Discover 8 Nourishing Quick Bites Ideal for Busy Schedules: Optimal Fast Food Choices

**Eight Healthy Fast Food Options to Grab on the Go**

**Fast Food and its Nutritional Nightmares**

Fast food has become a convenient go-to option for many people in the U.S who are looking for a quick meal on the go. In fact, 50% of consumers eat fast food at least twice a week, and this number is increasing due to rising grocery costs. However, the nutritional content of fast food meals is often a nightmare, with an average of 1,193 calories, 2,110 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of saturated fat. These numbers are alarming, as they are nearly the recommended daily limit of sodium for adults and more than the daily limit of saturated fat, all in just one meal. Consuming excessive amounts of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium is linked to heart disease, and indulging in too many ultra-processed foods, like burgers and fries, may also contribute to cognitive decline.

**Healthy Choices: Paying Attention to Portion Size and Nutrition**

“One meal is not going to make or break your overall health; all foods, including indulgent foods, can fit into an overall healthy diet,” says Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, FAND, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author. She emphasizes the importance of making healthy choices by considering portion size, protein, fiber, fat, sodium, and added sugars. So, the next time you’re in a hurry or too tired to cook, here are eight healthy fast food options for you to choose from.

**1. Dunkin: Wake-Up Wrap**

The Wake-Up Wrap from Dunkin is a great option any time of the day. It is considered a “breakfast sandwich,” but it is low in carbohydrates and calories, offering 7 grams of protein. To reduce the fat and sodium content, it is recommended to order the veggie version without bacon or turkey sausage. However, it’s important to note that this wrap may not be super filling with just 180 calories. To satisfy your hunger, consider pairing it with some fruit or a side salad.

**2. Starbucks: Tomato and Mozzarella on Focaccia**

Starbucks offers a vegetarian sandwich made with mozzarella cheese, roasted tomatoes, basil pesto, and spinach. This sandwich is a good source of protein, containing just two grams of sugar and 360 calories. To increase the fiber content of the meal, consider adding an apple. The combination of vegetables, carbs, and protein should leave you feeling full and satisfied.

**3. Panera Bread: Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken**

Panera Bread’s Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken is a fresh and healthy option. Packed with healthy veggies like romaine, mandarin oranges, strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple, and topped with grilled chicken, this salad is filling and nutritious. It contains only 350 calories, but it provides 23 grams of protein, eight grams of fiber, and 1.5 grams of saturated fat. The protein and fiber in this salad contribute to satiety and make it a satisfying yet low-calorie option.

**4. Subway: 6-inch Veggie Delite Sandwich**

Subway’s 6-inch Veggie Delite Sandwich allows you to pile on the veggies. With options like spinach, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, pickles, olives, and other fresh vegetables, this sandwich adds minimal calories but a lot of flavor. Opt for multigrain bread, as it has fewer calories, fat, and carbs compared to other bread options. Even with all the toppings, including cheese, this sandwich is only 210 calories and provides three grams of fat and 10 grams of fiber. It is an excellent source of fiber, according to Vicki Shanta Retelny RDN, a nutritionist.

**5. Burger King: Impossible Whopper**

For those with a burger craving, Burger King offers the Impossible Whopper. While the calorie count between the Impossible Whopper (630 calories) and the traditional Whopper (670 calories) is similar, the plant-based protein patty in the Impossible Whopper is lower in overall fat and saturated fat. Although this burger is not a health food with 1,350 milligrams of sodium and 13.5 grams of sugar, it is a better option compared to the traditional Whopper.

**6. Taco Bell: Soft Taco Supreme**

Taco Bell’s Soft Taco Supreme is customizable and allows you to choose healthier options. Instead of ground beef, opt for grilled chicken to reduce saturated fat. Adding black beans provides fiber, while guacamole adds healthy fat. You can also increase vegetable intake by doubling the amount of tomatoes and lettuce. Even with these additional ingredients, a single taco only contains 285 calories and 3.5 grams of saturated fat. Although the sodium content is relatively high at 290 milligrams, it is considered good for fast food.

**7. Chipotle: Lifestyle Bowl**

Chipotle offers a variety of bowls suitable for different dietary preferences. Their high-protein bowl, made with black beans, double chicken, cheese, rice, salsa, and shredded cheese, contains an impressive 82 grams of protein. This combination of plant-based protein, brown rice, and beans provides a significant amount of fiber. To increase your vegetable intake, you can request extras like roasted chili-corn salsa, fresh tomato salsa, and guacamole.

**8. Chick-fil-A: Grilled Chicken Sandwich**

Among the sandwiches on Chick-fil-A’s menu, the Grilled Chicken Sandwich is the top choice when it comes to health. Made with a multigrain brioche bun, grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, and honey roasted BBQ sauce, this sandwich contains 390 calories, 28 grams of protein, and two grams of saturated fat. To reduce the carb intake, you can opt for a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. Compared to other chicken sandwiches on the menu, which contain excessive amounts of sodium, the grilled chicken sandwich is a better alternative with 770 milligrams of sodium.

By choosing these healthier options from popular fast food chains, you can still enjoy a quick meal on the go without sacrificing your health. **Making informed decisions about portions and nutrition is key to maintaining a balanced and healthy diet**.

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