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All Entries For fast food

The Healthiest Choices at Panera Bread


These days, it can be really tough to find a bite to eat on the go that won't break the calorie bank. Fast food chains are convenient, but most options are loaded down with excess calories, fat and sodium. Panera Bread has emerged in recent years as a healthier choice in a sea of burger joints. Although some of its menu items aren't the greatest (720 calories for a bowl of clam chowder, anyone?), we've scoured the menu to find some decent choices the next time you find yourself in a pinch for food—right now.

Panera has stepped up their nutritional game recently with their Power Menu, a selection of high-protein, low-carb entrees with some seriously impressive nutritional stats. We've included some of them in our top six favorite healthy Panera entrees below, followed by 10 more of our honorable mentions. (Note that salads do not include dressing nutritional information.) 
Posted 2/23/2014  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 208 comments   97,899 views
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The 15 Worst Foods of the Year


Each year many people make food-related New Year's resolutions or goals. Figuring out how to make dining out fit in with those goals can be a big challenge. Over the years, we've highlighted many of the healthier options in our Diet Friendly Dining series. Last year we were encouraged by the increased number of nutrition conscious restaurant options that were available.

This year, we've seen all sorts of new foods hit the market. Some, like the recently invented Cronut, throw nutrition caution to the wind. Others, like Satisfries, are an attempt to create tasty lower-calorie favorites. We scoured restaurant menus to find the biggest nutrition disasters so you'll know what to avoid when eating out in the new year.  
Posted 12/27/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 31 comments   73,132 views
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Just How Healthy Are Burger King's New Low-Cal 'Satisfries'?


A few weeks ago, Burger King started heavily promoting its latest menu offering called Satisfries, which are formulated to have 40% less fat than the leading fast food French fry (from McDonald's). We decided to try the fries, than take a close look at the ingredients and nutrition facts to discover whether these fries are as healthy as they seem.
Posted 10/4/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 48 comments   25,997 views
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The 7 Worst Restaurant Foods in America


We all enjoy eating away from home from time to time and try to make smart choices when we do. Sometimes we sabotage all our best efforts and give in to a moment of weakness. The more you know about Diet Friendly Dining when you are eating Food on the Run the more you will be able to resist temptation.

Recently Eat This, Not That outlined the 20 Worst Restaurant Foods in America. Here are seven you should avoid if at all possible.

Posted 6/28/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 225 comments   273,747 views
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$20 Food Showdown: Fast Food vs. Healthy Food


Budget constraints prevent many people from eating right.

"I can't afford to buy healthy food."
"Fruits and vegetables are too expensive."
"Grocery store prices are astronomical."
"It's cheaper to eat fast food."

We hear these "excuses" every day--and they're good ones. But we don't give up that easily and believe any excuse can be overcome. Today we're setting out to prove that healthy eating is possible on any budget.

We compared the cost of unhealthy foods from the drive-thru, freezer section and snack foods aisle to the cost of healthy foods. By making even one of these swaps, you can make room in your grocery budget for a few new healthy foods.

The photos below aim to show the diversity in healthy foods available. Prices may vary in your area (some items were on sale when we shopped), but we think you'll be shocked at how far you can stretch a buck at the supermarket when you buy healthy foods!
Posted 4/18/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 676 comments   1,407,062 views
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The 9 Healthiest Coffee Drinks and Smoothies


One of the sneakiest places excess calories hide is in beverages--and two of the biggest culprits are coffee drinks and smoothies. Though coffee itself is calorie-free and smoothies are made with fruit, the extras we add to these beverages can tack on hundreds of calories! Thankfully, there are plenty of better choices out there. Here, we've rounded up the nine healthiest smoothies and coffee drinks!


Posted 3/21/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 99 comments   293,397 views
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The 11 Worst Foods of the Year


Fast food and chain restaurants have evolved significantly over the last few years. Burgers, fries and sodas are still the status quo for many diners, but those who seek healthier foods have plenty of options, from fruit and yogurt parfaits and baked potatoes, to apples cut like fries and grilled chicken. Trans fats have been reduced and eliminated; lowfat milk, fresh fruits and vegetables grace the menus at even the most ubiquitous roadside eateries; and more companies are disclosing nutritional information.

Despite those changes, fast foods menus remain dichotomous: Healthy choices reside next to triple-stacked burgers and extra large fries.

We've rounded up 11 of the worst foods we've seen this year.

Stay far, far away from the foods listed below, and instead select from the plentiful healthy choices at each of the restaurants included in this article.


Posted 1/5/2013  10:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 729 comments   35,794 views
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The 10 Worst Foods of the Year


If 2009 was the year of cutting back, 2010 was the year of adding on, at least when it came to food. The year's top catch phrase: More cheese, please!

On menus from Taco Bell to the Cheesecake Factory, cheese was piled on, in several varieties. Melted, fried, sandwiched, stuffed and slathered on anything and everything, it's safe to say that, if you're eating these foods, you're meeting your dairy quota.

We've rounded up the worst new foods of the year and compiled some fun fitness facts to help put these caloric monstrosities in perspective!

Posted 12/30/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 420 comments   317,476 views
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McDonald's Posting Nutrition Info in All Restaurants


Our daughter spent this past summer serving customers at our local McDonald's. She observed many patrons trying to make healthier choices by selecting oatmeal for breakfast or skipping the fries at dinner. During her work, she helped McDonald's highlight lower calories options as she promoted options from their new Favorites Under 400 menu.
 
To demonstrate their commitment to improved nutrition, McDonald's has published a nutrition progress report for the first time.  Now McDonald's has taken another step in information sharing. Learn about important tidbits of information that can help make nutrient wise selections even easier next time you are selecting Food on the Run.
Posted 10/1/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 41 comments   10,413 views
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Best Iced-Coffee Drinks for Your Waistline


Does the hot and humid weather this summer have you reaching for iced coffee instead of your favorite hot brewed variety? If so, are they having a positive or negative impact on your weight goals? Although an iced coffee can be as simple as brewed coffee over ice (usually around 15 calories as with Starbucks Grande Iced Caffe' Americano), there tend to be many choices and varying degrees of nutritional value when you order them on the run. If you are enjoying frequent iced coffee drinks and having difficulty reaching your weight goals, there could be a connection. 
 
Typical recommendations when ordering iced coffee drinks and trying to limit calories is to select the smallest size, request skim milk, and hold the whipped or chocolate topping. Sometimes it can be very difficult to remember to keep everything straight when you are trying to order in a hurry. Here is a quick list of nine 16-ounce choices that can help keep you cool while helping to maintain your waistline.
Posted 8/6/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 70 comments   88,289 views
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New Under 400-Calorie Menu at McDonald's


McDonald's has a new online promotion to highlight both its sponsorship of the US Olympic team and its under-400 menu options. Win When USA Wins Gold Olympic promotion. This interactive quiz feature lets you learn more about the healthier options at McDonald's.
 
Do you know how many servings of whole grain are contained in the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal? How about how many grams of protein are in the Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich? You can learn that and more from the new highlighted information. Not everything on the under-400 calorie favorites list are good options -- and most contain a very high amount of sodium. Here are some of the better choices from the new list.  
Posted 7/30/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 82 comments   28,103 views
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Food on the Run: Jack in the Box


I recently read that Jack in the Box is planning to open its first Ohio restaurant this summer near my neighborhood. I didn't know much about the fast casual chain except that they faced national scrutiny once because of an E. coli outbreak. I decided to do a little research and found the hamburger chain has more than 2200 restaurants in twenty states spanning the U.S. from coast to coast. With a recent opening in Indianapolis, Indiana and another 25 to 30 restaurants projected to open later this year, I decided to take a closer look at how the chain stacks up nutritionally.
 
Jack in the Box has an expansive menu, featuring the first fast casual 100% Sirloin Burger as well as lighter appetizers and real fruit smoothies. For the nutrition conscience, there are whole grain pitas, entrée salads, and grilled chicken. Here are some of the best choices I will be looking for when the new restaurant opens down the street.
Posted 4/23/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 19 comments   7,406 views
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Food Showdown: Which Fish Sandwich is the Best Catch?


We're in the home stretch of the Lenten season, and the fish sandwich offerings are still swimming around in fast food restaurants across the country. Fish can be a great alternative to meat, but when it's breaded, fried, and slapped on a white bun, this once-healthy protein turns into a less than ideal choice when you're watching your weight. But if you absolutely must have a flaky fish sandwich, which one should you reel in: McDonald's Filet-O-Fish® or Wendy's Premium Cod Fillet sandwich?
Posted 3/24/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 59 comments   28,473 views
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Something New Coming South of the Border


Last year wasn't one of the best sales years for Taco Bell. Perhaps it was because of a lawsuit early in the year but regardless of the reason, Taco Bell and their parent company Yum Brands Inc. seek to make this year better. With the hopes of increasing interest in the Mexican style fast-casual dining chain, they are rolling out two new test market initiatives with specific competitor markets in mind.
 
Last month nearly 800 Taco Bell test restaurants across 12 western U.S. states began trialing new breakfast options. The initial breakfast test market began with four cities and favorable response led to the increased test market to begin making a presence in the $42 billion food on the run breakfast market. New "First Meal" items focus on egg and steak, sausage or bacon stuffed burritos and wraps. Taco Bell has also included recognizable name brands like Cinnabon, Johnsonville, Tropicana, and Seattle's Best in the hopes of boosting interest as well. With a price range from $.99 to $2.79, more people may begin thinking "outside the bun" when it comes to breakfast.
 
In addition to the expanded test market of the new breakfast line, initial testing is under way for the new menu items that they hope take Taco Bell in the direction of gourmet food. Biggest Loser Chef Lorena Garcia has created the new Cantina Bell burrito, burrito bowl, and soft tacos menu items. Increased focus on nutrient rich ingredients such as seasoned white rice, black beans, and corn salsa appear to take aim at fresh-Mex competitors Chipotle Mexican Grill and Qdoba. Unfortunately, the initial testing market for Cantina Bell is restricted to the Bakersfield, California and Louisville, Kentucky areas for now. If all goes well, you may be seeing the new menu near you by the end of the year.
 
If neither of these new initiatives is in your area but you love Taco Bell, have no fear because the countdown has started for a new culturally cool concept that just might be.
Posted 2/27/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 27 comments   9,907 views
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Food Showdown: McDonald's 6-piece Chicken McNuggets® vs. Chicken McBites Snack Size™


You're strapped for time and decide to hit the McDonald's drive-thru for a quick afternoon snack. How about some Chicken McNuggets®? They're small, portable, and surely fewer calories than a sandwich. You could go with the tried-and-true 6-piece chicken nugget box, or… wait a minute! There's a new item on the menu: the Chicken McBites Snack Size™. It's only 3 ounces, whereas the 6-piece box of nuggets weighs in at 3.4 ounces. The bites may weigh less than the nuggets, but does a lower weight indicate a lower calorie count?

Quick, you're almost to the drive-thru window-- which chicken snack is better for your waistline? 
 
Posted 2/18/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 79 comments   40,179 views
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