Healthy Fast Food Options

Learn the basics of how to build healthy meals and know the healthiest fast food options for when you are on the go.

Teen Healthy Body – Nutrition – Healthy Fast Food Options

How to Make Healthy Fast Food Choices

Written by Crystal Anthony, M.Ed.

  |  Reviewed by Hina J. Talib, MD

Let’s say that a lot of times, you find yourself at fast food restaurants either because your family is time-crunched or your team stops there on the way back from a game. Does that mean you can’t follow these guidelines? Not at all! Fortunately, many restaurants are providing healthier options, and many even provide helpful cues to which choices are most nutritious. Here are some general guidelines to use at any fast food restaurant.

5 Ways to Build Healthy Fast Food Meals

Knowing the basics of how to build a healthy meal can help you make healthier fast food choices and feel more confident at fast food restaurants. Stick to these 5 basics

# 1 – Add Veggies and Fruits
  • Order a salad with protein on it, use the salad dressing sparingly or choose oil-based over cream-based dressings
  • Choose a side of apples instead of fries
  • Add fajita (sauteed) veggies to your burrito bowl
  • Request a lettuce wrap in place of a burger bun
  • Ask for steamed vegetables in place of stir fried veggies, which can be loaded in salt and fat
# 3 – Add the right Complex Carbohydrates
  • Choose brown rice instead of white rice
  • Add beans
  • Choose a whole wheat tortilla or bread instead of white (flour)
  • Request a baked potato instead of fries
# 4 – Add Lean protein
  • Choose grilled options in place of fried or crispy options
  • Look for whole food options (chicken breast, sliced steak) in place of processed (sausage or chicken tenders)
# 5 – Hydration/Drink Choice
  • Order water instead of soda or juice
8 Healthy Fast Food Options On the Go

Having a few ideas of what to order and knowing the healthiest fast food options can go a long way in helping you make healthier choices when you find yourself at any of these popular fast food restaurants. You can always use the principles above to build a health meal or memorize the options below for future reference.

# 1 – Arby’s: Roast Turkey Salad

# 2 – Boston Market: Rotisserie Chicken Bowl with Fresh Steamed Veggies

# 3 – Chick-Fil-A: Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap

# 4 – Chipotle or Qdoba: Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowl with Brown Rice and Fajita Veggies

# 5 – Denny’s: Loaded Veggie Omelet

# 6 – Panda Express: Broccoli Beef with Brown Rice

# 7 – Panera: Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken

# 8 – Starbucks: Sous Vide Egg Bites with a Side of Fresh Fruit


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