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The Healthiest Fast-Food Options at 10 Popular Chains

Ideally, many of us would probably avoid eating at fast food restaurants and would instead opt for healthier, homemade alternatives. Realistically, though, there are probably times when many of us do stop at a fast-food chain, whether because of convenience, peer pressure or, perhaps, a really strong craving.

healthy fast food choices

Some universal, healthier tips for eating at fast food restaurants include passing up the French fries, soda and special sauces, skipping fried items and opting for grilled ones instead, and not eating the bun or bread that comes with your sandwich.

If you absolutely have no choice and are going to eat at one of the popular chains, all is not lost. There are some relatively healthy options at your favorite fast food place, and we've compiled them here with the help of's Nutritional Facts Checker located conveniently on the homepage.

If you have a favorite menu item not listed here, you owe it to yourself to look it up in the free Facts Checker. With just a quick click you'll have access to nutritional facts information on over 6,000 foods, and the nutritional content of over 26,000 restaurant menu items from across the country.

And remember, sometimes looks can be deceiving -- salads and things with "Skinny," "Low-Carb" and "Garden Fresh" in the title are NOT always your best option.

The Healthiest Fast Food Choices Out There

The items listed below are some of the healthier choices that popular fast food restaurants offer (this is not to say they are healthier than home-cooked whole foods, of course). To maximize their nutrition level, you may also want to hold the bun or bread, pass on the "special sauce," not add extra salt (many of these choices are very high in sodium as it is) and opt for the a la carte choice (no French fries or soda).

  1. McDonald's: Opt for the Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich or the Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken.

  2. Subway: The Oven Roasted Chicken Breast Sandwich, the Subway Club and the Turkey Breast Sandwich are all reasonable choices.

  3. Wendy's: Try the Mandarin Chicken Salad, the Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich, or a Sour Cream and Chives Baked Potato.

Nutritional Facts Checker

Curious about the nutrition content of your favorite restaurant meal?'s Nutritional Facts Checker has the answer.

  1. Burger King: The Low-Carb Chicken Whopper or the Fire-Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad are more sensible options.

  2. KFC: An Original Recipe Chicken Breast -- WITHOUT the skin -- a Tender Roast Sandwich -- WITHOUT the sauce -- and sides of green beans and corn on the cob are among the better choices.

  3. Taco Bell: Try a Spicy Chicken Taco, a Bean Burrito (but be wary that it contains 50 percent of the RDA of sodium), or a side of Pintos 'N Cheese.

  4. Arby's: The Martha's Vineyard Market Fresh Salad or the Junior Roast Beef Sandwich are reasonable choices.

  5. White Castle: Opt for a White Castle Sandwich or a Chicken Breast Sandwich.

  6. Boston Market: The Spicy Tuscan Rotisserie Chicken (1/4-chicken, all white meat), the Hand-Carved Rotisserie Turkey, and sides of Green Beans, Garlic Dill New Potatoes, and Steamed Vegetable Medley are some good choices.

  7. Domino's: Try a slice of Green Pepper, Onion and Mushroom Hand-Tossed or Crunchy Thin Crust Pizza, or another variety of Plain Cheese or Veggie Hand-Tossed or Thin Crust Pizza.

Recommended Reading

The Surprising Nutrition Content of 10 Very Common Foods & Your New Convenient Nutritional Facts Checker

The World's 8 Most Deceptive Foods: We Think They're Healthy, but Should Think Again

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