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The #1 Healthiest Menu Option at 40 Popular Restaurants

Heed these tips when you're stuck between wanting to lose 10 pounds and ordering fast food takeout.
The #1 Healthiest Menu Option at 40 Popular Restaurants

It should be no surprise that the average American is now spending more money dining out than on groceries. The problem is that this means we’re putting over 43 percent of our nutritional decisions in the hands of restaurants—who, unlike you, don’t care quite as much about your health. Consider this: A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that a staggering 92 percent of restaurant meals from large-chain and local restaurants average over 1,200 calories—some even exceeded the 2,000 calorie limit recommended for an entire day. Does healthy fast food even exist?

But it’s not just calories we have to watch out for. These same meals are markedly low in whole grains and dietary fiber, while being absurdly high in saturated fat and sodium—don’t believe us? Take a look at these restaurant desserts with more salt than a bag of pretzels. And although fast food restaurants may have smaller portions with fewer calories, these frankenfoods are injected with more hormone-disrupting preservatives and inflammation-inducing, artificial ingredients than the number of items you typically stock in your pantry.

But there is a silver lining. Although many restaurants and fast-food joints don’t always have your back, we here at Eat This, Not That! do! We want you to stay toned and trim, so we sifted through the nutrition information at all of your favorite fast-food, fast-casual, and chain restaurants to find the absolute healthiest option to choose for those “there’s-no-way-I’m-cooking-right-now” nights. To ensure our suggestions were truly the best-of-the-best for your waistline and total health, we used calories as a guide, but occasionally looked beyond the numbers and examined each menu item holistically in an attempt to choose a well-balanced option. Luckily, many of the following restaurants allow you to customize their meals to your liking, which puts the calorie-cutting power in your hands.

Arm yourself with this ultimate guide, and you’ll be able to make it through the restaurant-dish battlefield unscathed! But before you think you’re in the clear, remember that these chains still have diet-derailing options. So be sure to watch out for these #1 worst menu options at 40 popular restaurants.

First, The Restaurant Chains

Healthiest fast food dish

The first 20 places on our list are the table-service-style Olive Garden and Fridays of the bunch. You’re sitting down, surrounded by friends or family, and it feels like a nice night out. They probably have some very healthy-sounding meals—but restaurant dishes aren’t always what they seem. Keep reading to find out the healthy fast food meal you can order guilt-free to keep your diet on track.



Healthiest restaurant dish Applebee

Pepper-Crusted Sirloin & Whole Grains
370 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 1,540 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 28 g protein

It’s your day off from cooking, so why not indulge in a nice, juicy steak? Applebee’s livens up a red-meat staple by searing this sirloin with a crust of peppercorn. This low-fat, iron-rich cut of meat is perfect for a toned body and is served on a bed of whole grains, along with some sautéed spinach, roasted portobellos, and grape tomatoes—a lycopene-filled fruit that may help decrease the risk of coronary artery disease and cancer. But because this dish is high on the sodium levels, we’d recommend you ask the server to serve the salty broth on the side.


Bob Evans

Healthiest restaurant dish Bob Evans

Whole-Egg Veggie Omelet with Spinach and Onions
440 calories, 23 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (4 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 26 g protein

Don’t be fooled by Bob Evans’ “Egg Lites” option. They may be cholesterol-free, but you’re better off with the yolk. The yolk is full of fat-fighting nutrients like choline, a compound which boosts metabolism and turns off belly fat genes. Be sure to ask your server for the whole eggs if the menu only lists an egg-white omelet.


Bonefish Grill

Healthiest restaurant dish Bonefish

Small Salmon with Mango Salsa, Steamed Asparagus, and Spaghetti Squash
530 calories, 29 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 804 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (3 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 42 g protein

You may be inclined to order a classic dish of fish and rice, but hold off. Doing so will save you over 200 nutrient-lacking calories. Your better option is sticking with spaghetti squash, which will make you feel like you’re eating pasta, but is just another way to add more veggies to your plate. We’ve chosen salmon as our fish of choice, a shellfish which is full of omega-3s: a fatty acid whose anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to protect your brain and heart. We’ve topped it off with the low-calorie mango salsa instead of the higher-calorie, seemingly innocuous lemon butter.


Buffalo Wild Wings

Healthiest restaurant dish Buffalo

4 Naked Tenders with Chipotle BBQ Seasoning, Sub Fries for Side Salad with Fat-Free Ranch Dressing
315 calories, 3.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 2,130 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (4 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 46 g protein

One of the worst things about Buffalo Wild Wings? Almost everything on their menu is saltier than the sea. And that’s particularly bad as consumption of too much sodium is connected to hypertension, high blood pressure, and even addiction to sodium-laden fare. Because we know you can’t go to B-dubs without having some amount of chicken or sauce, your next best option besides a plain garden salad is this winning combo of the small order of naked (unbreaded) chicken tenders. Save yourself another 2,000 mg of sodium by spicing them up with a seasoned rub instead of sauce, and pair with a fiber-filled side salad.


California Pizza Kitchen

Healthiest restaurant dish California two

Shrimp Scampi Zucchini
490 calories, 24 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 1,030 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (4 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 27 g protein

Just because “pizza” is in the restaurant’s name doesn’t mean you have to order one. (But if you do, split the Hawaiian pie and pair it with the Asparagus and Arugula Salad from the small plates section for a balanced meal.) If you’re not sharing dishes, you can save a significant amount of calories at CPK by going with the Shrimp Scampi Zucchini with multigrain penne.



Healthiest restaurant dish Carrabba

Tuscan Strawberry Salad with Chicken
516 calories, 32 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 781 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (8 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 35 g protein

Sorry, but the pasta portions are too big to even think about ordering. Just plain spaghetti with pomodoro sauce is 503 calories, but almost everything else climbs up to 1,000. Your best bet is going with this delicious, fresh, and well-balanced on the protein, fiber, carb, and fat front, Tuscan Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken.


Cheesecake Factory

Healthiest restaurant dish Cheesecake

Skinnylicious Grilled Turkey Burger
500 calories, n/a g fat (10 g saturated fat), 848 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (n/a g fiber, n/a g sugar), n/a g protein

Home of monstrous portions and plates of food with over a day’s worth of calories, this turkey burger is a nice reprieve from some Cheesecake Factory classics. It’s also one of Jim White, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Spokesperson, Owner, Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios, favorite menu items. While traditional beef burgers are also an Eat This!-approved choice, if you’re looking to reduce your saturated fat intake, which is good for your gut, turkey is a leaner option.



Healthiest restaurant dish Denny

Fit Slam Egg White Scramble with Spinach and Grape Tomatoes, Turkey Bacon, English Muffin, and Fruit
390 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 890 mg sodium, 54 g carbs (6 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 24 g protein

The easiest way to make it out of Denny’s alive is with this “Fit Slam” breakfast. It’s one of the only dishes that doesn’t have mounds of sodium and calories. While we’d prefer whole eggs, if you can’t make the substitution, no biggie. You can get your choline from other foods like broccoli, spinach, and even peanuts!



Healthiest restaurant dish Chili

6 oz. Classic Sirloin with Grilled Avocado
420 calories, 20 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 1,610 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (6 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 39 g protein

With the dawn of healthy dining, dieters can head to many chain restaurants without counting them as a cheat meal. That’s thanks to the Mexican-inspired restaurant’s new “lighter choices,” which includes this classic sirloin with the food-of-the-hour, avocado. This green fruit is full of healthy monounsaturated fats which help your body absorb essential vitamins and minerals, extends your satiety to keep you from overeating, and help protect your heart.



Healthiest restaurant dish Friendly

*$5.55 Menu’s Quarter Pounder Double Cheeseburger & Fries
643 calories, 39 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 1,247 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (1 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 29 g protein

It may be over 500 calories, but this burger is your best option—even better than the All-American burger. Why? This may have more meat and more cheese, but the smaller plate means fewer french fries that have been fried in inflammatory vegetable oils. Consuming too many foods that cause inflammation can cause weight gain, skin problems, drowsiness, digestive issues, and a host of diseases, from diabetes to cancer.



Healthiest restaurant dish iHop

Simple & Fit Two-Egg Breakfast
400 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 870 mg sodium, 49 g carbs (7 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 29 g protein

We get that you’re at the pancake house, but save yourself the sodium and order this “Simple & Fit” Two-Egg Breakfast so you can stay, well, simple and fit! It’s served with a cup of fresh fruit and a slice of whole grain toast. Research has connected a higher consumption of whole grains with a longer life! Experts believe that whole grains digest more slowly in your system and can help ward off premature hunger pangs, which protects you against weight gain and the subsequent health problems.


Maggiano’s Little Italy

Healthiest restaurant dish Maggiano

Lighter Take Chicken Piccata with Spinach & Lemon Butter Fettuccine
660 calories, 26 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 1,290 mg sodium, 49 g carbs (5 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 59 g protein

Sure there are lower-calorie pasta dishes, but they’re lacking in muscle-building protein which will keep you satiated—and your calorie-burning muscles big. Here, you get the best of both worlds. Maggiano’s has reimagined its most popular dishes with simple tweaks you can do at home! Sear your chicken breast instead of deep frying it, use a conservative amount of oil—enough to coat the pasta, but not too much that it covers the bowl—and add more flavor with fruits, vegetables, and herbs, like lemon zest, parsley, and capers, rather than adding extra slabs of butter.



Healthiest restaurant dish outback

Victoria’s 6-ounce Filet Mignon with sides of Asparagus and House Salad
388 calories, 18.9 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 0.7 g trans fat), n/a sodium, 15 g carbs (5.2 g fiber, n/a g sugar), 42.7 g protein

We know it’s hard to believe, but the home of the 2,000-calorie Bloomin’ Onion does have one or two healthy meal options. For our pick, we’ve chosen one of the best cuts of meat you can get from the popular steakhouse—the 6-ounce Victoria Filet. This prime cut is great for weight loss because it’s low in fat. And while Outback doesn’t provide sodium counts, we’re not too worried; the side of asparagus is rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps the body flush out water and sodium.


On the Border

Healthiest restaurant dish on the border

Border Smart Mexican Grilled Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce
450 calories, 6 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1,510 mg sodium, 57 g carbs (3 g fiber, n/a g sugar), 43 g protein

Similar to other chain restaurants, On The Border also started their “Border Smart” options, which are all under 590 calories. This is the most balanced of the bunch—and also the most filling. A grilled chicken breast sits on top a bed of cilantro rice and is served alongside a medley of sauteed veggies. It’s all topped off with some fresh pico de gallo and a smoky tomatillo sauce.


P.F. Chang’s

Healthiest restaurant dish Chang

Hong Kong Style Sea Bass
570 calories, 44 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 1,840 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (4 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 27 g protein

Believe it or not, but some dishes at P.F. Chang’s can climb as high as 5,040 mg sodium! (Gluten-Free Pad Thai Combo, we’re looking at you.) That’s nearly two days worth of sodium in one sitting! Save your heart the burden by ordering the Hong Kong Style Sea Bass. It may still have more sodium than we’d typically recommend—so be sure to guzzle down a couple glasses of water—but it’s one of the lowest items on the menu. Plus, it’s balanced with protein-rich fish, and fiber-filled veggies.


Red Lobster

Healthiest restaurant dish Red Lobster

*Lighthouse Garlic-Grilled Shrimp with Broccoli and Rice
390 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1,600 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 30 g protein

You may go to Red Lobster for, well, the red lobster, but we think you’d be better of with the seafood chain’s line of Lighthouse options, like this garlic-grilled shrimp. While you may notice another Lighthouse item, the maple-glazed chicken, is lower in sodium, it also boasts over half your day’s recommended intake of added sugars—which can’t necessarily be undone by sweating it out like sodium could. Eating too much sugar has been implicated as the major player in causing obesity, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance.



Healthiest restaurant dish Romano

Diavola Scaloppine: Scaloppine Chicken, Spicy Tomato Sauce, Four-Cheese Ravioli
560 calories, 25 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 970 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 53 g protein

Romano’s recently introduced their new line of “Kitchen Counter” meals, which are tailed for dinner guests who are on-the-go, but who appreciate and enjoy the taste of a scratch-made meal. Luckily, you can order this $9 dish in the dining room Monday through Thursday—and we highly recommend it. You get a protein-packed scaloppine of chicken paired with indulgent four-cheese ravioli for under 600 calories. We’d say it doesn’t get much better than that, but we haven’t mentioned the metabolism-boosting, spicy sauce that tops it all off.


Ruby Tuesday

Healthiest restaurant dish Ruby Tuesday

Fit & Trim Top Sirloin with Grilled Asparagus and Spaghetti Squash
423 calories, 23 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 1,162 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (3 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 45 g protein

Spaghetti squash is certainly trending—and with good reason! It makes you feel like you’re eating pasta, but with half the carbs. The vitamin C in the squash and asparagus is the perfect pair to help your body absorb the iron in the top sirloin. This mineral is important for proper blood flow and brain function.



Healthiest restaurant dish Fridays

Sizzling Chicken & Spinach
460 calories, 17 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 1,800 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (6 g fiber, n/a sugar), 46 g protein

T.G. for this Sizzling Chicken and Spinach at Fridays, since it’s one of the few entrees at the chain that sneaks under the 1,000-calorie mark. This all-natural chicken is spiced up with a mouth-watering, miso glaze and then served over a bed of spinach, yellow squash, balsamic-glazed onions, and cremini mushrooms. Continuing the veggie trend, T.G.I. Fridays then adds a tomato mozzarella salad—an important addition as the fatty cheese will help your body absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables.


Olive Garden

Healthiest restaurant dish Olive Garden

Herb-Grilled Salmon with Garlic-Herb Butter and Parmesan-Garlic Broccoli
460 calories, 28 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 570 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (4 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 26 g protein

A dish from Olive Garden that’s under 1,000 mg of sodium and has no trans fat? Sign us up! Instead of losing more than a day’s worth of carbs and sodium to their pasta dishes, or filling yourself up with artery-clogging trans fat, order this Herb-Grilled Salmon. Just ask for the fatty butter on the side—or eschew it altogether—because the heart-healthy, omega-3 fatty acid packed salmon already has enough of it!

And Now for the Fast Food Chains…

Healthiest fast food dish

The second half of our list is made up of popular fast food joints. You’re probably swinging through the drive-thru or desperate for a meal while traveling, and you know going into it that you’re not about to have a very healthy meal. But surprisingly, there are some options that won’t completely undo your diet. Find out what’s the top item to order at each of these 20 popular fast food places.



Healthiest fast food dish

Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad with ⅓ Packet Lite Italian Dressing
237 calories, 13.4 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 1,110 mg sodium, 8.7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5.7 g sugar), 22 g protein

Get your hit of poultry (one of the 29 Best Proteins for Weight Loss) plus 23 grams of muscle-building protein—minus the trans fats and starchy bread that comes along with most of the other menu items. This is the healthiest order at Arby’s, and one of the most delicious. And bonus, it has bacon! It doesn’t get much better than that!



Healthiest fast food dish

230 calories, 9 g fat (3 saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 9 protein

It may be hard to believe, but one of the best orders from BK comes served between two fluffy buns. Thanks to its low calorie, fat and sodium count, the King’s classic hamburger is a safe and satisfying bet for anyone trying to maintain their flat belly. In fact, the sandwich is so healthy compared to the competition that it’s one of these diet-expert-approved orders from Burger King.



Healthiest fast food dish

Turkey Burger, No Mayo
380 calories, 10 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 880 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (3 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 29 g protein

Carl’s Jr. may have a few racy ads, but some of its offerings are downright respectable, starting with its line of 500-calorie-or-less turkey burgers and Chicken Stars, the chain’s version of nuggets that clock in at just over 40 calories apiece. But to create a meal with the very best nutritional profile, stick with the classic Turkey Burger and have them hold the mayo. (It also comes slathered in their Special Sauce, so you won’t even miss it!) This easy alternation will save you more than 100 calories and 12 grams of fat. Whatever you wind up ordering, be sure to steer clear of the chain’s worst “healthy” fast food options.



Healthiest fast food dish

Grilled Chicken Sandwich
320 calories, 5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 800 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 30 g protein

Choosing this protein-packed, low-cal sandwich over the chain’s Chicken Salad variety saves you 180 calories and 15 grams of fat—leaving plenty of room for a healthy dessert if you’re still hungry. We recommend grabbing a 50-calorie fruit cup to fill your belly and add immunity-boosting vitamin C to your meal.



Healthiest fast food dish

Chicken, Pinto Bean, and Veggie Salad
365 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1,160 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (14.5 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 42 g protein

“When I eat salad, I use it as an opportunity to get some of my carbohydrates from beans. [At Chipotle] I ask for double the veggies so I’m fully satisfied and getting the most nutrients I can,” says registered dietitian and personal trainer Jim White. To recreate White’s go-to order, ask for a romaine lettuce base with one scoop of chicken, two scoops of fajita vegetables, one scoop of pinto beans and tomato salsa.



Healthiest fast food dish

Grilled Chicken and Jalapeno Pepper Pizza on Brooklyn-Style Crust
Two medium slices, 390 calories, 15 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 1,090 mg sodium, 4 g sugar), 18 g protein

Indulging in a slice or two of pizza doesn’t have to come with a side of guilt. In fact, we give you permission to dig into not one, but two, slices of this create-your-own pie. The grilled chicken is the leanest meat on the Domino’s menu and toppings like jalapenos add a kick of metabolism-boosting fiery flavor without provolone-sized calories.



Healthiest fast food dish

Chicken Fajita Pita
360 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 0 g trans fat, 1,117 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 24 g protein

This Fajita Pita is one of the best entrees in the entire fast-food universe. Low in calories, packed with protein and fiber, this is one meal that would be hard to top—even in your own kitchen. And speaking of cooking, be sure to check out these delicious kitchen hacks slim people follow.



Healthiest fast food dish

Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast with Sweet Kernel Corn and Green Beans
340 calories, 7 g fat (990 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 44 g protein

A Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast is a solid option to turn to any time you find yourself at KFC. Enjoy a side of green beans and corn alongside the poultry for a light, 340-calorie meal that’ll keep you full and satiated for hours without derailing your weight loss efforts.



Healthiest fast food dish

Trim It 1/4 lb. Low Carb Little Thickburger
220 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 590 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 15 g protein

When it comes to fast-food burgers, it doesn’t get much healthier—or lighter in carbs—than this under-300-calorie burger. To whip up this mouthwatering creation, Hardee’s takes a Black Angus beef patty and wraps it inside iceberg lettuce leaves, along with pickles, onion, tomato, ketchup, and mustard. If you don’t see this offering on the menu board at your local restaurant, fear not. Just ask your server for the “1/4 lb. Low-Carb Little Thickburger” from the “Trim It menu,” and he’ll be able to hook you up.



Healthiest fast food dish

Panda Express Broccoli Beef with ½ Order Mixed Veggies
230 calories, 7.5 g fat (1,060 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (7 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 13 g protein

Panda Express actually has several options with reasonable calorie counts. As with any Chinese food meal, the key is to skip the greasy mound of fried rice and oily tangle of noodles. Pair a low-calorie entrée such as the Broccoli Beef with a side of veggies, and you wind up with a fairly nutritious meal that has plenty of protein to keep you full.



Healthiest fast food dish

Egg McMuffin
300 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 730 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 17 g protein

Thanks to the chain’s new all-day breakfast initiative you can now get your hands on this flat-belly, protein filled dish around the clock. Though you might assume the egg-white version is the better bet, the whole egg sandwich contains carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals making it the smarter pick, explains dietitian Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RDN, FAND. The yellow center also contains choline, a nutrient that helps boost metabolism.



Healthiest fast food dish

Classic Salad with Chicken and Balsamic Vinaigrette
300 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 320 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (3 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 27 g protein

This simple-yet-delicious salad has a near-perfect ratio of calorie, fat, carbs, and protein, making it a go-to pick for health-minded Panera fans and diet experts alike. “[When I order the classic salad with Chicken] I know that I’m getting nutrients from the vegetables and lasting energy from the protein,” says Ilyse Schapiro MS, RD. “Sometimes, if I’m on the hungrier side, I pair it with an apple or a whole-grain roll, which you can ask for instead of chips.”




Healthiest fast food dish

Garden Fresh
1 slice, ⅙ small pizza, 140 calories, 4.5 g fat (2 g saturated, 0 g trans fat, 350 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 5 g protein

We’re typically apprehensive about using “garden” and “pizza” in the same sentence, but this slice is packed with onions, green peppers, portobello mushrooms, and olives, and it turns into the top choice at Papa John’s. If you’re prone to overindulging, invite a friend to go halfsies with you to keep the meal under 500 calories even if you go for that second—or third—slice.



Healthiest fast food dish

Loaded Chicken Wrap
310 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 890 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 14 g protein

This wrap is the best of both worlds: fried chicken and the chain’s signature Red Beans & Rice all rolled into one. In fact, it’s hard to believe that it contains a mere 310 calories while packing in 14 grams of protein and 3 grams of satiating fiber.



Healthiest fast food dish

Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich
450 calories, 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 1,240 mg sodium, 44 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 32 g protein

A soft ciabatta bun and breaded chicken join together with a host of veggies and light mayo to create this flavorful diet-friendly order. Curious about how Sonic’s fries stack up to the competition? Check out our exclusive report on best and worst fast food French fries—ranked! to find out.



Healthiest fast food dish

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
230 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 560 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 13 g protein

Lean protein from the bacon and egg meets its perfect accompaniment in the relatively low-carb English muffin. That’s a powerful nutritional punch for a mere 230 calories. This is another all-day breakfast item we’re proud to get behind.



Healthiest fast food dish

Single Steakburger, no cheese or fries
280 calories, 11 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 310 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar) 12 g protein

In the restaurant world, “specialty” means excess calories and fat, and that rule certainly holds true at Steak ‘n Shake. Steer clear of the chain’s Specialty Steakburgers—the souped-up options with extra fixings—and order the Single Steakburger instead. It’s the only burger on the menu that isn’t laced with trans fat—the dangerous man-made chemical that has been shown to increases the odds of dying from any cause by up to 24 percent. Word of warning: Make sure your server holds the cheese. That’s where the trans fat appears to be hiding out.



Healthiest fast food dish

6″ BLT on 9-Grain Bread With Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Green Peppers
320 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 650 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 15 g protein

The health halo surrounding Subway is a boon for the sandwich chain, but for everyone else, it’s quite problematic. The numbers Subway advertises are only for a 6-inch sub and don’t account for cheese, mayo, olive oil, or any extras most people get on their sub. Order a 12-inch sandwich with a couple of extras, and your “healthy” sub suddenly becomes an 800-calorie, diet-sinking torpedo. To be fair, though, there are many nutritious sandwich combinations at Subway, and this is one of them. Just make sure to go with 6 inches (not 12), mustard (not mayo), and take advantage of Subway’s best option: unlimited veggies.



Healthiest fast food dish

Chipotle Chicken Loaded Griller
350 calories, 16 g fat (4 g saturated), 810 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar)s, 15 g protein

Meet the Best Burrito at Taco Bell, containing the lowest calorie, carbohydrate, and salt count, plus 15 grams of protein. And you know who’s a fan of chicken? Insanity star Shaun T. Learn how to slim down—fast—with these weight-loss secrets from Insanity’s Shaun T.



Healthiest fast food dish

Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich
370 calories, 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 580 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (2 g fiber, 34 g protein, 9 g sugar)

Going to Wendy’s drive-thru doesn’t mean tossing your nutrition plan out the car window—just stick with the Ultimate Grill and steer clear of the ever-tempting Frosties and fries. The healthy fast food sandwich comes with a grilled chicken breast, tomato, lettuce and a drizzle of honey mustard, a combination that’s heavy on flavor and protein but light in the fat and sodium department.



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