There is a growing initiative to revamp fat-filled menus with new healthy fast food options.
Poor fast food choices can lead to hundreds or thousands of calories in a single meal but fortunately, customers have several healthy fast food meal options, and not all menu choices are fattening.
Many healthy fast food restaurants are even including brochures with nutrition information prominently placed in their stores.
Most people can eat a healthy fast food lunch on the go, if they know where to look.
Fast food should not be a diet staple for anyone, but it is nice to have some quick lunch options for those occasional meals on the run.
Here are some possible healthy fast food lunch choices from ten popular fast food restaurants, arranged alphabetically for convenience.
Each of these healthy fast food lunches has under 500 calories, and the calorie counts come straight from the restaurant websites.
1. Burger King VEGGIE Burger
The Burger King VEGGIE Burger is a good low-calorie, low-fat lunch option. Without the mayonnaise and cheese, the calorie count comes to about 415 calories. This includes a small side salad with fat-free ranch dressing.
2. Carl’s Jr. (Hardee’s) Charbroiled Santa Fe Chicken
For a spicy southwestern taste, the 320-calorie Charbroiled Santa Fe Chicken sandwich from Carl’s Jr. is just the ticket. Add a side salad with low-fat balsamic dressing, and the meal stays under 500 calories.
3. El Pollo Loco Flame Grilled Chicken Breast
The Flame Grilled Chicken breast from El Pollo Loco is a good low-calorie meal option, at 220 calories (or 180 calories for skinless chicken). Pair it with a small bowl of chicken tortilla soup for a great-tasting Mexican food meal under 500 calories.
4. Jack in the Box Grilled Chicken Salad
Jack in the Box serves a tasty Grilled Chicken Salad with low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. Add a side of Chiquita apple bites with caramel, and the meal comes to little more than 350 calories.
5. KFC Crispy Chicken BLT Salad
KFC’s Crispy Chicken BLT Salad meal is a winner at 465 calories. This includes fat-free ranch dressing and a small corn on the cob side order. Many people don’t think KFC for low calorie options, but their salads and delectable sides make healthy fast food lunches a reality.
6. McDonalds Hamburger and Ice Cream
Even a McDonalds hamburger can be a healthy fast food option when French fries are exchanged for apple slices and a vanilla reduced-fat ice cream cone. Calorie-counting customers are safe, since this meal has around 415 calories. This particular option is surprising but nonetheless a beneficial lunch choice. Also try McDonald’s fruit and yogurt parfaits on the dollar menu for
7. Panda Express String Bean Chicken
A string bean chicken meal without the rice is a low-calorie lunch option from Panda Express. Along with a small cup of hot-and-sour soup, this meal has the lowest calorie counts on the list: 310 calories. Make sure that your Chinese fast food option is MSG free and uses quality meat without filler breading and sugary sauces. Chinese food can be tricky but still has potential to be low calorie.
8. Subway Turkey Sub Sandwich
Subway customers can “eat fresh” with a variety of sandwich choices. The six-inch turkey sub without cheese will keep the meal around 410 calories. This includes mustard and veggie toppings, as well as a small bag of baked potato chips. The fact that chips could be included in any meal under 500 calories is astounding, testifying to Subway’s dedication to healthy options. Subway also consistently offers filling options for the calories as well.
9. Taco Bell Fresco Chicken Soft Taco
The Fresco Chicken soft taco from Taco Bell is another possible lunch option. Eaten with a side of Mexican rice and a side of Pintos-n-Cheese, the meal comes to about 440 calories. Taco Bell has made more light options available in recent years with their Fresco options.
10. Wendy’s Chili
A large bowl of chili from Wendy’s will keep lunch to 500 calories. This includes a junior size vanilla frosty, the ice cream treat that made Wendy’s famous. For the person looking to provide more substance to their meal than the frosty, Wendy’s extensive side options rather than fries provide an excellent light lunch.
A salad or baked potato makes unique fast food fare. Fast food is quick, convenient, and inexpensive. Informed customers can enjoy the price and convenience and still watch their calories by making wise menu choices. Many restaurant chains are now offering healthy fast food lunches as menu options in addition to their traditional fast food. By checking nutrition guides and preparing ahead of time, people can grab a much healthier lunch on the run.
Mac Hildebrand is a nutrition enthusiast for a weight training website who enjoys experimenting with healthy fast food lunches because of his busy schedule. He also stays healthy and helps people get American auto insurance companies with cheap rates that offer cheap auto insurance quotes for teens.