Smart Swaps: Healthy Fast-Food Choices


By: , – By Allison Baker, Megan Bingham and Caren Oppenheim, of Family Circle
  :  12 comments   :  19,433 Views

If you're on a diet or trying to lose weight, you don't have to give up fast food completely. You just have to be careful when ordering. Here, we show you what foods you should avoid and what healthier foods you should eat to save calories and fat at popular fast-food places.

Baja Fresh

Put down: Diablo Shrimp Burrito

1,000 calories, 34g fat

Eat up: Shrimp Baja Ensalada

230 calories, 6g fat

You save: 770 calories, 28g fat


Mimi's Cafe

Put down: Roasted Chicken Crepe

1,101 calories, 83g fat

Eat up: Chicken Piccata with Asparagus

587 calories, 34g fat

You save: 514 calories, 49g fat




Put down: Doublicious with Original Filet

520 calories, 25g fat

Eat up: Honey BBQ Sandwich

320 calories, 3.5g fat

You save: 200 calories, 21.5g fat


Click here for more smart swaps!

Related articles from Family Circle:

What fast-food smart swaps have you made? Do you have any others to add to this list?

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  • 12
    We're lucky to live in CA where the calorie info is on all menus by law. I've also found that most restaurants have the nutritional info posted online. I was surprised there was something @ KFC I could eat tho. I usually avoid them. I always joke that KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Cancer. - 8/15/2012   5:17:55 PM
  • 11
    I don't eat at any fast food places....haven't for years. I love going to a local cafe, having a nice breakfast or lunch enjoy the atmosphere..a great treat for myself. Good info, though. - 8/12/2012   7:43:30 AM
  • 10
    Great blog! It's good to know about choices in advance. - 12/26/2011   10:58:35 AM
  • 9
    Thanks for this, it's needed.
    I'm starting to eat open face sandwiches (leaving off at least half the bun) with my sandwiches. I also get the small size or the grilled chicken option.
    A little progress, step by step. It's one choice at a time. - 12/25/2011   12:55:25 AM
  • 8
    if i have a taste for fast food like mickey d's i get the happy meal (not the mighty meal) which comes with a small burger or (4) chix nuggets, a TINY french fries with like 8 in there, apple slices and i get either water or milk. totally satisfying! - 12/23/2011   2:00:37 PM
    Don't really eat at fast food places - except for White Castle, which my husband and I make a special trip to about four times a year. That's our only fast food vice - just can't resist it once in a while. And, since it's a special trip, I'm not swapping out a couple of cheeseburgers for a healthier anything. - 12/23/2011   12:20:31 PM
  • 123ELAINE456
    Have't eaten at KFC for a long long time God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. - 12/23/2011   4:50:32 AM
  • 5
    Haven't eaten at KFC in years. - 12/22/2011   10:15:35 PM
  • 4
    I felt so guilty when some of my favorites came up with the big red X! I was also shocked by just how many calories you could save yourself by simple swaps!!! Thanks for sharing! :D - 12/22/2011   9:21:42 PM
    This was one of the most helpful and revealing articles with practical everyday information I shared with my family. Thanks so much! - 12/22/2011   6:56:41 PM
  • 2
    The first thing I do when I look at a menu in a restaurant is I try to avoid anything in the descriptions that say "loaded, deep fried, garnished, sauteed" etc., or any words that will give hint there is an over abundance of something added to the meal. This has really helped me avoid many items that have the hidden calories and fats packed in there when you don't even realize it (for example, a fully loaded baked potato has a TON of extra calories you wouldn't realize from all the side garnishes you put on it! Think about it!)

    I've also gotten accustomed to ordering food that's on light menus or try to order the kid's portion when I can. I also double check to make sure none of my food is cooked in excess butter or any oils, I always request to have things without the butter or cooking oils when I can! - 12/22/2011   5:10:31 PM
    I love this type of article. It's hard to know what to pick sometimes. I wish that Diablo Shrimp Burrito didn't look so good though. :-) - 12/22/2011   5:08:03 PM

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