While I am not fast food’s biggest fan, I understand that sometimes you can’t help but answer the question “May I take your order?”
So, for those times when you need to squeeze through the drive-thru, here is what I have found to be some “healthy” meal ideas at various fast food chains.
Arby’s had some pretty high caloric food items. Like 90% of their sandwiches (and even salads) were anywhere between 400 and 800 calories. Now, this can be normal for a meal, but when you add curly fries and a large coke, you have used almost half of your days worth of calories on one meal! So, here is the best option I could find.
3 piece prime-cut chicken tenders (350 calories, 17 g fat, 970 mg sodium*)
*I swear, everything on the Arby’s menu is above 1000 mg of sodium. But I guess that is what you get with processed foods.
Side Chopped Salad w/ Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing (use sparingly)* (171 calories, 21 g fat, 355 mg sodium)
*All the dressings where either high in calories and/or high in sodium. I went with one that was kind of in the middle.
Medium brewed unsweetened Iced Tea (5 calories, 0 g fat, o mg sodium)
Total: 526 calories, 38 g fat, 1325 mg sodium
Whopper Jr. (No mayo) (260 calories, 10 g fat, 440 mg sodium)
Apple Slices (30 calories, 0 g fat, 0 sodium)
Small Strawberry Banana Smoothie (200 calories, 0 g fat, 20 mg sodium)
Total: 490 calories, 10 g fat, 460 mg sodium
Chick-fil-A had a lot of high sodium items. Food items would be relatively low in calories, but high in sodium. Even some of their wraps had over 1,000 mg of sodium.
Chargrilled & Fruit Salad w/ reduced fat berry balsamic vinaigrette* (330 calories, 10 g fat, 770 mg sodium)
*use dressing sparingly. Dressing can make a healthy salad go unhealthy.
Medium Lemonade (230 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium)
Total: 560 calories, 10 g fat, 780 mg sodium
KFC actually had some healthy options despite being a place known for their fried chicken! Your fried options are going to be higher in sodium than the grilled options. Also, anything dipped or covered in gravy is going to be high in sodium as well.
Grilled Chicken Drumstick (90 calories, 4 g fat, 290 mg sodium)
Corn on the Cob (70 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 mg sodium)
Mashed Potatoes w/ gravy* (120 calories, 4 g fat, 530 mg sodium)
*Tip: Dip fork in gravy, then in mashed potatoes. You can save 30 calories and about 200 mg sodium
Small iced peach green tea (160 calories, 0 g fat, 50 mg sodium)
Total: 440 calories, 8.5 g fat, 870 mg sodium
Seems like an oxymoron, but a healthy option CAN be found at McDonald’s. Just don’t super-size anything.
Hamburger with lettuce, tomato and ketchup (250 calories, 9 g fat, 480 mg sodium)
Fruit and yogurt parfait (150 calories, 2 g fat, 70 mg sodium)
Small sugar free iced french vanilla coffee (80 calories, 4.5 g fat, 65 mg sodium)
Total: 480 calories, 15.5 g fat, 615 mg sodium
Sonic’s food is awful if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease. I think the only think that didn’t have sodium levels over 1000 mg was either the shakes or condiments. Fat levels were also really high! So, here is the best thing I could find…
Chicken strip sandwich (420 calories, 21 g fat, 810 mg sodium)
Medium low-cal diet cherry limeade (20 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium)
Total: 440 calories, 21 g fat, 825 mg sodium
Word of advice: Stay away from the XXL stuffed burritos.
Chicken Chalupa Supreme (340 calories, 18 g fat, 530 mg sodium)
Cinnamon Twists (170 calories, 7 g fat, 200 mg sodium)
Small diet Pepsi (0 calories, o g fat, 50 mg sodium)
Total: 510 calories, 25 g fat, 780 mg sodium
Half-size Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad w/ lemon garlic caesar dressing (no croutons) (360 calories, 24 g fat, 800 mg sodium)
Apple slices (40 calories, 0 g fat, o mg sodium)
Brewed Sweet Tea (110 calories, o g fat, 10 mg sodium)
Total: 510 calories, 24 g fat, 810 mg sodium
Hopefully this gives you some guidance on what to order at some typical fast food joints. Make good choices!