Well Being

9 Healthy Menu Items That Will Satisfy Your Fast Food Fix Without All That Guilt

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Under normal circumstances, fast food is a big no-no in my book.  But, if you must eat it, you should know that there are healthier items on the menu to choose from. Sometimes scenarios occur that require a quick meal.  Things like busy work days, road trips and even general laziness come to mind.  Rather than going H.A.M. on a triple cheeseburger next time you're hungry, try out my suggestions below from some well known establishments.

1.  Wendy's: The Grilled Chicken Wrap, 270 Calories

Grilled Chicken Wrap 270 Calories

Wendy's prides themselves on being better than just “fast food.”  One of the healthier meals on the menu is going to be the Grilled Chicken Wrap with lettuce, cheese, and honey mustard.  It offers 19 grams of protein with only 270 calories.  They have salads as well; just make sure you are easy on the dressing since the ranch alone can pack almost 100 calories in a serving.  Unfortunately the Chocolate Frosty does not count as a healthy food.  *Tear*

2.  Chipotle: Chicken Tacos, 515 Calories

Chicken Tacos 515 Calories

Some consider this to be the Lamborghini of fast food.  Since their menu can be customized, you have some flexibility here.  The 3 Chicken Tacos on soft corn tortillas with tomato salsa, cheese, and romaine lettuce puts you just a tad over 500 calories.  They’re also very vegetarian friendly with options like a Salad with brown rice, pinto beans, fajita veggies, and tomatillo-green chili salsa (365 calories.)  Don’t forget that some locations sell margaritas.  Fiesta!

3.  Starbucks: Greek Yogurt with Berries Parfait, 220 Calories

Greek Yogurt with Berries Parfait 220 Calories

Believe me, I know how great coffee tastes with a big pumpkin muffin.  However, muffins are known to be sneaky calorie bombs.  Their plain Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal starts at 70 calories and packs fiber with protein to keep you full until lunch.  The Greek Yogurt with Berries Parfait is another option that is only 220 calories and contains 14 grams of protein with 19 grams of sugar.  As compared to 34 grams of sugar in the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin.

4.  Sonic: Chicken Strips, 300 Calories

Chicken Strips 300 Calories

Ahhh drive-in fast food; because you like your meals served with a smile AND on roller skates.  Keep it simple here and stick to the 3 piece Chicken Strips (300 calories) and the Apple Slices with Caramel Dipping Sauce (110 calories.)  Just remember that the Chicken Strips are fried.  I know, I want them even more now too.

5.  Shake Shack: The ShackBurger, 360 Calories

ShackBurger 360 Calories

I had to dig deep for this one.  Their best option here is going to be their all beef Hot Dog which comes in at 320 calories.  A single ShackBurger, which contains cheese, lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce, is 360 calories.  Resist the urge to dive into a Concrete Shake.  If you must indulge, go for the glass of Shack White wine at 120 calories.  It'll make you want to sing “I'm So Fancy” while eating fast food.

6.  KFC: Kentucky Grilled Chicken, 90 Calories

Kentucky Grilled Chicken 90 Calories

When you think of Kentucky Fried Chicken, green smoothies and quinoa don’t exactly pop in your head.  However, they now offer Kentucky Grilled Chicken which contains 90 calories per drumstick.  3 of those and a side of Green Beans will run you about 300 calories total.  Steer clear of that Famous Bowl since it will cost you over 2000 grams of sodium.  Just eat a salt lick instead.

7.  Au Bon Pain: Vegetarian Minestrone Soup, 80 Calories

Vegetarian Minestrone 80 Calories

The smell from the bakery of this place is heavenly.  They also sell salads and are pretty well known for their extensive list of soups.  A small Vegetarian Minestrone soup is only 80 calories.  Pair that with the Tuna Garden Salad and you have a healthy lunch at 350 calories.

8.  Arby's: Jr. Turkey and Cheese Sandwich, 220 Calories

Jr. Turkey and Cheese Sandwich 220 Calories

This is America’s fast food deli.  Try sticking with the Jr. Turkey and Cheese Sandwich (220 calories) and a Chopped Side Salad (70 calories.)  They also have a limited edition Reuben Super Stack which clocks in over 700 calories… But it sounds delicious.  Sorry for teasing like that.

9.  White Castle

White Castle

Honestly, don’t even bother.  There has to be a Chipotle or a Starbucks around the corner.