Whenever you go for fast food you think you would end up with a burger and fries. Sometimes you hit the greasy spots to satisfying a naughty craving or emotionally eat your way out of a breakup. Although this is not the best remedy to cure your aching heart or fill your hunger, it is a reality. Fast food joints are at every corner of every neighborhood. They are priced inexpensive making it easier for people to not break the bank when “dining out”. Advertisements for these foods are plastered all over billboards and in television breaks, making viewers extremely aware of their presence and accessibility. Sometimes you question leader’s motives when a soda is priced less than a bottle of water or when a poutine is cheaper than vegetables. It is as if you are drawn and encouraged to make unhealthy decisions, yet marketers almost deter people from making a healthier choice easily. Do not give up hope just yet, even if we are programmed to flock towards the golden arches, there are alternatives for folks who just want to keep it healthy. The following food items are available to consumers so that they do not have to feel so bad about frequenting a fast food restaurant. Open up wide and take a bite out of these 10 fast food items that are actually healthy…
10. Wendy’s – Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad
Everything about Wendy’s seems innocent and fun and never a place that you would associate with a negative thought. Unfortunately behind great advertising, is the brutal reality that Wendy’s is not exactly the healthiest of choices on the fast food map. Fortunately, there are some choices on their wide-ranging menu that you can gravitate towards that won’t leave a few extra pounds on the hips. Despite how much you want to dip your fries in your frosty, Wendy’s carries an array of awesome salads to choose from. One of the most popular salad choices is the Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad. This tasty salad includes feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, grilled chicken, hummus and a blend of grains. What’s great about this salad is that you do not have to commit to a full size, you can opt for a half portion size. The half portion size only comes down to 240 calories and leaves you feeling full. The full portion is 450 calories but is not necessarily the “bad” calories. You are filled with vegetables, proteins and plenty of grains. These constitute as the “good” calories you can consume. Wendy’s hit the ball out of the park with creating this delicious dish!
9. McDonald’s – Asian Grilled Chicken Sandwich
McDonald’s is no doubt the leading contender in the fast food world. You associate this chain with burgers and fries and do not of going to McDonald’s after hitting the or when trying to lose weight. McDonald’s is definitely aware of this and does everything it can in order to keep it’s clientele happy. McDonald’s has introduced countless salads and wrap options and have also included the number of calories for each selection on their menu. The Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich is an item that is all natural with no artificial flavors and simple toppings/ Tomato slice, lettuce, grill seasoning and an herb vinaigrette sauce encompassed the artisan roll and the chicken filet to complete the sandwich. The entire sandwich comes out of 380 calories with 7 grams of fat, 44 grams of total carbs and 37 grams of protein. McDonald’s suggest pairings to go with the sandwich including a side salad, a cup of coffee or diet coke. The sandwich is one of the healthier options you can choose from the menu as long as you do not pair it with another item that will throw your healthy choice out of the window. McDonald’s does not shy away from showing you that there are options for eating with them and staying healthy.
8. Pizza Hut – Garden Party Thin Crust Pizza
Pizza! Who can resist a delicious slice of cheesy heaven? Unfortunately when you are on a diet, pizza is something many try to stay far, far away from. What if I told you that you can actually enjoy pizza and not feel like you just have consumed a ton of grease, cheese, and toppings to last you a year?! Well, you are in luck because Pizza Hut has made this possible! The restaurant chain has launched many new different varieties of pizza for you to try and enjoy. One of these pizzas includes the thin crust garden party pizza. It is a no-brainer, first of all, that choosing a thin crust option instead of a cheese stuffed or thick dough pan pizza is a better choice and minimizes the calories. Now to top off the thin dough option on the garden party, you have countless veggie options to add on top. Some popular picks include spinach, cherry peppers, mushrooms, onions and is topped off with a balsamic sauce drizzle. It has become insanely popular to diners and a big request for those who want their pizza and to eat it too! Keep up the good work pizza and let the healthy continue to heat things up!
7. Subway – Turkey Breast Sub
Subway is known for being one of the first restaurants to go to for a healthy option that will not add inches to your waist. It was one of the first places to have a campaign and spokesperson to endorse their sandwiches as a method of losing weight. Remember Jared Fogle? Unfortunately, Subway had to drop him after some negative information was released damaging his reputation. One of the best sandwiches to get at Subway is the turkey breast option. You have to be careful when selecting your topping options for your sandwiches though. Adding too many creamy sauces or olives, for example, can jack up the calorie amount right away and leave you not feeling so hot. The average 6-inch turkey sandwich option comes out to about 290 calories, depending on the toppings you choose. You are always left full and have many side options that you can choose from to complete your meal. Try to steer away from the chips and flock towards salads or soups to complete your combination. There are different options of bread selections also, whole wheat being one of the most healthy as opposed to honey and oats. Keeping the cheese off the sandwich reduces calories as well. Eat fresh!
6. Taco Bell – Shredded Chicken Burrito
Taco Bell is a chain that can be found all over, it is not as popular as some of the other major restaurant chains, but it has a following that is for sure. It serves Mexican style of food and people flock to it when they want a little spice or kick to their food option. Think of a lot of cheese and flour when it comes to what Taco Bell is serving. It really does not strike as the healthiest place to choose if you are trying to watch your weight or cholesterol. Taco Bell has included a shredded chicken burrito option that can be chosen that will not burst your jean buttons open after consumption. It is a mix of shredded chicken, seasoned rice, cheese and avocado and ranch sauce. You have the option to upgrade and add guacamole, nacho cheese sauce or eliminate the meat altogether and choose the vegetarian bean option as a filler instead. It comes to a minimum of 420 calories depending on what else you put on it. It is very popular because of the price tag as well. You can get the generic shredded chicken wrap for under $5, it is quite a steal!
5. Burger King – Veggie Burger
It is very common this day and age for people to choose to be a vegetarian. More and more restaurants have begun accommodating the growing population of vegetarians. Burger King is definitely one of these restaurants. They have introduced a long time ago a veggie burger option. People who eat meat even choose this option instead sometimes because it is so delicious. It contains a patty that is made of real vegetables and grains and topped any way you would like. It comes out to about 390 calories and 17 grams of fat. Burger King lets the public know about every nutritional fact there is when it comes to the ingredients in their food. When compared to the other sandwich selections from Burger King, the veggie burger is definitely a health conscious and wise choice from the menu. Burger King teamed up with Morningstar Farms in order to provide the restaurants with the vegetable patties. Originally the burger was vegan but now includes soy-based patties that include dairy and mayonnaise. The overall cost for the burger is roughly $3.29 and around 5.49 for the combination included vegan fries. Although the taste is completely different from that of a real hamburger, it is still a great option that has been included in the chain’s menu.
4. Starbucks – Protein Bistro Box
Now when you think of Starbucks you automatically think of delicious COFFEE! The coffee chain has branched out and has begun to include more and more snacking and meal options to go with your cup of Joe. Recently protein boxes and bowls have been introduced to the variety of products sold by the massive and widely popular chain. There are multiple options to get your protein packed into your day. They include eggs and cheese, smoked turkey, chicken BLT, chicken wrap, peanut butter and jelly, cheese and fruit, chicken and quinoa protein bowl and lentils, veggies and brown rice. You would never think that a coffee shop would branch into almost a kind of mini restaurant that serves millions of clients per day on to go. They guarantee a minimum of 20 grams of protein and a full cup of fruits and vegetables. It is the perfect lunchtime meal or snack to satisfy any mid-day cravings and give you back the energy that you need! There is not an ounce of guilt that you can feel when choosing one of these options. You can be sure that you will feel super full after opting for one of these protein-packed snacks!
3. KFC – Grilled Chicken Breast
It is hard to think that a restaurant with the term fried in their name can serve up anything remotely healthy, right? Well, Kentucky Fried Chicken managed to do so. They are aware of consumers wants and needs as more and more junk gets produced into the fast food industry. It is important to have options that include food that is not fried to a crisp and covered in grease. KFC decided to come out and release grilled chicken breast as a healthier option. The breast only has 4 grams of fat and is actually placed on a grill inside an oven as their cooking process. There are roughly 210 calories in one chicken breast serving and 38 grams of protein. Unlike the fried chicken, the skin is already removed which makes a massive difference in calories and health when it comes to eating KFC. In comparison to a fried chicken piece the calories range drastically, a crispy chicken piece contains approximately 510 calories. That is a few hundred more than the grilled chicken option. When you really know the dangers and the facts about what you consume, you definitely can start to take your menu options a bit more seriously!
2. Five Guys – Veggie Sandwich
If you have ever eaten at Five Guys you know that it is the ultimate place to get any kind of custom burger that you desire. It is a chain that does burgers right so it is no surprise that they go the whole mile when it comes to making veggie sandwiches delicious as well. Like many other burgers joints, a veggie option is available, but Five Guys goes the extra mile by providing more than one option for a vegetarian sandwich. They make a veggie sandwich, cheese veggie sandwich, and a grilled cheese. At 280n calories the veggie sandwich includes freshly grilled onions, mushrooms, and green peppers, layered with lettuce and tomatoes, on a soft toasted bun. You can even customize it yourself and put whatever toppings that you want in it. If you want to add a little extra cheese to your veggie option, that is a possibility also, but expect to add on more calories this way. You can also go the all American route and opt for a grilled cheese sandwich. They use the Kraft singles as the cheese and put it on one of their signature buns. Go ahead and add on all of the toppings you want to make it one grilled cheese that is out of this world!
1. Shake Shack – Chicken Dog
Shake Shack is a staple in America and is frequented by consumers daily. You know what you’re going to get and it never fails to disappoint. With all of the calorie-packed milkshakes that tease the taste buds at every sip, find comfort in knowing that there are some options that won’t break the scale. The chicken dog is a classic favorite at this restaurant and a not so unhealthy option. The chicken dog sets you back 320 calories and leaves you satisfied. What is so great about this item is that it is totally natural and GMO-free. Do note that it is not just chicken in your hot dog, it is actually chicken, apple and sausage dog giving it all of the flavours in the world. It really is a unique item that you will not find anywhere else. You can top your dog with tomatoes and pickles and make it into a full meal with your customized topping options. You can create a delicious combo with the dog including fries and an obvious milkshake. A special thing about the dogs at Shake Shack is that the restaurant actually makes dog-friendly food items to bring home to your pooch!