Sometimes when you’re out and about, you just need a meal fast. But you don’t have to resign to the fact that you’ll just have to eat unhealthy because you’ve chosen a fast food joint. There are healthy alternatives mixed in among all the not so healthy choices. Your best bet is to learn what makes each item unhealthy and choose one of the healthy items. It’ll also help if you study the menus of some of your favorite fast food restaurants. In this article we are answering the question, “what fast foods are the healthiest?”
What should I look for at a fast food restaurant?
- Grilled Meats. Grilled meats are a much healthier way of cooking rather than deep fried, breaded meats. If the fast food place you’re visiting has the option of choosing crispy or fried chicken versus a grilled patty, choose the grilled one.
- Skip the Cheese. While eating some cheese is okay once in awhile, you should avoid it when it comes to keeping fast food calories down. Order the hamburger instead of the cheeseburger.
- Healthier Sides. Some fast food places will offer alternatives to a side of fries. You should inquire about this because you may be able to opt for some healthy fruit or salad instead.
- Don’t Super Size. While it’s tempting to grab some extra food for just a few pennies more, it’ll bump up your portion size far more than you should be eating in one sitting.
- Diet Soda. Some people will laugh at the person who orders the big greasy meal and then orders a diet soda, as if it’ll make a difference. Well it does make a difference, but you need to avoid the big greasy meal in the first place!
What are the healthiest meals at fast food restaurants?
Here’s a list of some healthy choices you can make at some of the most popular fast food restaurants:
- Taco Bell. Taco Bell has come out with a “Fresco Style” menu that allows you to choose popular menu items in a lower calorie style. A menu item ordered fresco style will come back with a special healthier salsa and it’ll also lack cheese.
- McDonalds has made recent strides toward a healthy menu also. They now offer an extended list of premium salads. However, it’s still easy to get fooled into thinking something is healthy when it really isn’t. Make sure you use a low fat dressing on your salad and opt for the grilled chicken. If you grab the ranch and crispy chicken, you may as well be ordering a Big Mac!
- This sandwich shop is one of the most popular healthy and delicious fast food choices. It’s truly easy to choose a sandwich that’ll be good for you when they have a full menu of items that contain only 6 grams of fat or less. But make sure to avoid the creamy, full-fat dressings.
- Wendy’s. If you order a value meal you can definitely opt out of the fries. You can substitute for a baked potato, mandarin oranges, and more.
- Burger King. Like the rest of the popular fast food chains, Burger King has followed suit and made changes. You can opt for healthier alternatives like salads, chicken and fish.
- Chipotle is a Mexican restaurant that is gaining popularity. They have come under scrutiny for offering oversized portions. To combat the portion size, you can simply cut your meal down in half and save the rest for later. It’s also best to order your meal as a bowl instead of a burrito, because the tortilla shell alone can really pack on the calories.
For all other restaurants, you can make an educated decision about the healthy items from the menu. If you’re unsure, ask an employee about their healthy options.