What fast food should i eat quiz will help you find quick answers to your questions about what to order for lunch and dinner at restaurants. Everyone loves fast food, quick and convenient with a long list of options. But you don’t want to go to the wrong one and be regretting your decision. What fast food should you go to? Take this quiz to find out!
Healthiest Fast-Food Lunches
When a quick fast-food run is your only choice, reach for one of these options to escape the restaurant with your diet unscathed.
A third of adults who eat at fast-food restaurants three or more times a week are obese, a study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease found — not surprising given the preponderance of high-fat, high-calorie, and high-salt menu items.
But at almost every chain restaurant, there are smart choices to be made. An ideal meal that won’t derail your diet is a plate that’s half fresh fruits or vegetables, a quarter lean protein, and a quarter whole grains, says Kristi King, RD, a clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. “Look for grilled, baked or broiled meats versus fried,” King says, and then add a vegetable option like a side salad and apple slices or a fruit salad.
If you’re looking for a few healthy standbys to order every time you eat out, try these.
McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich
9 g fat
28 g protein
820 mg sodium
42 g carbohydrates
3 g fiber
8 g sugar
As fast-food options go, grilled chicken sandwiches generally make better healthy lunches than hamburger patties. Pair yours with a salad and light dressing and low-fat milk or water to drink. The downside is the sodium in this sandwich might be too high if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, points out Jim White, RD, founder of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios in Virginia Beach, Va. “While the calories may be below 500, the problems arise with the high levels of sodium,” he says. “These lunches may not expand the waistline, but they will cause an elevation in blood pressure.”
McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Ranch Snack Wrap
12 grams fat
16 g protein
700 mg sodium
25 g carbohydrates
1 g fiber
2 g sugar
The size of McDonald’s snack wraps are just right — as long as you order them grilled and not fried, King says. To save on additional calories and fat, ask for the wrap without cheese or dressing. Because the small wraps might not be filling enough, add a small side to help you stay satisfied. “Look for a yogurt parfait — about 150 calories, a side salad, or fruit to pair with that snack wrap,” King suggests, along with low-fat milk to drink.
Burger King Whopper Jr.
10 g fat
16 g protein
440 mg sodium
28 g carbohydrates
1 g fiber
7 g sugar
Burgers can be a smart choice, especially if you load yours with veggies, such as onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and even pickles for added flavor without much additional salt or fat. Skipping cheese and enhancing your sandwich with barbecue sauce or ketchup instead of mayonnaise saves calories and fat, too, White says. If you’re watching your saturated fat intake, try the garden patty option (for 440 calories as a fully loaded sandwich). Regardless of which burger you pick, skipping the bun will save you about 140 calories.
Arby’s Roast Chicken Club Sandwich
19 g fat
30 g protein
1,440 mg sodium
42 g carbohydrates
2 g fiber
9 g sugar
One of the healthiest sandwiches on the menu, this option packs half of your daily protein needs into one meal. If you’re craving Arby’s classic roast beef, go for it — a plain roast beef sandwich has just 350 calories, (but beware: once you add sugary barbecue sauce, the calorie count can skyrocket). When you’re eating Arby’s, skip the classic curly fries, and order a side salad instead.
Arby’s Roast-Chicken Chopped Farmhouse Salad
14 g fat
23 g protein
670 mg sodium
11 g carbohydrates
3 g fiber
5 g sugar
Arby’s has several healthy lunch options, and this salad — with its roasted, not fried, chicken and fresh vegetables — ranks among the best. To keep your salads healthy, resist high-calorie extras such as cheese, nuts, and full-fat dressing. Salad dressing can wildly increase your salt (and fat) intake if you don’t pay attention to how much you’re drizzling on.
Chipotle Build-Your-Own Salad
8 g fat
42 g protein
1,265 mg sodium
34 g carbohydrates
14 g fiber
8 g sugar
At Chipotle, skip the rice and the burrito (the flour tortilla alone is nearly 300 calories!), and build your own salad, featuring chicken, fajita vegetables, black beans, lettuce, and salsa. The lean meat, beans, and fresh veggies will keep you full while a heaping spoonful of salsa adds flavor without fat. If you want an additional toppings, skip sour cream and go for guacamole for its added fiber, healthy fat, and other nutrients.
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.
With a busy lifestyle, it can be hard to maintain a healthy diet. Many people turn to fast-food joints for nutrition, but options are typically loaded with calories, sodium, and saturated fat. In fact, one meal at a fast-food restaurant can exceed your recommended fat and calorie intake for the entire day, while providing little nutrients or fiber.
Nobody will begrudge you the occasional indulgence of a Big Mac or a Whopper. But if you’re regularly lining up at the drive-thru, it’s important to consider healthier options.
Before we delve into specific examples, let’s take a look at some general considerations concerning fast food.
- Keep your fast-food meals around 500 calories or fewer.
- Choose foods that are low in fat and higher in fiber and protein, and replace refined grains with whole-grain buns or bread.
- Avoid French fries, onion rings, noodles, macaroni and cheese, and so forth. Healthier sides include side salads with light dressing, fresh fruit, or plain baked potatoes. You can also pack your own sides from home, such as dried fruit, nuts, celery sticks, apple slices, and cottage cheese.
- When it comes to burgers, sandwiches, and other foods that come in large portions, go for the smallest size. Avoid value- or super-sized alternatives. Consider ordering off the kids’ menu for smaller portions and decreased calorie counts, or eating half your meal and saving the rest for later.
- Choose grilled or roasted meats vs fried or breaded ones, and stick to one burger patty. Eschew deli meats and bacon.
- Scrutinize anything that may sound healthy but probably isn’t—such as some fast-food salads, which often come with high-calorie toppings and high-fat dressing. Look for nutritional data, available online.
- Slow your roll with condiments such as mayonnaise- and oil-based sauces (ie, special sauces)—ketchup and mustard are better options. Go easy on cheese, sour cream, rice, and beans.
- Stick to zero-calorie beverages (no soda, fruit juice, lemonade, or shakes).
- With pizza, order thin crust instead of regular crust, deep dish, or pan. Also, choose veggie toppings vs high-fat meat toppings.
With these guidelines in mind, here are some of the healthier options on fast-food menus:
Grilled nuggets at Chik-fil-A
These bite-sized pieces of boneless chicken breast are marinated with a proprietary blend of seasonings, and grilled to be juicy and tender. This high-protein meal is much healthier than fried chicken nuggets, and can be paired with a side of veggies.
Nutritional information (12 piece): 170 calories, 31 g protein, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 610 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar. Calcium: 2% of daily value; iron: 4% of daily value; vitamin A: 0% of daily value; vitamin C: 20% of daily value.
Grilled chicken wrap at Wendy’s
This wrap consists of herb-marinated grilled chicken breast in a flour tortilla, with a crisp spring mix and shredded cheddar cheese. It is also prepared with smoky honey mustard. When paired with a small cup of chili or a small side salad, you can keep your calorie intake for the meal under 500 calories.
Nutritional information: 300 calories, 20 g protein, 13 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 720 mg sodium, 230 mg potassium, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar. Calcium: 10% of daily value; iron: 10% of daily value; vitamin A: 10% of daily value; vitamin C: 0% of daily value.
Grilled steak soft taco at Taco Bell
If you’re hankering for beef, the grilled steak soft taco is a good option. It features avocado ranch sauce, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Nutritional information: 200 calories, 12 g protein, 10g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 510 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 2g sugar. Calcium: 10% of daily value; iron: 10% of daily value; vitamin A: 6% of daily value; vitamin C: 4% of daily value.
Tuna salad sub at Subway
Sure, the deli meat subs at Subway are lower calorie, but they’re also chock-full of preservatives. A 6-inch tuna salad sub is a healthier option, which you can pile high with low-calorie veggie toppings.
Nutritional information: 450 calories, 19 g protein, 25 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 40 g cholesterol, 610 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar. Calcium: 0% daily value; iron: 20% of daily value; vitamin A: 15% of daily value; vitamin C: 15% of daily value.
Steak burrito bowl at Chipotle
Here’s another beef option for those who’ve had their fill of chicken and salad. With the steak burrito bowl, opt for pinto beans, salsa, and veggies. Skip the calorie-packed rice, cheese, and guacamole.
Nutritional information (with the above options): 310 calories, 29 g protein, 7.5 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 95 mg cholesterol, 1,090 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrates, 11 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar. Calcium: 7% daily value; iron: 32% of daily value; vitamin A: 46% of daily value; vitamin C: 26% of daily value.
Protein Style burger at In-N-Out
You can customize your order at In-N-Out by ordering off the Not-So-Secret menu. One option is to order a burger with lettuce in lieu of the bun. Ditching the bun with a Protein-Style burger will lower your intake of calories and carbs.
Nutritional information (for smallest size): 240 calories, 13 g protein 17 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar. Calcium: 4% of daily value; iron: 15% of daily value; vitamin A: 20% of daily value; vitamin C: 20% of daily value.
MorningStar Veggie Burger at Burger King
This veggie patty at Burger King is packed with protein and fiber. You can also pick up a bit more calcium by adding a slice of cheese. Try pairing the veggie burger with fruits and veggies to increase satiety.
Nutritional information (without cheese): 390 calories, 21 g protein, 17g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, < 5 mg cholesterol, 980 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 9 g sugar. Daily values of calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C are not available.
Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl with Black Beans and Greens at Starbucks
This meal is packed with protein, as its name implies, but it also includes a healthy amount of fiber—not to mention fresh greens, tomatoes, roasted corn, and seasonings. And, unlike some other lower-calorie fast-food options, this protein bowl is probably enough to fill you up for lunch.
Nutritional information: 420 calories, 27 g protein, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 1,030 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 11 g sugar. Daily values of calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C are not available.
Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s
The nice thing about the eggs at McDonald’s is that they are 100% real and free of any added ingredients. The same can’t be said for all fast-food morning fare. In addition to egg, this meal comes with lean Canadian bacon, cheese, and butter.
Nutritional information: 300 calories, 17 g protein, 12 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 245 mg cholesterol, 760 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar. Calcium: 15% of daily value; iron: 15% of daily value; vitamin A: 15% of daily value; vitamin C: 0% of daily value.
Finally, keep in mind that many of these “healthier” fast-food options still contain a lot of salt and sodium, which contributes to heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends fewer than 1,500 mg of sodium per day and to never exceed 2,300 mg per day. To put this value into perspective, consider that the healthy-looking Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl at Starbucks has 1,030 mg of sodium—which alone is about two-thirds of the recommended daily intake of sodium.