In a world where fast-food is often associated with unhealthy choices, there are actually several fast food restaurants that offer nutritious options. These options can be a lifesaver when you’re in a rush and need to grab a quick meal. Let’s explore some of the best healthy fast food options available at popular fast-food chains.
On this page
- 1 Chipotle: Salad Bowl
- 2 20 Healthy Fast Food Options: Healthy Eating on the Go
- 3 White Castle’s Original Slider: A Surprising Healthy Option
- 4 Burger King: Cheeseburger – A Healthier Fast Food Option
- 5 Quiznos: Spicy Monterey Sub
- 6 Qdoba: Paleo Chicken Salad
- 7 Domino’s: Pacific Veggie Thin Crust
- 8 Arby’s: Roast Beef Gyro
- 9 Au Bon Pain: Mediterranean Salad
- 10 Chick-fil-a Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- 11 Panera Bread
- 12 Taco Bell
- 13 Panda Express
- 14 In-N-Out
- 15 Conclusion
- Despite its reputation, fast food restaurants offer healthy options for those on the go.
- Choosing grilled meats, fresh vegetables, and skipping high-calorie toppings can make any fast food meal healthier.
- fast-food chains like Chipotle, Shake Shack, and Burger King offer customizable menu items that can be tailored to fit your dietary needs.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications, such as extra veggies or lettuce wraps, to make your meal even healthier.
- By making smart choices and focusing on fresh ingredients, you can enjoy fast-food without compromising your health goals.
Chipotle: Salad Bowl
When it comes to healthy fast-food options, Chipotle is a standout choice. While the chain is known for its burritos and tacos, they also offer a delicious and nutritious Salad Bowl. This option allows you to customize your meal with a variety of fresh and flavorful ingredients.
- Grilled chicken or tofu as your protein
- Optional toppings: avocado, pico de gallo, black beans
By choosing grilled chicken or tofu as your protein source and loading up on lettuce, fajitas, and salsa, you can create a satisfying and healthy meal. Skip the rice, cheese, and sour cream if you’re looking to keep it light and lower in calories.
|Grilled Chicken Salad Bowl
|Vegetarian Salad Bowl (with tofu)
With the Chipotle Salad Bowl, you can enjoy a healthy fast-food option that doesn’t sacrifice flavor or nutrition. It’s a great choice for those looking to eat sensibly on the go.
20 Healthy Fast Food Options: Healthy Eating on the Go
Chipotle: Salad Bowl
In a world where fast-food is often associated with unhealthy choices, Chipotle offers a refreshing alternative with its Salad Bowl. This option allows you to enjoy a nutritious meal while still indulging in the convenience of fast-food. Choose grilled chicken or tofu as your protein and load up on fresh vegetables like lettuce, fajitas, and salsa. By skipping the rice, cheese, and sour cream, you can keep your salad light and flavorful.
Shake Shack: Hamburger
When you think of Shake Shack, delicious burgers come to mind. However, you can make your burger a healthier choice by opting for the classic hamburger. Load it up with veggie toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles to add freshness and crunch. For an even lighter option, wrap your burger in lettuce instead of a bun. Shake Shack proves that you can enjoy a satisfying meal without sacrificing your health.
White Castle: Original Slider
While White Castle may not be the first place you think of for healthy food, their Original Slider surprises with its low calorie count. In fact, it’s a better option than their chicken or fish sliders. If you’re looking for a vegetarian choice, go for the Veggie Slider instead of the Impossible Slider. By making these small swaps, you can consume fewer overall calories and fat while still enjoying the convenience of fast-food.
Burger King: Cheeseburger
Burger King offers a healthy fast-food option with their cheeseburger. Compared to their chicken and plant-based alternatives, the single cheeseburger has fewer calories and overall fat content. Customize your cheeseburger by adding extra veggies and pickles to make it more nutritious and satisfying. By making smart choices, you can enjoy a classic fast-food favorite without compromising on your health goals.
Quiznos: Spicy Monterey Sub
If you’re craving a flavorful sub, Quiznos has you covered with their Spicy Monterey Sub. Made with oven-roasted turkey breast, melted provolone, pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and chili sauce, this sandwich is a tasty and healthier option. You can ask for extra veggies to enhance the nutritional value and even reduce the amount of meat if you prefer a lighter option. Skip the chili sauce if you’re not a fan of heat but still want to enjoy a delicious sub.
Qdoba: Paleo Chicken Salad
Qdoba offers a Paleo Chicken Salad that is packed with flavor and nutrition. With grilled chicken, grilled veggies, pico de gallo, salsa verde, and guacamole, this salad is a delicious and healthy choice. Compared to other options on the menu, it contains less sodium, saturated fat, and carbs. Indulge in the goodness of fresh ingredients without compromising on taste or your health.
Domino’s: Pacific Veggie Thin Crust
Even when it comes to pizza, you can still make a healthy choice. Domino’s Pacific Veggie Thin Crust pizza is topped with peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and olives. Opt for the thin crust option to reduce the calorie content. You can even add extra spinach or hot peppers for more veggies and flavor. Enjoy the goodness of pizza while still staying on track with your healthy eating plan.
Arby’s: Roast Beef Gyro
Arby’s Roast Beef Gyro offers the perfect balance of meat and veggie goodness in a warm pita. While Arby’s is known for their roast beef, this menu option is a healthier alternative. Enjoy the big Greek-inspired flavor and fill up on a satisfying meal without compromising on taste or your health goals.
Au Bon Pain: Mediterranean Salad
Au Bon Pain’s Mediterranean Salad is a nutritious option that is sure to satisfy. Packed with a variety of veggies, including greens, peppers, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and chickpeas, this vegetarian salad offers a delicious blend of flavors. It’s a perfect choice to meet your daily vegetable intake and boost your intake of vitamins and fiber.
White Castle’s Original Slider: A Surprising Healthy Option
When it comes to healthiest fast food, White Castle may not be the first restaurant that comes to mind for healthy options. However, their Original Slider is surprisingly low in calories, making it a healthier choice for those looking to enjoy a quick meal without the guilt. In fact, the Original Slider even tops their chicken and fish sliders in terms of overall calories and fat content.
For individuals seeking a vegetarian option, White Castle also offers the Veggie Slider. By opting for the Veggie Slider instead of the Impossible Slider, you can consume fewer overall calories and fat. This makes it a great choice for those looking to reduce their calorie intake while still enjoying the flavor and convenience of ”fast-food”.
The Health Benefits of White Castle’s Original Slider
While it may seem counterintuitive, the Original Slider from White Castle offers several health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at why this seemingly indulgent fast-food option can actually be a sensible choice:
- Lower in calories compared to other slider options
- Surprisingly less fat content
- Provides a satisfying and convenient meal option
- Can be paired with healthier sides such as a side salad or fruit cup
|Total Fat (g)
|Saturated Fat (g)
Table: A comparison of the nutritional information for White Castle’s Original Slider, Chicken Slider, and Fish Slider.
While it’s important to note that the Original Slider is still a processed fast-food option, it can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. Pairing it with healthier sides and making mindful choices throughout the day can help you maintain a sensible eating plan while still indulging in the occasional treat.
Burger King: Cheeseburger – A Healthier Fast Food Option
When it comes to fast food burger, Burger King may not be the first place that comes to mind for healthy options. However, you’ll be surprised to know that you can still enjoy a delicious cheeseburger while making a healthier choice. By making a few simple modifications and adding extra veggies, you can create a nutritious meal that is lower in calories and still satisfies your fast-food cravings.
Start by ordering a single cheeseburger, which has fewer calories and overall fat content compared to some of the other options on the menu. Customize your cheeseburger by adding extra veggies like lettuce and tomatoes. These additions not only enhance the flavor but also provide important nutrients. You can also opt for pickles, which add a crunchy texture and a tangy flavor.
By choosing a cheeseburger with extra veggies, you’ll be getting additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals while keeping the calorie count lower. This option allows you to enjoy the convenience and taste of fast-food without compromising your health goals. So the next time you’re at Burger King, give their cheeseburger a try and make it a healthier choice by adding extra veggies.
Benefits of Extra Veggies in a Burger:
- Provides additional fiber, promoting healthy digestion
- Increases vitamin and mineral intake, supporting overall health
- Delivers satisfying crunch and flavor
- Enhances the nutritional profile of the cheeseburger
- Helps you stay fuller for longer, reducing the chances of overeating
So remember, fast-food doesn’t have to be synonymous with unhealthy choices. With a few simple modifications, like adding extra veggies to your Burger King cheeseburger, you can enjoy a tasty meal that is both satisfying and nutritious.
|Total Fat (g)
|Burger King Cheeseburger (single)
|Burger King Crispy Chicken Sandwich
|Burger King Impossible Whopper
Quiznos: Spicy Monterey Sub
If you’re craving a tasty and satisfying sub, look no further than Quiznos’ Spicy Monterey Sub. This delicious sandwich features oven roasted turkey breast, melted provolone, pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and chili sauce for an extra kick of flavor. You can even customize it by adding extra veggies to make it even healthier and more nutritious.
The oven roasted turkey breast in this sub provides a lean source of protein, while the veggies like lettuce and tomato add freshness and crunch. The melted provolone adds a creamy and savory element to the sandwich. And if you enjoy a bit of spice, the chili sauce gives it that perfect zing.
By choosing Quiznos’ Spicy Monterey Sub, you can enjoy a fast-food option that is both delicious and healthy. With the added veggies and lean protein, it’s a great choice for a balanced meal on the go. So next time you’re in the mood for a sub, give the Spicy Monterey Sub a try and savor the flavors in every bite.
Qdoba: Paleo Chicken Salad
When it comes to healthy fast-food options, Qdoba’s Paleo Chicken Salad is a standout choice. This delicious salad is packed with flavor and nutrition, making it a satisfying and guilt-free meal.
The star of this salad is the grilled chicken, which provides lean protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied. The grilled veggies add a burst of freshness, while the pico de gallo and salsa verde bring a zesty kick. And let’s not forget about the creamy and flavorful guacamole, which adds healthy fats and a creamy texture to the salad.
What sets this salad apart from others is its lower sodium content. Qdoba understands the importance of reducing sodium intake for a healthier lifestyle, and their Paleo Chicken Salad reflects this commitment. With its combination of grilled chicken, veggies, guacamole, and flavorful dressings, this salad is a delightful and nutritious option for those looking to make healthier choices at a fast-food restaurant.
Table: Nutritional Information for Qdoba’s Paleo Chicken Salad
As you can see from the nutritional information, Qdoba’s Paleo Chicken Salad provides a balanced combination of macronutrients. With moderate amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, this salad is a great option for those who are watching their calorie intake or following a specific diet plan.
So the next time you’re looking for a healthy fast-food option, head to Qdoba and give their Paleo Chicken Salad a try. With its grilled chicken, veggies, guacamole, and lower sodium content, it’s a tasty and nutritious choice that won’t leave you feeling deprived.
Domino’s: Pacific Veggie Thin Crust
When it comes to healthy fast food places, Domino’s may not be the first place that comes to mind. However, they offer a surprisingly nutritious choice with their Pacific Veggie Thin Crust pizza. This delicious pizza is topped with a variety of veggie toppings, making it a great option for those looking to incorporate more vegetables into their diet.
The thin crust helps to reduce the calorie content of the pizza, making it a lighter choice compared to their regular crust options. You can also customize your pizza by adding extra spinach or hot peppers for even more veggie goodness and flavor. Indulge in the goodness of pizza without the guilt and stay on track with your healthy eating plan.
Table: Nutritional Comparison
|Total Fat (g)
|Pacific Veggie Thin Crust
|Regular Cheese Pizza
As you can see from the nutritional comparison table, the Pacific Veggie Thin Crust pizza has fewer calories, less total fat, and lower sodium content than the regular cheese and pepperoni pizzas. This makes it a healthier choice for those looking to enjoy a pizza without going overboard on calories and unhealthy fats.
So the next time you’re craving pizza but still want to make a healthy choice, consider ordering Domino’s Pacific Veggie Thin Crust. With its veggie toppings and lighter crust, you can satisfy your pizza cravings while staying on track with your healthy eating goals.
Arby’s: Roast Beef Gyro
When it comes to traditional fast food, Arby’s has a standout choice with their Roast Beef Gyro. This flavorful menu item combines the goodness of roast beef with a delightful mix of veggie goodness, all wrapped in a warm pita. The combination of tender roast beef, fresh vegetables, and warm pita bread creates a satisfying and nutritious meal.
With the Roast Beef Gyro, you can enjoy the savory taste of slow-roasted beef that is thinly sliced and perfectly seasoned. The addition of fresh vegetables, such as crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy onions, provides a refreshing and vibrant contrast to the rich flavors of the roast beef. The warm pita bread completes the gyro, adding a satisfying texture and making it easy to enjoy on the go.
By choosing the Roast Beef Gyro at Arby’s, you can indulge in a delicious and healthy fast-food option. The combination of protein from the roast beef and the vitamins and fiber from the fresh vegetables makes for a well-balanced meal. So the next time you’re craving a satisfying gyro, head to Arby’s and savor their Roast Beef Gyro for a guilt-free and flavorful experience.
Au Bon Pain: Mediterranean Salad
If you’re looking for a healthy fast-food option packed with a variety of veggies, then Au Bon Pain’s Mediterranean Salad is a great choice. This vegetarian salad is bursting with flavor and nutrition, making it a delicious and satisfying meal.
- Fresh greens
- Colorful peppers
- Tangy kalamata olives
- Creamy feta cheese
- Protein-rich chickpeas
- A variety of other vegetables
By incorporating this salad into your healthy fast-food options, you’ll be getting a variety of vitamins and fiber from the abundance of vegetables. The flavorful combination of ingredients will leave your taste buds satisfied, while the nutritious components will provide you with the energy you need to get through your day.
|Benefits of Au Bon Pain’s Mediterranean Salad
|Vitamins and Minerals
In addition to its nutritional benefits, the Mediterranean Salad from Au Bon Pain is a convenient option for those looking for a quick and healthy meal. Whether you’re on a lunch break or need a light dinner, this salad provides a satisfying and nourishing choice.
Remember, when you’re in a rush and need to eat on the go, it’s still possible to make sensible choices that align with your health goals. Au Bon Pain’s Mediterranean Salad is just one example of the variety of healthy fast-food options available, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice taste or nutrition for convenience.
Chick-fil-a Grilled Chicken Sandwich
The Grilled Chicken Sandwich from Chick-fil-A is a popular choice for those looking for a healthier fast-food option. Here are some key details about it:
- Ingredients: The sandwich typically includes a boneless, skinless chicken breast that’s been marinated and grilled. It’s served on a multigrain bun and typically comes with lettuce and tomato slices. The chicken is seasoned with a blend of spices, adding flavor without excessive calories.
- Nutritional Profile: This sandwich is known for being lower in calories, fat, and carbohydrates than many other fast-food sandwiches. The grilled chicken provides a good source of lean protein, which is essential for muscle maintenance and overall health. The multigrain bun adds some dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestion.
- Customization Options: You can customize the sandwich to fit your dietary needs. For instance, you can ask for no added sauces or dressings, which can reduce the calorie and fat content. You can also request additional vegetables, like extra lettuce or tomato, to increase the sandwich’s vitamin and fiber content.
- Healthier Choice: Compared to fried chicken options, the Grilled Chicken Sandwich is a healthier choice due to its method of cooking. Grilling chicken, as opposed to frying, significantly reduces the calorie and fat content.
- Suitable for Various Diets: This sandwich can be suitable for those on a lower-calorie diet, or for people looking to eat a more balanced meal while on the go. It’s also a good option for those trying to reduce their intake of processed and fried foods.
- Taste Profile: The sandwich is known for its savory and slightly smoky flavor, thanks to the grilled cooking method. The fresh lettuce and tomato add a crisp, refreshing contrast to the warm chicken.
- Sauce Options: Chick-fil-A offers a variety of sauces and dressings. Choosing a lighter option, like the Light Italian Dressing or Honey Mustard Sauce, can add flavor without too many additional calories.
Overall, the Grilled Chicken Sandwich from Chick-fil-A is a tasty, nutritious option for fast-food, especially for those seeking a balance of flavor and healthfulness.
Panera Bread offers a variety of healthy menu options. Here are some of the healthiest fast-food choices according to a dietitian:
|Mediterranean Bowl with Chicken
|Salad with greens, quinoa, cucumbers, hummus, olives, and feta.
|Deli Turkey Sandwich
|Lean turkey, greens, tomatoes, and mustard on sourdough bread.
|Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich
|Peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and hummus, preferably on whole wheat bread.
|Brown rice, quinoa, black bean and corn salsa, tomatoes, avocados, and greens.
|Slow-cooked chili with veggies, chickpeas, and kidney beans.
|Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup
|Butternut squash and pumpkin in vegetable broth with fall spices.
|Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries and Pecans
|Whole-grain oats with strawberries and pecans.
|Chipotle Chicken, Egg & Avocado on Ciabatta
|Smoked, pulled chicken, Peppadew peppers, and avocado on ciabatta roll.
This table provides a quick overview of the nutritional content of these healthier options at Panera Bread.
Taco Bell offers a variety of options that can be considered healthier compared to traditional fast food spots. Some of the best healthy options on their menu include:
- Power Menu Bowl: This bowl is packed with proteins like grilled chicken or steak, along with rice, black beans, cheese, sour cream, and avocado ranch sauce. You can customize it by adding or removing ingredients to fit your dietary needs.
- Black Beans and Rice: A simple and vegetarian option, this dish offers a good source of fiber and protein without too much fat or calories.
- Fresco Style Items: Ordering your favorite Taco Bell items “Fresco style” replaces the cheese, sour cream, mayo-based sauces, and guacamole with freshly prepared pico de gallo. This significantly reduces fat and calories.
- Grilled Chicken Soft Taco: Choosing grilled chicken over beef and avoiding creamy sauces can make for a healthier taco option.
- Veggie Power Menu Burrito: For a vegetarian option, this burrito includes ingredients like black beans, cheese, sour cream, and seasoned rice, and you can customize it further according to your preferences.
- Bean Burrito: A classic option, the bean burrito is high in fiber and protein, but be mindful of the cheese and red sauce if you’re watching your calorie intake.
Remember, the key to enjoying fast-food while staying healthy is moderation and mindful customization of your orders. Opting for grilled items over fried, avoiding high-calorie sauces, and including more vegetables can make your fast-food meals healthier.
The healthiest menu options at Panda Express, according to a dietitian, healthiest fast food orders include:
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken: 340 calories, 13g fat, 630mg sodium, 14g carbs, 41g protein. It’s high in protein and low in fat.
- String Bean Chicken Breast: 210 calories, 12g fat, 560mg sodium, 13g carbs, 12g protein. This dish is low in fat and a good source of protein and fiber.
- Broccoli Beef: 150 calories, 7g fat, 520mg sodium, 13g carbs, 9g protein. A healthy option for red meat lovers, low in calories and fat.
- Black Pepper Angus Steak: 210 calories, 10g fat, 560mg sodium, 13g carbs, 19g protein. It’s part of the “Wok Smart” dishes, offering at least 8 grams of protein for under 300 calories.
- Mushroom Chicken: 220 calories, 14g fat, 840mg sodium, 10g carbs, 13g protein. This chicken option with vegetables provides ample protein with low calories.
For sides, consider:
- Super Greens: 90 calories, 3g fat, 260mg sodium, 10g carbs, 6g protein. Made with broccoli, cabbage, and kale, it’s low in calories and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
- Steamed Brown Rice: 420 calories, 4g fat, 15mg sodium, 86g carbs, 9g protein. It’s a better choice than white rice due to more fiber and nutrients.
In-N-Out Burger is known for its simple menu focused on burgers, fries, and shakes. However, finding healthier options at In-N-Out, like many fast-food restaurants, can be a bit challenging due to the limited menu. Here are some tips to make your In-N-Out meal healthier:
- Protein Style Burger: Order your burger “Protein Style” to replace the bun with a lettuce wrap. This reduces the calorie and carbohydrate content significantly.
- Hamburger Instead of Cheeseburger: Opting for a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger cuts down on calories and fat.
- Go Easy on the Sauce: The spread used in In-N-Out burgers is similar to Thousand Island dressing, which is high in calories and fat. Ask for the spread on the side or for less spread.
- No Fries or Share Them: In-N-Out’s fries are made fresh but are still high in calories. Consider skipping them or share a portion with someone else.
- Water Instead of Soda or Shakes: Choose water or bring your own low-calorie beverage instead of soda or milkshakes.
- Single Patty: Choose a single patty burger rather than a double-double to keep the calorie and fat content lower.
- Add Onions and Tomatoes: Increase the nutritional value by adding extra onions and tomatoes, which provide vitamins and fiber.
Remember, while these tips can help make your meal at In-N-Out healthier, fast-food should generally be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
In today’s fast-paced world, eating on the go has become an inevitable part of our lifestyle. However, this doesn’t mean compromising on health. With the guidance of nutritionists and a mindful approach, it’s possible to make sensible choices at fast-food restaurants. Options like egg whites, whole grains, and baked potatoes are not only nutritious but also delicious, fitting seamlessly into an overall healthy diet. For instance, a meal under 350 calories with a good balance of protein can keep you energized without the guilt.
fast-food orders, often perceived as comfort food high in fat and sodium, can be tailored to be part of the healthiest fast-food choices. Many fast-food spots now offer several healthy options. A dish with 27 g of protein and around 200 calories, or a snack with just 140 calories, can be a game changer. Even more substantial meals, providing a lot of food for around 190 calories, are on the rise. These healthiest fast-food orders demonstrate that you can maintain a healthy diet even when you’re eating on the go.
A smart approach involves looking for meals with a balance of protein, with options like 7 grams of protein per serving, and keeping an eye on the grams of fat and sodium content. While some options are quite high in sodium, there are choices available with a reasonable amount of sodium, like those containing around 850 mg. Similarly, dishes with around 19 g of protein can offer a nutritious boost.
In summary, fast-food places are evolving, offering options that fit into an overall healthy diet. With offerings ranging from 350 calories to as low as 140 calories, these options are also satisfying and diverse. By choosing wisely, focusing on a good balance of protein, and being conscious of fat and sodium content, fast-food can be part of a sensible, nutritious diet, even when you’re constantly on the move.