Most people head straight for the salads when looking for healthy options at a fast-food restaurant. That’s a big mistake. Despite their seemingly healthy ingredients, the dressing on your salad is likely to destroy any low-cal benefits it has. And you know you want the dressing. The next time you find yourself perusing the menu of a fast-food restaurant, look for one of these options that aren’t so awful for you. And yes, one of them is a salad.
What Fast Food isn’t Awful for You (Our Top Menu Picks)
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Most fast-food restaurants have them, so go for the grilled chicken sandwich, minus any sauces or dressings. Most come in around 350 calories, 14-30 grams of protein, and 5-17 grams of fat, depending on size and condiments.
Roast Beef or Steak Sandwich
If you just can’t stand to eat another piece of chicken, a roast beef or steak sandwich can be a healthy change of pace. Most roast beef or steak sandwiches contain between 300 to 500 calories, and you can really load on a healthy layer of tomatoes, lettuce, and any other veggies you wish. Go light on or skip mayo or any fancy sauces.
Soft Tacos with Chicken
Warm, soft tacos filled with delicious seasoned chicken is a great way to mix up your fast-food fare. A serving of two soft tacos with chicken weigh in with 350-400 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 20 grams of protein. Ask for extra lettuce and salsa to bulk it up, and you’ll have a meal that will keep you going for a while.
Putting your burrito in a bowl instantly cuts 300 calories from your meal. But when you choose a bowl, you can pile up chicken, beans, and plenty of healthy veggies and salsa. That's a bargain for a mere 510 calories, a whopping 35 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fat if you skip the rice, cheese, and sour cream.
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
Grilled chicken is always a go-to, and teriyaki chicken gives you a little extra flavor without too many extra calories. You do get 36 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat. Add some greens for extra fiber, and you’ll have a complete, tasty meal for under 600 calories.
Chicken or Turkey Salad
If you really want a salad, then, of course, you can have one. Just beware of things like bacon or extra dressing. A salad with chicken or turkey and half a packet of dressing will yield 330 calories,23 grams of protein, and 21 grams of fat. Don't forget to order the dressing on the side.
A regular hamburger served on a bun. No extra meat, no extra sauce, and no cheese. Load it with lettuce and tomato for a healthy 240 calories, 10 g of fat, and 13 g of protein. Add a salad and you've got a great meal.
Thin-crust pizza with plenty of veggies is a great way to get your pizza fix. Choosing thin crust instead of thick can save you almost 100 calories. And piling on the veggies makes it more filling. That gives you about 250 calories and 8 grams of fat per regular slice.