5 Healthy Meals at Arby's—Including Bacon
No matter how scrupled or exacting you may be, there are times when the sweet, crispy, crunchy hand of temptation will take you firmly in its grasp. Now, the kind folks at Arby's want to help, by creating a support hotline for vegetarians who are tempted to break their meat-free vows by the chain's newest decadent offering: brown-sugar bacon.
"Dear Vegetarians," reads Arby's open letter to the cruelty-free crowd. "When your nose betrays you and alerts the rest of your senses to find and devour this sweet meat, please call 1-855-MEAT-HLP. You will receive the support you need to resist this gateway meat and get tips on how to avoid temptation." When you dial up the hotline, you're asked to press one "if you're a vegetarian who's feeling tempted by brown sugar bacon" or to press two "if you're a vegetarian who's given in and eaten brown sugar bacon."
While we applaud this genius marketing ploy, the fact is that giving in to temptation doesn't need to be an unforgivable sin. After all, the world's oldest person, Susannah Mushatt Jones, just turned 116; she credits her longevity to not smoking, working hard—and having bacon and eggs for breakfast every morning. The next time you're seduced by a juicy, meaty craving, make it a smart one. Eat This, Not That! took a deep dive into the Arby's menu and put together a list of the best—and worst—meaty dishes at the restaurant chain.
ARBY'S TOP SWAP #1
King's Hawaiian Brown Sugar Bacon & Roast Beef
720 calories, 32 g fat (16 g saturated fat, 1.5 trans fat), 1,620 mg sodium
Of the three new brown sugar bacon sandwiches, this one's the most caloric—Arby's plops three strips of the meat onto their regular roast beef sandwich, and adds Swiss cheese and a gooey "creamy" dijon dressing. The result is two-thirds your recommended daily sodium intake, wedged between to carb-loaded "king's Hawaiian" king-sized buns.
Eat This Instead!
King's Hawaiian Brown Sugar Bacon BLT
600 calories, 28 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 860 mg sodium)
To see if Arby's "made bacon better," simply order the bacon: This sandwich is just that, plus lettuce and tomato. You can indulge in the marketing hype for nearly half the sodium of the sandwich above. You'll save even more calories—and savor the bacon flavor more—if you toss one half of the king-sized bun.
ARBY'S TOP SWAP #2
Market Fresh Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon Sandwich
800 calories, 35 g fat (9 g saturated fat, .5 g trans fat), 2,250 mg sodium
With an average of 668 calories, Arby's healthy sounding Market Fresh sandwiches are the worst items on the menu. This turkey option has roughly the same filings as a club sandwich, but it packs nearly double the calories and fat. The honey-wheat bread alone contains a staggering 380 calories and the same amount of sugar as a Hostess Ho Ho!
Eat This Instead!
Beef 'n Cheddar Classic
450 calories, 20 g fat (6 g saturated), 1,310 mg sodium
What Arby's does best is roast beef, and maybe it should just stick to that plan. The totally decadent-sounding Beef n Cheddar Classic is a healthy serving of lean protein that won't blow your saturated-fat budget.
ARBY'S TOP SWAP #3
Arby's Roast Turkey & Swiss Sandwich
700 calories, 28 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 1,760 mg sodium
We know what you're thinking: "But I make turkey and cheese sandwiches all the time at home. How can this be on this list? It's healthy!" Well, yes, typically they are. But Arby's is way more heavy-handed with the mayo and honey mustard than you likely are, which is why the calorie and fat count is so high.
Eat This Instead!
Arby's Ham & Swiss Melt
300 calories, 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 1,030 mg sodium
To lose your gut, order this. It's not only low in calories and fat, but also delivers 19 grams of protein—and with 20 less grams of fat!
ARBY'S TOP SWAP #4
Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwich
840 calories, 44 g fat (6 g saturated fat, .5 g trans fat), 1,210 mg sodium
Another "limited edition," this sandwich should be avoided, if you want to limit your time at the cardiologist. Despite the health halo, the dressing in the chicken salad adds unnecessary calories and trans fats.
Eat This Instead!
Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad
230 calories, 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 780 mg sodium
Get your hit of poultry plus 23 grams of protein—minus the trans fats and the hunk of fatty bread. This is the healthiest order at Arby's, and one of the most delicious. And bonus, it has bacon!
ARBY'S TOP SWAP #5
Small Jamocha Shake
440 calories, 12 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 61 g sugar
Now that you've navigated the chain's sandwiches, don't make a mistake by drinking a dessert. The shake line—whether it's this coffee flavor, or orange cream, or classic vanilla—can easily double your calories.
Drink This Instead!
Fresh-brewed Iced Tea
5 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g sugar
How is it awesome that Arby's offers fresh-brewed unsweetened iced tea? We'll take that over a soda any day.
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