Let’s face it. Sticking to a diet isn’t always easy on your schedule. If you aren’t keen on carrying around pre-cooked food (and yes, this means you would have had to pre-cook it and remember to pack it) or breaking your diet for a quick bite to eat, there’s always fast food. And before you go into a panic about eating something that’s greasy, sodium-packed and surely breaks your diet – hear us out. It’s about time we throw these stereotypes out the door. Fast food restaurants have upped their health game to provide plenty of options for every diet. Not sure how to order or where to go? Here are nine healthy fast food options for every diet:
What to Order: Black Bean Burrito – Taco Bell
If you’re avoiding animal products but need to grab a bite on the run, swing through the Taco Bell drive through and order a Black Bean Burrito! One of these little guys has only 370 calories and 12g of protein. Just be sure to order it fresco style so that they swap the cheese out for pico de gallo. If this isn’t enough food, try adding a side of rice or ask for extra veggies. Not in a taco bell kind of mood? That’s okay! There are plenty of other vegetarian fast food options.
What to Order: Hamburger – McDonalds
Fast food isn’t exactly known for its low sodium options. While this option isn’t high in sodium, it isn’t exactly low either. So if you have any sort of health concerns, it’s best to proceed with caution and check the nutrition facts of your entire meal and any add-ons on their nutrition calculator before ordering. A plain hamburger with ketchup, pickles, onions, and mustard has 480mg of sodium. Add a small fry and you’re at about 630mg of sodium.
What to Order: Grilled Chicken Filet with Gluten-Free Bun – Chick-fil-A
Thanks to Chick-fil-A, you will never have to utter the words “chicken sandwich without the bun please” again. If you’ve been a gluten-free dieter for a while, then you understand just how bad glutenless buns can taste. Not this one! Chick-fil-A chef Christy Cook claimed that “what [this bun] lacks in gluten, it makes up for in flavor.”
Boasting a mere 310 calories, this sandwich is the perfect pick to eat healthy on the go. Keep in mind that while the gluten-free bun is certified gluten-free, the Chick-fil-A kitchens are not. So if you have Celiacs or severe sensitivity, be sure to notify the manager or add an “allergy alert” when ordering. And feel free to add the fries. These are gluten-free too!
What to Order: Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich – Subway
Just because you’re sticking to a low-calorie diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your food! In fact, you can enjoy fast food sandwiches from several different restaurants! Subway included.
Subway is a great place for low-calorie eaters who want more than just a salad. Each sub is completely customizable so you can add your favorites and adjust the calorie count to fit your needs. For a simple order, try the Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich.
When made on wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, spinach, green peppers, and cucumbers, this sandwich only has 280 calories! To figure out the nutrition information for your specific order, use Subway’s calculator here. Or if you’re not in a sub mood, here are 11 other options for low-calorie fast food.
What to Order: Whopper Sandwich – Burger King
If you’re dairy free, Burger King’s Whopper Burger Sandwich is a great option. Burger King’s soft sesame seed buns are made without dairy and this sandwich contains no cheese. Sitting at 660 calories, the Whopper provides 28g of protein, 49g of carbs, and 40g of fat to help keep you full all day. Plus you can add a side of fries and a fountain drink to make it a meal. The fries run the risk of cross-contamination, so proceed with caution if you have a dairy allergy!
What to Order: Italian Night Club, Unwiched – Jimmy Johns
If you’re aiming to eat high fat and low carbs but don’t want to give up your sandwiches, Jimmy John has options for you. Since your meals are based around fat, you’ll want to make sure your sandwich is unwiched (bread-less) and full of energy-providing, high fat toppings.
The Italian Night Club comes with salami, capicola, ham, provolone, onion, lettuce, mayo, oil & vinegar, and oregano-basil. Don’t forget to ask for it to be wrapped in lettuce when you order! Calorie and fat count will depend on how you customize your sandwich. But an Italian Night Club wrapped in lettuce with everything on it has 44g of fat and only 8g of net carbs.
If there’s not a Jimmy Johns near you, here are 10 other options for keto-friendly fast food.
According to the media, sugar is the new fat. Instead of everything being fat-free, they’re now low-sugar or sugar-free. And for good reason! So if you’ve hopped aboard the sugar-free train but need something to grab on-the-go, head to KFC. At the window, order the Kentucky grilled chicken breast with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans. This entire meal comes out to 350 calories and less than 4g of sugar. We’d call that a win!
What to Order: Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken – Panera
The caveman diet doesn’t exactly mesh well with modern day fast food chains. And a bunless burger slapped in a plastic container with a single piece of wilted lettuce doesn’t always do the trick. Luckily, Panera has your back! Almost all of their salads are considered Paleo, but we suggest the Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken.
You want to pick something that’ll give you energy all day. This salad will do just that! It’s packed with 33g of energizing fat, 43g of muscle building protein, and sits at 550 calories. Plus, everything on this salad is Paleo approved minus the dressing. We recommend swapping the Green Goddess dressing out for the oil and vinegar and the bread out for an apple. Oh, and did we mention you can order online?
What to Order: Salad Bowl – Chipotle
Finding whole foods in the fast food world can be – well – a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, Chipotle has kept you Whole30 followers in mind. Unlike other fast food chains, Chipotle allows you to build your own bowls from the bottom up. Each ingredient is made from real food, is non-GMO, and contains no added colors, flavors, or preservatives. If you’re looking for whole food, Chipotle is your place.
To order, ask for a salad bowl. Your choices of Whole30 approved toppings include the barbacoa, chicken, carnitas, steak, fajita vegetables, fresh tomato salsa, guacamole, romaine lettuce, tomatillo green-chili salsa, or the tomatillo red-chili salsa. Calories will range between 520 and 195 depending on how you top it. To figure out your exact calorie count, plug your order into Chipotle’s calorie counter.
No matter your diet, fast food places have started to offer options for everyone. So even if you don’t see something on this list, head to the restaurant’s website and check out their menu. Or if you’re looking for something healthy, but aren’t necessarily sticking to any specific diet, check out these healthy fast food options!