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Top Ten Healthiest Fast Food Choices

by
author image Hannah Wickford
After attending Fairfield University, Hannah Wickford spent more than 15 years in market research and marketing in the consumer packaged goods industry. In 2003 she decided to shift careers and now maintains three successful food-related blogs and writes online articles, website copy and newsletters for multiple clients.
Top Ten Healthiest Fast Food Choices
A veggie sandwich meal. Photo Credit dulezidar/iStock/Getty Images

Unless you enjoy meals containing little more than apple slices and water, it is difficult to find real healthy options at most fast-food chains. Many of the low-fat items, such as salads, are deceiving in that they contain copious amounts of sodium. There are healthier menu choices that you can make at most fast-food restaurants that keep calories, fat and sodium to a minimum.

Burger King Whopper Junior Without Mayonnaise

This flame-broiled burger comes topped with tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup, pickles and onions on a toasted bun. At only 260 calories with 10 g of fat, 4 g of saturated fat and no trans fat, it stays well within nutritional limits. This also provides you with 13 g of protein and 29 g of carbohydrates and only 35 mg of cholesterol, 6 g of sugar and 460 mg of sodium. Add a side of apple fries for a meal totaling a mere 330 calories.

Subway 6-Inch Veggie Delite

Avoid the cheese and any fat-filled condiments, and the 6-inch Subway Veggie Delite sandwich on fresh nine-grain bread gives you plenty of nutrition at only 230 calories with 2.5 g of fat, 0.5 g of saturated fat and no trans fat or cholesterol. Sodium content is relatively low at only 310 mg, carbohydrates weigh in a 44 g and you will get 8 g of protein and plenty of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron.

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KFC Original Recipe Chicken Breast

Hold the skin and the breading, and you’ll find KFC’s Original Recipe chicken breast is a nutritional bargain. It contains only 160 calories, 3.5 g of fat, 1 g of saturated fat, no trans fat and 580 mg of sodium.

McDonald’s Premium Southwest Salad Without Chicken

At only 140 calories, McDonald’s Southwest salad is a healthy treat. Along with crisp salad greens, it contains corn, black beans, poblano peppers, chili-lime tortilla strips and a fresh wedge of lime for squeezing. This low-fat salad contains 4.5 g of fat, 2 g of saturated fat, no trans fat and a mere 150 mg of sodium. If you choose to use McDonald's creamy Southwest salad dressing, one packet adds an additional 100 calories, 6 g of fat and 1 g of saturated fat.

Sonic Crab Sandwich

If you think the veggie burgers are the healthiest option at Sonic -- think again. One veggie burger contains almost a full day’s allowance of sodium. Opt instead for the crab sandwich, which contains only 430 calories, 18 g of fat, 2.5 g of saturated fat and 0.5 g of trans fat.

Dairy Queen Grilled Chicken Wrap

You usually can count on grilled chicken being healthy, and the grilled chicken wrap at Dairy Queen is no exception. It contains only 200 calories, 13 g of fat, 3.5 g of saturated fat, no trans fat and 450 mg of sodium.

Quizno’s Harvest Chicken Salad

Though Quizno's may be known for its sandwiches, salads are the healthiest option at the fast food restaurant. Try its Harvest Chicken Salad; the small salad has only 110 calories, 3 g of fat, 0.5 g of saturated fat, no trans fat and 213 mg of sodium, and the regular-size salad has 220 calories, 6 g of fat, 1.5 g of saturated fat, no trans fat and 417 mg of sodium. Avoid Quizno's salad dressings, as even its fat-free option is loaded with sodium.

Taco Bell Fresco Crunchy Taco

Indulge your Mexican cravings with a Fresco Crunchy Taco from Taco Bell, containing only 150 calories, 8 g of fat, 2 g of saturated fat, no trans fat and 310 mg of sodium. Top it with some fire-roasted or fiesta salsa or choose any of its border sauces.

Wendy’s Baked Potato and Garden Side Salad

Order a plain baked potato at Wendy’s with its butter spread, pair it with a side salad and your total intake is only 345 calories, 5 g of fat, 1 g of saturated fat, no trans fat and 145 mg of sodium. Use Wendy's fat-free French dressing, containing 40 calories, no fat and 95 mg of sodium, and you’ve got a full, flavorful and nutritious meal.

Chick-fil-a Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad

Chick-fil-a’s grilled chicken salad comes complete with romaine and iceberg lettuce, grilled chicken breast, grape tomatoes, broccoli, red cabbage, carrots and Monterey Jack cheese, all for only 180 calories, 6 g of fat, 3.5 g of saturated fat, no trans fat and 650 mg of sodium. Avoid its light Italian dressing, as it is filled with sodium, and opt instead for its fat-free honey-mustard or reduced-fat berry-balsamic vinaigrette.

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