If you’ll notice, places like Hard Rock Café, Shoney’s and other fast food chains are now offering healthy meals, which goes to show that restaurants and bars today have become health conscious too. If you want to eat healthy but not quite ready to give up fast food, that’s all right, as there are plenty of fast food meals under 500 calories with fiber, protein and limited amounts of fat.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Fruit Cup (Chick-fil-A)
Chick-fil-A grilled chicken sandwiches are among the healthiest fast food meals, and similar sandwiches are served in Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s, and Wendy’s. Actually, many fast food chains have grilled chicken sandwiches in the menu, but if you want to eat healthy don’t order the creamy sauce or mayonnaise, and make sure that it comes in a whole grain bun.
If you order Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich without the BBQ honey roasted sauce, and pair it with a cup of fruit, you’ll get just over 400 calories, 30 g protein, 6 g fiber and 65 g carbohydrate. In addition the fruit and sandwich only has 1120 mg sodium, 55 mg cholesterol, 1 g saturated fat and zero trans fat.
Wendy’s Chili-Topped Potato
Well there’s really no chili topped potato available at Wendy’s, but you can whip this up yourself by ordering their plain baked potato and a chili. Combined, the two provides you with a delicious meal with limited amounts of fat and plenty of carbs and protein. Furthermore, the meal gives you 12 grams of fiber, 50% of your daily requirements.
With the baked potato and chili you’ll only consume 460 calories, 21 g protein, 80 g carbohydrate and only 855 mg sodium. The cholesterol is only 40 mg and there’s zero trans fat, 2.5 g saturated fat and 6 g fat, which is pretty good.
KFC Corn on the Cob, Grilled Chicken Breast with Mashed Potatoes
The next time you’re at KFC and want something healthy, order the grilled chicken breast for your entrée and some corn and mashed potatoes on the side. This combo only has 10 grams of fat and 49 grams of carbohydrate, plus you absorb 41 grams of protein. Overall, a meal consisting of a 5.5-inch corncob, mashed potatoes and grilled chicken only has 430 calories, 905 mg sodium, 90 mg cholesterol and zero trans fat. In addition, the meal only has 2 grams of saturated fat and 10 g of fat.
Chick-Fil-A Chick-n-Minis Breakfast
There are plenty of healthy breakfast sandwiches available now, such as the Jack in the Box’s Breakfast Jack which only has 284 calories, 790 mg sodium, 4 grams saturated fat and 11 grams fat. If you’d rather go to McDonald’s, order their Egg McMuffin, which has 2 g fiber and 18 g of protein, something that most other breakfast meals cannot match.
But the healthiest option is definitely the Chick-Fil-A’s Chick-n-minis, as it has the lowest amount of cholesterol, fat and calories among the more popular fast food chains. To give you an idea, Chick-Fil-A’s Chick-n-Minis only have 260 calories, 14 g protein, 1 g fiber and 30 g carbohydrate. The meal also has just 650 mg sodium, 40 mg cholesterol, 0 g trans fat and 2.5 g saturated fat.
Jack in the Box Chicken Teriyaki Bowl
This dish would have been higher on the list if the sodium level were lower (1461 mg) and if it had brown rice instead of white rice. Even so, its saturated fat is low and it has 4 grams of fiber and 25 grams of protein. These figures are very similar to the Jack in the Box’s Steak Teriyaki Bowl, but the steak has a higher sodium level (1739 mg) and has a couple more grams of fat.
To quickly summarize the figures, the Chicken Teriyaki Bowl contains 585 calories, yes over 500, but it only has a single gram of saturated fat, 6 g fat and 25 g protein. The meal also has 4 g fiber, 106 g carbohydrate, 36 mg cholesterol and 0 trans fat.
McDonalds Southwest Salad and Fruit n Yogurt Parfait
Most fast food grilled chicken salads are actually quite healthy provided the chicken is grilled and there’s only light dressing. Among the healthiest is McDonald’s Southwest Salad, as it is very high in protein and fiber and very low in saturated fat. If you order a meal of grilled chicken Southwest Salad (minus the dressing) with Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait, it only adds up to 480 calories.
In addition, you get 34 g of protein, 7 g fiber and 61 g carbohydrate. The meal also has just 1045 mg sodium, 75 mg cholesterol, 0 g trans fat and 4 g saturated fat.
So as you can see, there are healthy meal options available now, so you don’t need to abandon your favorite fast food joints yet.