While fast food is not typically a dieter's friend, some items featured on menus at popular fast food restaurants are appropriate for customers watching what they eat. You may be surprised by what some of these items are (hint: they're not all salad).
Best Fast Food Options
Don't allow a stop at a fast food restaurant to derail your diet progress. Below are some of the best options for fast food menu items from popular chains based on calories. Remember, though, that fast foods are not typically prepared in the healthiest ways and are often high in fat and sodium. Take this into consideration when choosing food items.
Fast Food Breakfasts
Skipping breakfast can cause your metabolism to go haywire, so it's important to eat something in the morning. If fast food is your only choice, choose something from the list below.
|Breakfast Menu Items||Calories||Fat Grams||Sodium (mg)|
|Dunkin Donuts Egg White Flatbread||280||4||690|
|McDonald's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal||290||4||160|
|Starbucks Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap||290||10||830|
|Burger King Three Piece French Toast Sticks||230||2||260|
|Wendy's Baked Oatmeal Bar||290||10||220|
When choosing a side to accompany your breakfast item, go for plain fruit instead of hash browns. Skip sugary juices and lattes and instead opt for black coffee, hot tea or water.
Lunch and Dinner Items
Save a substantial amount of calories and fat by not ordering a combo meal complete with French fries. Instead, opt for healthier side item options or avoid side items altogether. Good options for side dishes include:
- Side salad without dressing
- Plain baked potato
Ask what healthy, low-calorie side item options are available when you order.
|Menu Items||Calories||Fat Grams||Sodium (mg)|
|Panda Express Broccoli Beef (no rice)||120||4||660|
|Chick-fil-A 8 Piece Nuggets with BBQ Sauce||270||13||1060|
|Wendy's Pecan Chicken Salad (half size)||340||18||710|
|KFC Honey Barbeque Sandwich||320||3.5||770|
|Jack in the Box Chicken Fajita Pita||326||11||987|
|Quiznos Honey Bourbon Chicken Sandwich (small)||360||6||1000|
|Pizza Hut Veggie Lover's Thin & Crispy Pizza (medium - one slice)||180||6||560|
|Arby's Roast Beef Classic Sandwich||360||14||970|
Make Good Choices
Fast food should not be a mainstay of your diet, but you can follow a low-calorie diet while occasionally indulging in some fast food items.
Get Nutritional Info
Fast food restaurants should have nutritional information available for all of their menu items, although sometimes these numbers are not posted prominently and you will have to ask for them.
Think about ways you can lower the calorie content of some of your favorite fast food items, such as:
- Say no to mayonnaise and dressings
- Skip cheese
- Don't order sugar-laden beverages to accompany your meal
- Try your favorite sandwich "protein style," which is wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun
- Order the smallest size available
Just because a meal is presented to you does not mean you have to eat the entire thing. Pay attention to your satiety levels and if halfway through your meal you decide you're satisfied, stop eating. You may be surprised by the small amount of fast food it takes for you to feel full when you really stop and listen to your body.