
Healthy options: a variety of meat, fish, and salads, with side dishes like baked potatoes and fresh vegetables
Locations: North America and Europe
6. The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory is known for gargantuan portion sizes and high calorie content.
However, due to increased pressure, they now offer a “SkinnyLicious” menu with smaller portion sizes and healthier ingredients.
Healthy options: steaks, fish, seafood, salads, and various appetizers
Locations: the United States, with several restaurants in the Middle East
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Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is an international fast-food restaurant known for its signature deep-fried chicken. This franchise serves mainly unhealthy foods.
However, some of their restaurants sell grilled chicken to serve their more health-conscious customers.
Healthy options: grilled chicken pieces and sides like green beans or corn on the cob
Subway is a fast-food restaurant that primarily sells build-it-yourself submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads.
That said, you can also skip the bread altogether and get a salad with chicken breast and plenty of fresh vegetables.
Healthy options: whole-grain bread, plus plenty of vegetables
Locations: 44,000 restaurants in 110 countries
Benefits and Advantages of Fast Food (Devil’s Advocate)
We often hear that home-cooked meals are the way to go for a healthy and affordable lifestyle; but is it really true? Let us play devil’s advocate for a short while and look into the possible benefits and advantages of foregoing the home-cooked meals and opting instead for fast foods. You might be surprised by what you learn when you start digging a little deeper for the benefits!
Of course, it is all about making wise fast food choices. If you order pizza and fries every day, you will become overweight and put your heart health at risk. If you are ordering salads and healthy wraps every day, the results could be quite the opposite. If you plan to eat fast foods on a daily basis, make sure that you are selecting balanced meals that will provide valuable nutrients to your body while putting those hunger pangs to rest.
You probably think that it is vaguely unusual to be singing the praises of fast foods, but what if your favorite take-out meals can be good for you in one way or another? Surely it’s worth looking into the possible ways in which fast food can be good for your health and your life? Let us take a look at several advantages and benefits of eating fast food.
1. Eat instead of missing meals.
If you are super strict on only eating whole foods prepared at home, you might find yourself missing meals, especially when you have a busy workday, need to work late, or are traveling. By opting to eat fast food instead of missing meals, you can keep yourself a bit healthier and stronger.
2. Keep up with your daily schedule.
If you have a demanding to-do list, chances are that you do not have enough time to cook/prepare 3 healthy meals each day. If you do not have time to spare, but want to beat hunger and get all your required daily calories and nutrients, opting for fast food is a viable option.
3. Total convenience.
Nothing is quite as convenient as being able to pick up dinner on the way home from work or grab a bite to eat while on the way to an event with the kids. Fast foods are undoubtedly convenient, and there are often days where convenience is absolutely necessary. Rather eat a meal on the go than completely miss out on the meal altogether.
4. Save money.
It is an unfortunate reality that healthy food sources at the grocery store or restaurants are often more expensive than fast food options. The good news is that you can make healthy fast food choices. If you want to save money while enjoying tasty meals, consider incorporating a few cheap fast food meals into your weekly meal schedule.
5. Get all your nutrition each day.
It is sometimes hard to get your protein, nutrients, vitamins, and calories each day, especially if you do not have the time and money to carefully craft each meal for yourself. If you educate yourself on the nutritional value of the meals served by the fast-food outlets in your area, you can make careful choices to ensure that you eat a balanced diet on the days where you have to rely on fast food instead of home-cooked and prepared meals.
6. Keep track of your calories each day with ease.
If you eat more calories than you burn each day, you will put on weight and start to feel unhealthy. A strategy that many people adopt is one of calorie counting to ensure that more exercise is done (and calories burned) than calories eaten.
In most places, it is a legal requirement for fast food outlets and restaurants to advertise the nutritional value, including the calories of each of the meals that they serve. This means that by eating fast foods, you can keep track of your calories quite easily. Make a note of the calories included in each fast food meal and ensure that you do not go over your max calorie content count each day to keep slim and trim.
7. Enjoy quality consistency with all meals.
When you go to a fast-food outlet or a restaurant, you know that you are going to receive a meal that meets with a particular quality standard. The service standard will also be high. Fast food outlets are consistent with food quality and therefore ensure that you can relax and trust that the meals you are eating are of consistent quality.
8. Support local.
Many of the fast-food outlets in your area will be locally owned and operated. This means that by buying meals from these outlets on a regular basis, you will be supporting your local community and bringing more money into the community.
9. Spoil the family.
Everyone has their favorite fast food. For some, it is pizza, others prefer burgers and fries, and some hanker for fried chicken. It really is different for everyone. Thankfully, because of the plethora of fast food outlets available to us, you can spoil everyone in the family by getting their favorite meal for dinner. Everyone can have their favorite meal conveniently made up, collected, and enjoyed together.
10. Save time – spend it with the family/loved ones.
When cooking and preparing meals, you are often distracted from the conversations and quality time that you could be having with the family. You might be holed up in the kitchen, whipping up delicious and nutritious meals while everyone else is watching television, talking in the living room, or otherwise entertaining themselves.
By getting fast food on the way home from work, you get to deliver the meal immediately, unpack it and enjoy it together. Instead of spending all of that time in the kitchen, you can spend it enjoying a meal with your family members and loved ones – together.
11. Enjoy a variety of food choices.
Instead of eating the same home-cooked meals over and over, you can enjoy a wide variety of meals on a daily basis. Fast food outlets offer vast menu options for you to choose from, which means that you can enjoy something different every night of the week if you want. If you are interested in adding a bit of variety and ‘spice’ to your life, eating fast food a few times a week is a great way to do that.
12. Avoid food waste.
If you cook meals at home, often there are leftovers. These can be put into the fridge with good intentions, but how often is that food wasted? Probably often! When ordering fast food, you order just enough for that particular meal, meaning there are no leftovers to be stored in the fridge and ultimately wasted.