It is no secret that fast food has a reputation for lacking nutrition. For years, restaurants only offered options full of fat, sugar, and sodium. Fast food was never about health – it was about convenience and simplifying daily routines. However, that is not the case anymore. People are more concerned about what they are eating than ever before. So, as consumers are turning to healthy food options, fast food restaurants are changing their menus to meet that demand. From grass-fed beef to paleo, vegetarian, and vegan options, fast food restaurants are focused on accommodating every diet, as well as offering healthier alternatives for those who are focused on clean-eating.
Consumers who aren’t gung-ho on paleo or another specialty diet are still able to watch what they eat, too. It is also no longer a secret what you are consuming when you eat fast food. It is a standard for fast food restaurants to share the calories, carbs, sodium, sugar, and protein breakdown of each menu item, so consumers are fully aware of what they’re eating.
Keeping tabs on fast food nutrition allows consumers to plan ahead, as well. If you are on a low-sodium diet, you can quickly narrow down all of the best options that suit your eating restrictions before you pull up to the drive-through. Or, if you are trying to watch your sugar intake, all you have to do is take a quick peek at a menu item’s nutritional breakdown.
Consumers have always been skeptical of fast food salads, for example, because the dressing and toppings can skyrocket the calorie count, while the lettuce may be lacking nutrients. As nutritional information has become more accessible, customers have realized that many salads are just as full of fat and sugar as more traditional items like hamburgers and fries. However, now that fast food nutrition is widely available to the public, it has never been easier to keep track of what you are eating and make healthy, wise decisions.
Another major shift in fast food nutrition is the addition of healthy sides or alternatives. At most major chains, you can order grilled chicken over crispy/fried chicken, as well as fruit over a side of fries or chips. This allows fast food lovers to continue enjoying their favorite meals – and the convenience of fast food in general – without worrying about it negatively impacting their health.
So, which nutritional values can you expect to see from your favorite fast food chains? We’ve provided a breakdown of all your favorite fast food items with nutritional information below.