Top Tips for the Times You’re Stuck Eating Fast Food

people eating pizza at officeSo the gang is running out to pick up some lunch for the work meeting and you need to eat…or you’re on the road and the only nearby solution is to drive through and order to eat in the car.

Even when you are stuck eating fast food, you want a healthy choice—it’s not always easy, but we’ve learned it can be done! The key seems to be knowing ahead of time what you’re best options are for the kind of nutrition choices you want to make.

Some basic guidelines might include:

  • Under XX number of calories (500 might be a good thr)
  • At least XX grams of protein (15? 25?)
  • Less than XX grams of saturated fat, no trans fats, or only healthy fats
  • No more than a certain % of carbohydrates, or sugars
  • Nothing deep fried, less than 1/2 your daily sodium allowance, etc.

Once you set your own guidelines, take a look at your favorite places online for nutrition information to start a list of go-tos. Also, check out this list of top contenders for healthiest fast foods. We focused on breakfast and lunch selections—and while we skipped the obvious “salad, no dressing,” please note, you will be skipping chips, sodas, fries and hash browns.

  1. McDonald’s® Egg McMuffin
    Most people would first choose the fruit and yogurt parfait as their healthy morning item at McDonald’s, but we see it only has 4 grams of protein for its 150 calories. You can actually quadruple your protein intake with only twice the calories if you go for the Egg McMuffin. And if you’re eating it for lunch, you might have room to add a yogurt parfait on the side.
    300 calories
    17 g of protein
    12 g of fat
    29 g of carbs
    730 mg of sodium
  2. Dunkin’ Donuts® Egg White Flatbread
    So, you know to skip the donuts, right? But please note that the bagels and muffins aren’t the best choice either—a blueberry bagel with plain cream cheese has 440 calories with 770 grams of sodium, and a honey bran raisin muffin is 440 calories, 120 of them from fat. This flatbread is a decent alternative for a light breakfast bite.
    280 calories
    15 g of protein
    9 g of fat
    33 g of carbs
    690 mg of sodium
  3. Subway® 6” Turkey Sub (no cheese, no mayo, but add avocado!)
    Subway makes it easy to eat some fresh veggies with your lean meat, and to control the fat and calories of toppings, too. This version is low cal enough that if you typically eat 2000 calories per day, you could order the 12” version and be good to go.
    340 calories
    18 g of protein
    9 g of fat
    49 g of carbs
    670 mg of sodium
  4. Chick-fil-A’s® Chargrilled Chicken Cool Wrap with Fat Free Honey Mustard Dressing
    This wrap is large enough to fill you up, and because of 10 grams of fiber and 36 grams of protein, it is likely to keep you satisfied, too. A main drawback is all that sodium.
    340 calories
    36 g of protein
    13 g of fat
    30 g of carbs
    900 mg of sodium
  5. Pizza Hut® Garden Party Pizza (2 slices)
    Though it’s not ooey-gooey loaded with spiced meats, it’s pizza nonetheless, which is a nice treat for under 500 calories. This option features plenty of fresh veggies, and an extra boost of flavor from the balsamic dressing. Drawbacks? That sodium. Carbs, too.

    460 calories
    18 g of protein
    18 g of fat
    60 g of carbs
    900 mg of sodium

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