Experts’ 11 Surprisingly Healthy Fast-Food Recommendation

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There’s a way to enjoy your favorite eateries without blowing your diet!

Diet strategies take time. Fast food seems to be the only option to fit a meal into a hectic schedule. Or maybe you just adore Wendy’s burgers. As we all know, fast-food menu items heavy in trans fat, sodium, and additives can be extremely harmful to your health.

Did you know there are also healthy fast food options? There are plenty of dishes loaded with nutrients and low in calories that nutritionists recommend for when you’re in a bind. If you want to know what’s in your favorite dish, check out the nutrition and ingredient information on the restaurant’s website.

Save time and read on for trusted nutritionist-approved food items. These may surprise you! While you’re at it, stock up on The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.



The owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition and MBA, RDN, LD says she’ll stop at Starbucks when travelling. “Breakfast oatmeal is a lifesaver. It’s a quick source of fiber and protein. You can choose how sweet or not you want it to be by adding dried fruit, nuts, sugar, and other toppings.”

Chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A

130 cal, 6 g fat (1 g saturated, 0 g trans), 610 mg sodium, 5 g carb (0 g fiber, 0 sugar), 13 g protein PER 4-COUNT
“Chick-fil-A has grilled chicken nuggets,” says Leah Kaufman, MS, RD, CDN, of New York City. “This healthy alternative to fried chicken nuggets has only 130 calories and 13 grams protein. Pair this with a veggie for a well-rounded supper.”


250 cal, 11 g fat (4 g saturated, 0.5 g trans), 420 mg sodium, 25 g carb (1 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 13 g protein.
The Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook co-authors Willow Jarosh MS, RD and Stephanie Clarke MS, RD recommend a Junior Hamburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard or ketchup and a garden salad with pomegranate vinaigrette and spicy cashews and apple slices. “We like this meal since it’s still a burger, but with more fiber and less sodium than most fast food meals.”

Panera’s Pick

“The soup and salad blend perfectly with the ‘You Pick Two’ choice,” Moore comments. “Complement the Green Goddess Cobb Salad or the Fuji Apple Salad with [a soup]. These combos enable you effortlessly meet half of your daily veggie recommendation. That’s significant because most adults don’t get enough vegetables.”

Protein Boxes

CHICKEN AND HUMUS BOXES: 300kJ/11gF, 420kJ/4gSatF, 25g Carbs (1g Fiber, 5 g Sugar), 13g Protein
“A Protein Box from Starbucks is a sure bet! All of the box options are high in fiber. Each box has an excellent balance of healthy carbs, proteins, and fats, as well as fruit and vegetables “says Gina Hassick, RD, CDE. “The protein boxes are a great spin on bento boxes for lunch,” says Moore.

Panera’s Turkey Chili

PER BOWL: 295 kcal, 10 g fat (4.5 trans fat), 690 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate (14 fiber, 8 sugar), 21 g protein
“The turkey and beans provide more protein and fiber than other soups. Aside from that, “Foodtrainers’ Lauren Slayton, MS, RD. Yes! Our favorite healthy crockpot recipes include turkey chili.

Chipotle Salad

Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CDN Real Nutrition NYC likes their salad bowls. “Ask for greens instead of rice, then add beans, fajita veggies, a protein, and salsa. Then choose from guacamole, sour cream, or cheese. These are all high calorie components! I also advise avoiding chips! This dish is great for carnivores and vegetarians alike, since it includes lean protein, heart-healthy fats, fiber, and veggies. This is a recipe for success!”

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